Our World: Ethics and Morals in Our World

Ethics and Morals in Our World

Navin B. Shah – Kenya

We are all generally prone to look at the bygone years, and especially the school days or our childhood experiences, as the best years of our life.  It is like the ‘Golden’ period that we wish we could live all over again. The past is looked upon with nostalgia and sweet memories and we wish the present and the future that is to come to be the same. But someone rightly said that for one to have ‘Golden Age’ one must first forget the gold (mineral) that many are blindly chasing throughout their life.

Our world, with its modern materialistic society has witnessed an erosion of ethics and morality in even those whom ordinary men and women would look up to – teachers, doctors, priests and professionals in different fields. With a few exceptions it seems that the majority in the society have been gripped with this ‘have more’ and ‘grab’ syndrome.  Greed, a basic instinct, has overcome our concern for the common man.  What happens to him is not our concern as long as I can serve myself, however unethically.

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Our World

Human Rights, Theosophy, and Gypsy Children of Kosovo

Kathleen F. Hall – Canada

“Among these gypsies one may find traces of ancient avatars, whose souls were gods long ago in India.” (Walter Starkie, In Sara's Tents. London: John Murray, 1953, p. 1)

In July 2010, my fifteen-year-old son and I traveled to Kosovo, in the Balkans, to work with marginalized children of a people known as Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians (RAE), also called Gypsies, whose ancestors were ultimately from north India. Working with these children in a summer arts program sponsored by a local nongovernmental organization gave me insight into some of the great challenges within the lives of the RAE of Kosovo.

Devastation in Kosovo in 2011 still visible

In 2008, Kosovo became a republic independent of Serbia and the former Yugoslavia. This newly found independence was not easily won; it followed a horrific 1999 war, which was marked by ethnic cleansing and mass destruction of properties belonging to Serbians, Albanians, and the RAE. During that war, NATO displaced many threatened RAE families into neighboring countries for protection. When the war ended, some returning RAE had no homes to go to and, being considered as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), were housed in camps or IDP designated housing projects.

Living conditions in the IDP areas is dismissal. Many are run down and lack consistent water, electricity, and municipal services such as garbage pickup. Mitrovica, an IDP camp in northern Kosovo has extreme levels of lead poisoning, the cause of serious health issues, particularly in children living there. Plemetina, a community outside Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, has an IDP housing project that is situated next to “Kosovo B,” a huge coal-burning power plant that pollutes the surrounding area with mountains of coal ash.

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