September 15, 2015 – Mohib Ebrahim, Editor and Publisher, NanoWisdoms.org: Today, at the Athens Democracy Forum, His Highness the Aga Khan delivered, what we believe, was his first speech in Greece. Though only 20 minutes, his speech was without doubt his most important on the subject of democracy to date: candid, weighty and provocative.
In it, the Aga Khan suggested four elements which he believes “could strengthen democracy’s effectiveness” in resolving why “democratic systems often fall short in their efforts to improve the quality of life of their constituents lives.” These were:
(a) improved constitutional understanding,
(b) an independent and pluralistic media,
(c) the potential of civil society and
(d) a genuine democratic ethic.
In conclusion the Aga Khan said “At the heart of a democratic ethic is a commitment to genuine dialogue to achieve a better quality of life, even across new barriers of distance and diversity. This means a readiness to give and take, to listen, to bridge the empathy gaps as well as the ignorance gaps that have so often impeded human progress. It implies a pluralistic readiness to welcome diversity and to see our differences not as difficult burdens but as potential blessings. One ultimate requirement for any effective democracy is the capacity to compromise. Social order rests in the end either on oppression or accommodation.”
Click here to watch and read His Highness the Aga Khan’s Athens Democracy Forum speech: www.nanowisdoms.org/nwblog/10931/