World March for Peace and Nonviolence

Wellington, October 2, 2009 - Punta de Vacas, January 2010

May 7 2007

April 30-May 6: South American Trip, Meeting with Tomas HIrsch and Giorgio Schultz; Protest March in Santiago; and Days of Spiritual Inspiration in the Andes

During the first week in May, I was greatly inspired by a trip to South America. The trip included a meeting with the spokespersons for New Humanism for Latin America and Europe, a spirited Workers Day march in Santiago and three days of reflection in the heart of the Andes, together with Silo, the founder of our movement, and thousands of New Humanists from across the globe.

April 30 I met in Santiago, Chile, with Tomas Hirsch, Spokesperson for New Humanism, Latin America, and Presidential candidate in Chile (2005 and 1999) and Giorgio Schultze, Spokesperson for New Humanism, Europe, and President of the European Region of the Humanist International.

Along with Hirsch and Schultz, the meeting included the many dedicated volunteers who are working with them to communicate the perspectives and proposals of New Humanism as widely as possible. This work has urgency given the crisis which is accelerating in all three continents. Among other issues, we discussed our campaigns calling for immediate progressive disarmament (of both nuclear and conventional arsenals) and the millions of young people that are increasingly given amphetamines, antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs, driven by the aggressive marketing efforts of the pharmaceutical companies. We also heard about recent meetings between Hirsch and Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, (the Presidents of Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua) and the growing interest in New Humanist proposals in Latin America and Europe.

May 1 Schultze, Hirsch and I joined members of the Chilean Humanist Party in the march in Santiago for International Workers day. Following are several videos with interviews from that day.

This link shows a video posted on Chile Press, an alternative news site.

May 3, 4 and 5 I joined thousands of pilgrims visiting Punta de Vacas, a remote outpost in the heart of the Andes. In these days we celebrated the inauguration of Punta de Vacas Park, a site for gatherings and reflection that will serve as a resonant center for the deep spiritual renewal that is reaching the entire globe. This majestic landscape is the place where Silo first spoke publicly in 1969, launching a movement that has inspired millions with its profoundly human values and its commitment to overcoming all forms of violence and discrimination. As Silo said, we took a brief pause in our project of humanizing the world to reflect on the meaning of our existence and of our actions.

For me, the days were filled with warm greetings among old and new friends and with sudden and surprising moments of inspiration. The rich and gorgeous diversity of people — from newborns to the elderly, from all of the Americas, Europe and Africa — served to make our shared humanity all the more evident.

To sum it up, I could say that I felt a great hope and a renewed commitment to work for the individual and social transformation that is needed to overcome the enormous human suffering in our world. I felt strongly the possibility of people from all parts of the planet, from all cultures and all generations, finding a point of connection in the deepest regions of the human spirit. And I felt deeply grateful for the great truth and compassion embodied in Silo’s Message; a message of reconciliation and liberation for all of humanity.

Now, looking back, I hear in Silo’s words about Reconciliation a simple but potent revolutionary impulse, a deep truth with the power to transform the lives of individuals and the course of nations. The path of vengeance and violence is a dead end, leading only to more and greater destruction. How else but through Reconciliation will we overcome the historical wounds and enmities that afflict us all? How else but through this difficult but valid work will we open the future for ourselves, our loved ones and the great human family?

Click here for the complete text of Silo’s talk.


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