NATALIE BECKER: Actor and spiritual film anchor, South Africa: Hello, Namaste, Jai Gurudev, from Cape Town, South Africa and from everyone here at the Art of Living Foundation. A warm welcome to everyone watching as well, thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Cape Town is a beautiful city, but it also wears the very tragic monocle being the rape capital of the world. Everyone or rather everyone we know at least, has been affected by the circle of violence, is perpetrated… vulnerable members of society…women, children and the elderly. I would like to ask what we can do as members of society, in our own homes, in our own boundaries, in our own schools, in our own private little capacity to help stop the cycle of violence. Also, how can we reach out to perpetrators of violence that are in prison, that are incarcerated and help them to heal, so that we can heal our society at a deeper level?
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know governments around the world spend billions in security, billions in arms and ammunitions. If they spend even a fraction of it - even 1 percent of what they spend on defense, to peace building, to proactively encourage people to come together and find that inner peace, to educate children to combat the aggression that they have in them; the world would be a very different place. All that the government will have to do is just allocate 1 percent to 2 percent of the defense budget to peace building initiatives. (They can) Create volunteers; create youth who can help other youth around the country to calm down, to respect non-violence, to pro-actively engage in social work. In South Africa, you can all ask your county heads and the Members of Parliament to help you to create that sense of belongingness, peace between different communities.
There are three culprits for violence, I would say - alcohol, drugs and stress. If we can manage to get these three culprits out of one’s life, we can be very happy individuals and build a happy society around us.