Being Human

Challenges and Inspiration:
Being Human in Difficult Times

Humanity is going through a challenging time, socially, culturally, ecologically and spiritually. No doubt we have grown and advanced a great deal and have achieved many great feats. But our focus on material growth has also become a monstrous challenge, for it deeply challenges our humanity.
Being Human

Even as we celebrate the glittering temples of affluence and consumption, modernity has also scattered the globe with empires of cruelty and slavery and sites of pain and death. All these scar us deeply – physically, socio-culturally, psychologically, and spiritually – nudging us to take serious note and act. Our individual and collective futures are dangerously at stake. And, there is a battle within, as well as without, to reclaim the compassionate human spirit.

Specifically, the disquieting contexts we are in today put an urgent demand on us in the academia to reclaim the ‘human’ in humanities (and the ‘social’ in social sciences).

In this effort to reclaim the ‘human’, the role of institutions of higher learning, like Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB), is very important. They offer a dynamic, dialogic and nurturing space to influence and to shape the human spirit, directly or indirectly shaping generations of young people and their delicate futures.

Institutions like XUB have the potential to offer open learningful spaces for the nurturing of a ‘new transdisciplinary human-ities’ among young people who may not just be looking for run-of-the-mill careers but a meaningful engagement with their futures. Young people certainly want to contribute to the general wellbeing of society. XUB has taken a mindful, giant leap to imaginatively nurture this possibility.

Challenges
To strengthen the compassionate human agenda by re-imagining ‘human’ities (and ‘social’ sciences), XUB has taken the first step by establishing the Xavier Centre for Humanities and Compassion Studies (XCHCS). Exploring and studying the reality of compassion from a transdisciplinary perspective will help XCHCS to frame the ‘human’ in humanities to act in a world where cruelty, suffering, pain, conflict, war, poverty and untimely deaths have become a distressful norm. XCHCS will endeavour to add to the growing scholarship on compassion.
The long-term aim is to form a new generation of students, teachers, public intellectuals, and citizens who will seek to heal the planet, engage with spirituality, and grow sustainable social futures for all sentient beings. XCHCS aims to actively draw young people into conversations about themselves, the world they live in, and the world they can passionately create for all.
XCHCS hopes that those who are courageous and creative will eventually draw from alternative sustainable livelihoods that promote long-term peace and happiness, drawing sustenance and strength from non-violence and compassion.

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