This is the text of a presentation I gave in Tamera Portugal at the conclusion of the International Summer University, July 31st – August 10th 2006. Being in Tamera was a wonderful expereince for me. I look forward to working with Tamera and others in devleoping a global network for peace and nonviolnce.
The meetings we had were truly powerful meetings. They really created a strong connectedness between individuals who come from different areas and different backgrounds, different conflicts, different visions and interpretations who truly come together and who ask what can we do together to change the world?And for me what I saw happening here from the Summer University and from this meeting is a start of a revolution, a global revolution that has to take place. And we are all part of it and we are all responsible to be in this revolution.
But for me to start this revolution I discovered one thing and this comes down to the question of love. I have talked about love and many people have talked about love here. But the questions is, what love connection we have established with each other and more importantly what love connection has each of us established to themselves?
My father he is a very strong Christian man. One time he stood in a big church of 500 people and he asked one question: “Everybody that loves himself, raise his hand!” Nobody did because if I love myself that means I am selfish. That means I only care about myself; that means I only want things for myself.And then he said: “I love myself!”
And this is the power – to be able to fully love yourself. Be so confident in yourself, be so satisfied with who you are and what your abilities are, what your colour is, what your race is, what your age is. And that is when things start happening. That’s when you start connecting with all the people, that’s when the power of love truly grows. For me this is what pure love is all about. And this is what I felt in theSummer
And this is what I want to continue. And the challenge for me and the question that I asked was: How do we hold this connection when I leave. How do our friends from
Colombia hold that contact, when they have to leave, when they have to jump back into their difficulties and problems? Or our friends from India, from
Israel, when they go into their local politics and challenges? How do we hold this connection? How do we build a group of people that truly creates the Global Village? We have a group of people, who fully stays connected, through respect, through trust, through the truth, if they are having the same vision together.
This is the commitment I give: I will go back to
Palestine. The world is my home, but
Palestine is my address, and I have to work there. You stay here; you have your work here, your actions, your training, to build community, to build solar systems. And I will work over there. It will be work with non-violence resistance, with community building, with spreading the message of peace in the community. But from this moment on for me all of my work will be connected with the global vision. We will be able to build the environment, where everything we do, is connected to that vision, to that understanding, that we are in a revolution; that we are in the process of truly changing the world. We are not just here to talk about it. We are going to travel. We are going to areas of conflict. We are going meet people who are in need. We are going to provide them with answers. We are going to have them discover the power that is within them to resolve their conflicts and theirs issues. This is the vision that I see. And this is what I will take back with me to
Everybody is now quoting me with this crazy man who walked around 2000 years ago. This man did incredible things on this earth. He healed the sick, he walked on water, he made the blind see, you can believe it or not, but these are the stories of this man. This man said: “If you believe then you can do greater things than I have done.” If you believe, then you could do greater things than Jesus did. That shows humbleness, and love, and his trust in the human being, in the human power that we have in us. We can do greater things than the prophets did. We can do greater things than the Holy Men did, if we believe. And that’s the question. What do I believe in? What do you believe in? What is the best in me? What is the best in you? What connects us together? What makes this possible, that we can change the world?
For me, I will go back as I said completely dedicated and fully committed to what I have learned here. This has been a real transformation in my life. (…)
As I closed my eyes I go back to the holy land. I see a land, that isn’t a fictional land, no land in the clouds. It is the land of today, the people of today. But there is such a powerful sense of peace and calmness. The Mountains, the flowers, the people. There was no Arab, or Muslim, or Jew or Christian but just people.
(…) And what I realized was: We are on this Earth, but we are truly not from this Earth. And those who have come here to work for peace and for justice should know this. This is part of the network that we will build; that we will be one. We will not have any nationality between us. We will not have any religion between us. We work together, but we are not from here. We are all part of this universe; the greater existence that we are part of. Going to
India is like going to the next village. To go to
Colombia what I will do hopefully in February means go on a plane and go and that is what we should do. Just go. Go and work. Go and serve. Go and heal. Go and love. This is what I learned this week.
I will go back with this commitment and I will go back with what I feel is the power that makes this things happen which is the power of non-violence. And this is what we can share the world. When we talk about people searching for answers this is the power that we can share. Because through non-violence you show solidarity, through non-violence you show compassion, through non-violence you show your ability to stand with them and to resist the injustice that they are facing. And through non-violence you are able to show those who are engaged in injustice their wrong ways.
The other commitment is direct with the concept of the global villages. As we are pilgrims and travelling around the world from one place to the other we need to stop somewhere to refill. To fill up your tank and then to go on and to do more work, to help more people. And this is very powerful to me because it is not just a place for us as the global community to be in. But it will be an example for the locals who are suffering. They are looking for answers. We can create these answers; we can create these new realities for them, on the ground, in conflict areas. As a Palestinian I can see so many answers that we have. And the answers come from deep within us. They are within the communities. It is not that there are people coming from Tamera telling them what they should do. We have the answers. But we have not been able to discover them. And we do have to have the place of retreat to be able to discover them. We bring the solar technique to them, we bring the community living to them, and we bring the issues of love to this village. I can see this happen. In Colombia, in India, in Palestine. In the United States maybe even, that will be a challenge: to do it in the
Remember always to respect yourself, to love yourself, to find the strength that is within you because this is the power that is able to change the world.