“Violence is a preventable disease”

… was the subtitle for the “Charter for a World without Violence” which the Nobel Laureates wrote into the early hours of the morning today in order to present the Charter to the world at a 9:30 press conference. With personalities like the Dalai Lama, Gorbachov, Muhammad Yunnus, Mary Williams and MC Maguire this four page document (which for some reason does not seem to be online yet, I will post the link when I find it or they put it up) seems to be more then just the sentiments of a three day summit of just talking and a step by step process for what we need to do to end violence in this world. The Charter includes 13 points that governments and organizations must follow to end violence.

After presenting the document that the laureates worked on all night, they had this to say:

“The greatest killer in the world is not guns or bombs but apathy” -M. Williams

“History is not set, history always has room for initiative and change” -M. Gorbachov

“A great problem that we have is that we do not ask our children what kind of world they want to live in” -M. Yunnus

“We were born to live life, be happy and celebrate life, not to die” -M. Maguire

“I have nothing to say” -His Holiness the Dalai Lama (apparently suggesting that they document spoke for it self)

After a few moments he then said, “we will not solve any problems in one swoop but rather on a small scale”

The summit ended with each of the laureates talking about the importance of actually taking action on what was talked about during the summit. There is no question the they have taken action and will continue to do so, it was rather up to those who attended to enact the charter and to spread the message of the weekend, which was of course to end violence.

In an odd arrangement, due to the scheduling nightmare of bringing together the movers and shakers of the world, there was actually one session after the press conference, led by Muhammad Yunnus. He had several interesting points that deviated from the typical speech on the topic of youth. He said that “The youngest generation does not have a dream”. He went on to suggest that each generation had their ideal society but not the youngest generation. He also suggested that it is a shame as the youngest generation seems to be in the best position to put in place whatever they want, he was referring to how tech savvy young people are. He even suggested that the old saying that the older is wiser is not longer true and that it is now the young is wiser. He ended by suggesting that his generation has an obligation to help the youngest generation find their dream and their destination.

It was a truly fascinating speech from a man who has helped millions through the microcredit. The entire summit brought about sense that one person really can make a difference to those who attended. To see and hear the stories of these Nobel laureates who each in their own way has saved lives, ended suffering and even helped prevent the end of the world (of course that would be Gorbachov). I personally feel inspired to do more for issues that never seemed pressing such as nuclear disarmament. I strongly urge anyone who is reading this to look into what you personally can do to make this world a better place. We only get one life and one planet, it seems a shame to waste either.


2 Responses

  1. David- What a fantastic and inspiring experience you’ve had! Thanks for sharing it in your blog. The wisdom of those who have had the vision to work on the right problems and the perseverence to stick must be a wonder to behold from up close! We’ll continue to work hard on Cape Cod to do what we can. We even filed a few project reports last week, and I plan to read your blog to my homeroom and R&S group!

  2. Hi David,

    I’ve enjoyed your Rome entries and can’t wait to see your photos. I felt vicariously inspired by Muhammad Yunnus’ comment that his (my) generation has an obligation to help the youngest generation find their dream and their destination. What a hopeful, wonderful thought. Your words also make a strong case for taking action to make the world a better place. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.


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