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Social and Spiritual Capital – the Challenges of Future

Prof. As. Arben Malaj
It would be a very great deal to express the infinite pleasures to the organizers and the participators of this conference. The presence of all heads of religious communities found in Albania, also the selection of the researchers from countries and religions from all around the world, shows and helps in the best way the main target of this conference.

I greeted the invitation of this conference with the hope that the discussions, results and the testimonial of this conference will build the interfaith dialogue and the harmony between religions.

In the last years, researchers of social disciplines have focused their researchs over the human, social and spiritual capital in the world. After the global crisis in 2008, some of the most prestigous universities of the world: Harward, Yale, Princeton, LSE gave a reevaluation on the necessity of a richer report on the curricula between academic focus in the profitable financial innovations and the increasing weight that social consciousness in the process of building up the political and economic managers of the future. Perhaps, we turn to these disputations whenever we front any smell of crisis in the near future. In 1980, Willy Brand, when asked by a journalist on the formation of a researchers team, in order to analyzing the challenges of that period, answered: “Too many economists, not enough anthropologists.”

Spiritual Capital, in latin language, “spiritus”, gives alacrity and vitality to our lives. It reflects the dimension of common values of the human essence and the main aim of this creature in its existence. Every social mark for a society as harmonic as possible, with a better cohesion and social solidarity, will be too much conditioned by the quality of this spiritual capital. Explorers, like David Brooks, Sriya Iyer, John Yang and Robert Barro, aim to clarify the impact and identify the factors that improve the quality of that capital, whatever, social or spiritual.

Prof. John Zh. Yang markes that: Nations and societies can not improve without passing firstly from difficult problems if the individuals don’t work with cordiality and pleasure with each other, because in the contra we will have some individualistic, given after the materialistic with all their forces, while empty with social and spiritual capital.

In order to improve the quality of the spiritual capital, where the most important place is given to religious communities, is very essential to use all the social factors which will help us in front of all the challenges that the future is going to serve to us.

In a global level, we may remember very well the fact that the process of globalization is characterized from the two-level speed. The globalization of markets, which has marched with very speedy steps and the globalization of liabilities labelled with global challenges, such as poverty, centurial diseases, increasing poverty in education, health and environment.

Global challenges are waiting for global solutions, for vision, strategies, projects and enough funds. They are waiting for the best coordination and harmonization in every    level.

Some global projects tematized with social challenges, such as “The Targets of the Milieu”, even before the global crisis were walking very slowly. According to FAO and WB, the global food crisis in 2008, made already zero some of the achievements of last 15 years.

First factor- that increases the usefulness of social and spiritual capital is the globalization. Economy is now one of the most opened ones, also more interdependent and even more competitive. Most determinative factor of success in economy is the productivity of human capital, which is determined sensitively by spiritual capital.

Second factor – is the frenzy of global crisa and the increasing of social consequences that result from them. The number of these crisa is increasing, and the negative consequences of them are also increasing too. The preventition of these crisa and the confrontation of the cost which comes from them obtrudes long-term investments in the increasing of the quality of the spiritual capital. Mathematizatin of social phenomena, simply in numerical analysis and linear focuses absolutes the material in front of the spiritual. According to Nobel-laureate Stiglitz, the profits of the globalization remain to individuals, but the costs of the discomfitures pertain mainly to taxpayers. The greediness of the managers of financial markets increased sensitively the sizes of social costs. The crisis increased the social burden on the medium and lower classes, including them of most powerful countries.

Third factor – is the increasing of the number of natural fatalities with all the bad consequences that come beneath them. Prevention of them inflicts maximal consecration and solidarity. Japan’s nuclear tragedy would give me the best example in order to refer here to one of the best quotations from Woody Allen: “My brain is the most essential organ that I possess, oh, have a look who is talking.”

Fourth factor – is inflicted with global security. The expansion of the risk of terrorism has increased the human and social costs. Milliards of dollars must be used in order to be maintained the global security by combating terrorism. Civil wars are producing high social costs. There exist too many factors that induce and nourish these civil wars. But neither we can say that religious and ethnic conflicts don’t affect the existence of these wars. Economic development, the war opened to poverty, well- education, dialogue and harmony between ethnies and religions, between different cultures, is the only way in order to cut the roots which feed and inflict these conflicts, would  say  turkish  erudite,  Fethullah  Gylen.

Fifth factor– this global crisis has grown up sensitively the unemployment and poverty. According to economic experts, the return of fiscal stability imposes dolorous fiscal packets, where 80% of them are focused on the reduction of expenditure, especially social ones. The increase of inequality and the harm given to social, economic and politic cohesion can degradate the social, economic and politic stability. As crisp as social cohesion is, much more difficult will be the government of every country.

In his speech in University of Cairo, related wirh social challenges, President Obama would mark that: “We have learnt so much from the last experience, since any financial system weakens, the prosperity of that ground will be harmed everywhere. When any of us becomes reached from flu, we are all distressed. If one of the nations runs after any nuclear weapon, the risk increases equally for each of other nations. When violent extremists operate in banks of any mountain, all people that live by the side of each of oceans will be dangered. By the time that innocents are crucified in Bosna-Herzegovina or Darfur, in our collective thoroughness will appear an enormous rash. This means to fragment the world in this 21st century. This is a topic that must make vigilents all of us.”

Some days befor, Prime Minister of England, David Kameron, expressed his vision on critic dabate “Great Society not Great Government”, where he was suggesting: firstly, delegation of government in its lower levels; secondly, opening of public services for all communities with equal possibilities. Thirdly, by stimulating voluntarity and social actions in order to give to people the possibilities to contribute much more for their community.

So, in this context, critical problems of unemployment, poverty and the lack of hope cannot be solved only by applying straggling budget policies, but with a fairly vision and strategies in qualitative investments, in education, health, environment and infrastructure

The increase in the equality of abilities for each individual, is a great challenge, which cannot be won without a spiritual capital based in best values and virtues of humankind

Factors that induce, not only the religious harmony, but a greater engagement of all factors positively suggestibile in the creation of human capital, social and spiritual, become now even more essential for the challenges of countries of Western Balkan.

History of our region is full of wars and conflicts. Churchill, in 1941 marked that: “The Balkan produces history more than consumes.” This has thrown down more tragical results for all people of region. Positively, Republic of Serbia lost 56% of its PBB between 1993 and 2000, also Macedonia, which lost 10% of its GDP during its ethnic conflict of 2001. In Bosna-Herzegovia, no one stoped the ethnic and religious war. Kosovo still suffers from serious social diseases like poverty and high unemployment, especially for youngs.

Wars organised in Balkan till the end of 20th century have been nourished from different factors. Some of these factors are also ethnic and religious factors. As the history of past was not enough, we are seeing again some provocative tendences for ethnic and religious conflicts in different countries of our region. Their main property is their speed of extension and the long time needed for returning the mutual belief.

Albania has a good destiny that generally is not touched by ethnic and political problems. It is for 2000 years that Albania is a place that has not started any war by becoming the aggressor. In this point of view, interfaith dialogue and religious harmony must be valuated by all of us, from civil society and governers, till heads of religious communities, like one of the most essential values, which must be saved with love and consciousness by all of us.

This conference has invited here scholars and researchers from all over the world, that can show us the original roots of religious harmony, also the best policies that would enrich and increase the positive impact of it in our country and around it.

Albania has one constitutional frame which clarifies better the role of the government and its religious institutions as well as cult ones. 10th clause of its Constitution of Republic expresses very well easies and its neutral role in religious and consciousness issues. Republic of Albania already has 5 religious communions known by National Committee for Cults, which have signed interaction agreements with Albanian Government.

The support with funds from the budget will induce the transparence in the funds of religious communities, as well as induces common projects against every moral disease that bites our families as well as our society.

Non-governmental Organizations and academic circles have to aim programs that increase the collaboration between people of different religious faith, which increases the positive influence of the best human values’ energy.

Dialogue, why not also the interfaith collaboration must be increased. This can be reached only when politics does not tend to influence or misuse the religions for electoral interests. The fact whether you belong to one of these religions is a meaningful fact because it inspires the manner in which these people build their lives. The religious faith can be misused for deviltry and fatality when it is occupied by sick fundamentalists, as well as for benefaction when someone says: “To live for making the others live, or To make the Poverty a part of History.”

Religious harmony and development can benefit from each other. As turk scholar Mr. Gylen states: Both of them are like dialogue, which is associated hand by hand from the heart to human mind in order to complete the benefaction.

None of the crisis that we may confront can be solved without acting with human solidarity, in common spiritual solidarity with each other.

Human tolerance, the tolerance toward religions, interfaith dialogue, well- education of every child, exist in all bases of the philosophy and zeal of one of the most worldwide known influences, as is turk mediator Fethullah Gylen, who states: “Tolerance does not mean to be affected or binded to others, but to accept the others whatever they are, to know how to walk with them step by step without sidewarding tradition, culture and history.”.

President Obama, in his speech in University of Cairo on 4th of June citated from the Quran: “O humankind! You were created in pairs, as men and women, and then in tribes and nations i order to know each other in a better way.”.

Interfaith dialogue, interfaith tolerance, intersocial collaboration, would ask for a support point, which is the ensemble of best human values.

Ex-Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, actually the founder of the foundation “Faith and Globalism”, would state: “Such global action based on global alliance is impossible without some sort of shared global values.”

We must give priority to these values in every phase and moment of our lives. Religious Communities must be the conductors of these best human values. Inspiration of these values could help every individual, every community and every nation to increase its spiritual capital as much positive and solidar as possible at one time.

We belong to different religions, we come from different ethnies, speak different languages, also we have different national cultures, but being humans we have some common points, something very common: we are equal creatures. We have been borned equally, desert equal possibilities. We are created inside humankind in order to give human solidarity to every individual of every society, whatever religion, ethny and political thought he belongs, or his social status. Spiritual capital, based on the best human values, will be our ally in front of every crisis that may come and knock to the door of our future.