Inner Determination – The Key to Altering Present Reality & Future outcomes
by Aditi Haldar
With 2030 just 13 years away and India and the world in the race to achieve complete sustainability through the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets, Director Regional Hub South Asia at the Global Reporting Initiative, Aditi Haldar, combats defeatism through her own “inner determination”.
– Daisaku Ikeda, 2017 Peace Proposal
As a professional working in the field of sustainable development and transparency, I regularly invite individuals and institutions in business, government, civil society and academia to come together in dialogue to concretize India’s achievement of the UN’s SDGs. But, the thought of 17 goals and 169 targets overwhelms and burdens most attendees, who rapidly descend to debates on who would be accountable for the actions and results. Businesses? Common citizens? Developed or developing countries? For me, such a precursor to doubt, defeatism and ultimate apportioning of blame used to be a source of anxiety.
Then I read the 2017 Peace Proposal. SGI President Dr. Daisaku Ikeda says: “Everything in our lives, far from being immovably determined, can be transformed for the better through our actions in this moment. Buddhism teaches that a change in our inner determination in this moment can change the present reality of our lives that produces future outcomes” (ibid). I determined to see the future as President Ikeda visualizes it and this empowered me to create a series of dialogue forums that are being held over the past year and the current amongst South Asian individuals and organisations to orient and steward results on the 17 SDGs in their core functions. My role as the “illuminat[ing] lamp” to revitalize that for which I am responsible, became very clear.
In one of the first such gatherings, I began by quoting President Ikeda to top businesses of India: “The world is not simply a collection of countries, nor is it composed solely of religions and civilizations. Our living, breathing world is woven of the endeavours of countless human beings” (ibid). It is we who can and will do it. Our work has just begun but I am already convinced that through these dialogue forums we are already realizing the “reality” of global solidarity and sustainability in the “present”, thereby transforming our “future”.
- Progress in the achievement of all the 17 goals and 169 targets requires people to have a common awareness and solidarity.
- None of the targets can be overlooked as each has been raised by people suffering for its lack.
- In the spirit of being “friend to all, comrade to all”, people must come together to do their all for those who are suffering.
- A true bodhisattva is an “inexhaustible lamp”, “respond[ing] to a grave social crisis” whether or not he or she is “directly impacted”.