Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Mighty Heart

Last night I rented "A Mighty Heart", the story of Daniel Pearl, the journalist killed in Pakistan in 2002, and his wife Mariane. It's an incredible story, I couldn't even possibly give a description that would do it justice. Despite the tragedy which has afflicted their family, Daniel's family desires to "promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications" in his memory. Further information can be found at The Daniel Pearl Foundation. There are a host of articles on tolerance, respect for all cultures, education and communication on the site.

A favorite quote of mine from Abdu'l Baha seems particularly relevant:

There is nothing so heart-breaking and terrible as an outburst of human savagery!

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.

When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other's hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the Mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain!
Nothing is impossible to the Divine Benevolence of God.

If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.

Do not despair! Work steadily. Sincerity and love will conquer hate. How many seemingly impossible events are coming to pass in these days! Set your faces steadily towards the Light of the World. Show love to all; 'Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit in the heart of Man'. Take courage! God never forsakes His children who strive and work and pray! Let your hearts be filled with the strenuous desire that tranquillity and harmony may encircle all this warring world. So will success crown your efforts, and with the universal brotherhood will come the Kingdom of God in peace and goodwill.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 29)


At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Tess said...

I agree with you, of course. But I couldn't help but note that the words Abdu'l-Baha uses are rooted in conflict (you see the same sort of thing in Christian writing): "oppose" thoughts of war; "destroy" thoughts of hatred; "soldiers of God".
I'm not criticising what he says, just reflecting on the poverty of our language that must couch even words of peace in terms of conflict.
Anyway, peace to you!

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks Tess for your comments. Perhaps then we can become "ambassadors of peace" or "messengers of unity"!

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Tess said...

Messengers of unity - I like that!


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