Looking for our Shangri-La
Daily Mirror Editorial
Mar 9, 2011

Indeed we have heard much about the breaking ground of the famed Hong Kong based Shangri-la hotels and resorts, one of the world’s premier hotel companies venturing into Sri Lanka. The ordinary citizen would naturally ask if another one of those grandiose activities, our government has started, would have any impact upon their difficult lives.

The ordinary person seeks his or her own ‘ShangriLa’, where life in his or her own village or township would be a joyful and fulfilling experience, for self and family. What every family or business organization strives to achieve, is to build its own ‘Shangri-la.’ Parents push children to make their mark and business leaders strive to make profit and build more castles. They seem to be of little or no avail at the end of the day. They are seeking an idealized place of perfection a Utopian dream -- there is nothing wrong with that, but what’s wrong is, how we go about achieving it.

Every one of us born into this world yearns to be loved and cared for. Unfortunately the world seems unable to do that, because of the way the system operates. Most people are misguided into believing that if one has an abundance of everything, then others would look up to them that have, thereby, receiving all the love and caring that’s sought. It’s not only individuals, but governments and organizations that seek recognition and acceptance. Sadly however, they too, when receiving recognition, be they celebrities or governments, because of their own wrong perception, resort to selfish pursuits and end up damaging or destroying themselves.

Every hopeful dream, that’s in all humanity from the richest to the poorest, can only be realized one way. The world holds onto the wrong concept that business is sorely to make money and more money. Let’s realize that there are enough resources for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Business then has to be looked in another way. It’s basically to solve problems of humanity. To put it in a nutshell, one cannot have businesses operating, making millions or billions in an environment where the needs of slum dwellers or the oppressed are allowed to grow, side by side. Ignoring the cry of the poor and paying undivided attention to making money, would lead to insecurity and be counterproductive.

Then again in every interpersonal relationship, we would find that they could become opportunities to discover our own self-worth and value. This would happen when we let go of our own plans and purposes, for the sake of the other. Husbands and wives could let go of their own need for the need of the other. Then would both be able to not only coexist but discover new found love and fulfillment. Why not try visiting that lonely person next door, foregoing your own activities that fills your leisure time and discover within yourself, your own ‘Shangri-la’. Every individual has within himself or herself the seed of power to change the world this way. The challenge is to want to do it.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka