The key to governing

We must, all of us, learn what it takes to control, to govern, and to live with this new world of immense complexities, new dimensions, exceptional speeds, and continuous interdependencies, which is totally different from the world in which we still live culturally.

To govern this new world we must first learn how to govern ourselves, an exigency that can be subsumed under three points: the survival exigency (we must learn how to live in harmony with the realities, the real world, not the world as we think it should be); the moral exigency (we must learn how to fulfill our responsibilities to our successors and to the other forms of life that are totally dependent on us, and on which we, in the final analysis, will be dependent); and the quality-of-life exigency (we must learn how to develop our own potential, a goal we invoke often but do little to bring to reality).

Thus, we are presented with a tremendous problematique.m The point of entry into it -- and here I must beg your indulgence -- cannot be science, the economy , or -- as we seem to think today -- energy; rather, the point of entry is the human being, and what he can do with science, the economy, energy, and everything else. If the point of entry is not the human being, we will be lost, we will see another world, not the world in which we are protagonists.

In this respect, we must consider two things:

(1) The first is that modern man -- and this includes you and me -- is unfinished. All of us -- even the most deprived who live at the margins of society and who may be illiterate -- have a natural endowment, a latent potential, a neglected capacity for understanding, inventiveness, and creativity that we have never developed, or that we have developed only partially.

(2) We must understand that, if we develop everything else and fail to develop this potential fully, the world will become a more difficult place, we will become weaker, and thus less able to face its problems, and the gaps we see today will widen. We must focus efforts on becoming better persons, both ethically and existentially, if we are to be able to live with the new world that w e create.

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