One fundamental feature of a development process that recognizes the material and spiritual requirements of social reality is capacity building. In fact, development can almost be seen as synonymous with building capacity. The people themselves are the protagonists of their own development, as all learn to generate and apply knowledge to manifest the latent capabilities inherent in each human being. Development is not the provision of goods and services from a “developed” group to a “developing” or “underdeveloped” group. Though this may happen at some points in the process, but it is not development; for it breaks down humanity into otherness, incompatible with the principle of oneness. Every human being is inherently noble, endowed with talents and capacities that can be revealed to contribute to their community. The people are the true treasures.
What does an economic system look like that is built on these convictions?
A conception of development that ignores spirituality marginalizes the populations that it aims to serve, as well as becomes deprived of humanity’s deepest roots of motivation. Throughout human history, the achievements of religion have been moral in character; through religious teachings, people have developed the capacity to love, to unify, to seek truth, to sacrifice for the common weal. Spiritual values in development not only engages the participation of the vast majority of humanity – which approaches universal participation demanded by justice – but also elicits powerful human capacities that can serve to benefit humankind. True development necessitates spiritual principles as capacity is built.
What spiritual values are relevant to development?