Graduation Date

12-2015

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Department or Program Chair

Chase Clow, Ph.D.

First Reader

Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

Abstract

Since time immemorial, humankind has struggled to coexist peacefully together. As human beings, we strive on our relationships with each other and, yet, with actions of hatred and prejudice, we seem to consistently destroy those very relationships we value so deeply. Our current society is plagued by fear, which seems to run more rampant now – more than ever – with assistance of our rapidly evolving communication technology. The question must be asked, “How can we end this madness and heal ourselves into a kinder and more fulfilling future?” By providing up-to-date scientific research on the human emotions of compassion, forgiveness, wonder and awe, I will show how the existence and awareness of these emotions can positively impact our current global society and substantially lessen the hold that fear so often has on humanity. I will also provide current examples of existing smaller societies that have adopted this behavioral model and have begun to flourish. Lastly, I will explore some of the teachings from various renowned spiritual leaders who espouse the crucial importance of these emotions in our world today.