Jun 7, 2020

Towards True Human Flourishing

By Andrew Serazin

Statement by Andrew Serazin, President, Templeton World Charity Foundation

7 June, 2020 — Without question, the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Sean Reed are part of a tragic litany that dates back centuries. They have created and resurfaced anger and anguish in the United States and around the world. Confronting the debilitating threat to humanity that racism and violence represent is critical and cannot wait.

Templeton World Charity Foundation was founded on the belief in the fundamental goodness of humanity, our unlimited potential, and the need to bring about a more lasting human flourishing. It was that belief that drew me and others to work here.

It is impossible to conceive of true human flourishing when members of our community live in fear; when their lives are endangered by racism and apathy; when their dignity is undermined and their communities torn apart by police brutality.

In his book The Worldwide Laws of Life, our founder Sir John Templeton asked: “What is any nation made up of, except the entwining of many people’s small worlds? How often have we read in the newspapers of injustices in our own cities and towns, and shrugged? What can we do? How can we make a difference?”

What can we do? How can we make a difference? These are the right questions. People across the United States and around the world are exercising their rights to pursue justice and an end to the racist attitudes, behaviors, and policies that have pervaded society for too long. Our foundation strongly supports this call for change.

Our five-year strategy focuses on enabling human flourishing, which entails meaningful relationships, freedom, purposeful action, and spiritual progress. Our projects include research on the biological roots of altruism, building cultures of empathy, the mental and physical benefits of forgiveness, and promotion of character strengths around the world.