We have so far considered the basic rights of existence on the earth as well as human development to a state of internal harmony and the consequences stemming from these considerations with respect to self-responsibility. At some stage the question arises as to how and when we could apply everything we have discussed to our personal life.
It is naturally the free choice of every person as to whether he would like to develop further towards living the basic rights of existence. If he should affirm that he does, it is again entirely his choice as to how and when and in what way he should start this process. The free choice of everyone is respected but every one of us is also responsible for the consequences of his decision.
The developments in the rich industrial nations in recent years have without doubt resulted in many negative consequences for the environment and for the so-called developing countries. People in the economically developed countries today however have excellent opportunities as never before for progressing their personal development1. The times are almost ideal to make a change in our lifestyle, we could therefore speak about a real Time for change.
Why are the preconditions in the industrialized countries today so extremely good for us to personally develop further with respect to the basic rights of existence? We will list only some of the important reasons for the majority of inhabitants of the economically rich industrial nations:
Our existential needs are more than covered. Never before has it been possible to spend such a short time of each day or week in satisfying our existential needs (and many other needs as well). The basic needs, which we briefly discussed during our consideration of the human needs hierarchy, are covered. There would thus be sufficient time available for us to further develop ourselves personally. We only need to apply ourselves with courage to use this time rigorously. We can do this for example by individually reducing our daily or weekly working hours.
The increasing anonymity in our society creates many problems. On the other hand it does make it easier for someone to forge his own path. The pressure from our surroundings to conform to society just like everyone else has hence become significantly lower. It is easier today to go your own way.
The large catchment net of social insurance is better than ever before. We therefore need to concern ourselves significantly less about securing our future: We can live in a more carefree way! This too creates space for further personal developments and considerations about life.
The sensitivity of people to the great problems on the earth (for example environmental pollution, the distribution of food, unrest, epidemics etc.) is constantly increasing. This creates an increasing understanding of those people who want to travel other paths.
The time is therefore virtually ideal for a change of life. Naturally this cannot happen without limitations or without pain. Perhaps we will have to separate ourselves from some things, from objects, from people, and certainly from familiar ways of thinking. The reward that lures is the greatest of all goals for every single human being: Perpetual internal harmony. We would then of course perceive the environment, our fellow human beings and naturally ourselves too in a completely different light and be able to enjoy them.
1 We are in no way suggesting here that the development in the past can be regarded as «good» or even as being a necessary precondition for personal development with respect to the basic rights of existence. We simply note that the preconditions for a change amongst people in the industrially-developed countries are today extremely good.