The permeable membrane that separates us
We are connected. This is not a fanciful notion; this is a fact. When we behave in a way that ignores the needs of others, they are affected negatively. In the West, we are in the habit of acting as if we are separate and alone in the world, pursuing our self-centered agenda and profiting from short-term gain. This is why it is difficult to defend our position in the court of world opinion.
Our justification of "manifest destiny" does not play in other countries, and there is no mystery as to why this is the case. Candidate Trump says he will build a wall on our border with Mexico, and that he will force the Mexican government to pay for it. This plays to those in his base who revel in fantasy. We could build the tallest wall imaginable and not keep ourselves safe from the world's suffering, or the backlash of anger that would inevitably follow.
We cannot operate with impunity when it comes to our neighbors. The ego tells us that it is desirable to keep ourselves safe against an "other." But if there is only one thing, and if we are part of that one thing, it follows that we are all a part of each other.
In India, people seem to recognize this kinship and honor it. There are horrific exceptions of course, but for the most part gentility and friendliness are the rule. There is a tacit agreement that I will not harm you to advance me, as that would be harming myself.
We that follow teachings of the Vedic worldview also know this intuitively, but we still occasionally act out of willful ignorance. Willful ignorance, by definition, means that we know better but act as though we don't. It is time that we uncover the undimmed light within us and behave accordingly.
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
Jesus Christ in the King James Bible • Matthew 7:12