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Bridging the Gap between Personal and Public Attitudes

The European Union just decided about obligatory measures for climate protection in the fight against global warming. The president of the EU commission, José Manuel Barroso, was asked by journalists about his personal commitment in this fight. He is driving a German luxury car as well as a big cross-country vehicle, known for high CO2-outputs. He answered that he doesn’t want to do without his cars, that it is not a matter of moral role models, but of political solutions of Europe.

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Where does arrogance start? It seems to be normal that politicians take their liberty of living in contradiction to their official opinions. Nations too take their liberties to behave against their declared positions: Many EU-countries are far from reaching their own Kyoto-commitments. If these will really be effective remains a question. Nations are made of individuals and thus often behave like unintegrated personalities.

On the spiritual path these discrepancies between a behaviour out of outer compulsions and different inner attitudes are quite dangerous, for tensions arise. If we want to behave in a good way, we should do it for ourselves, to be truthful towards ourselves. Then only we can come to an integration of the different areas of our personality and fill the gap between knowledge and action.

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