I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of being invited as a guest of honour at a speech given by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Betty Williams. The “Creating Value, Fostering Human Spirit” event was organised by Soka Gakkai International Gulf, a Buddhist-inspired peace organisation.
Ms. Williams is originally from Northern Ireland, and won the Nobel Peace prize in 1976 for her activities in fostering peace. Her talk was very inspiring, and her dedication and commitment to her cause (helping children) showed emphatically.
I had the chance to chat to her for a bit before her talk, along with the organisers and the other guests of honour. I told her proudly that I had visited Northern Ireland, and told her about our work in the Bahrain Foundation for Reconciliation and Civil Discourse, where we try to foster civil dialogue and social reconciliation.
I really enjoyed her talk and wrote down four quotes that I thought were impactful. Here they are:
“The First thing to go in war is the truth.”
“Social violence leads to actual violence.”
“Be as strong as any army. Be an army of peace! Non-violence is real strength.”
“A person cannot be lifted out of despair until you show them a little hope.”
I hugged Betty after the talk and kissed her on her head, and she looked at me and said “Don’t you give up! Keep doing what you’re doing!”
It’s moments like this that keep you going and keep you motivated and inspired. I thought she was a remarkable lady and I’m hoping to bring her to Bahrain to give a talk.
By the way, you can watch the video of the event here.
Thanks for reading and talk soon.