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~ Idea 1262 ~
24 December 1997I love to remember on Christmas eve this comment of Napoleon to his aides when he was an exile and prisoner on the island of Elba: "I conquered most of the world and I am sitting here as a prisoner, having lost all my power and conquests. And tonight the people are celebrating the birth of someone who had no power, no army, no wealth, was a total destitute, and is still remembered after more than a thousand years."
Well, most heads of states, of world institutions and of big firms you better prepare yourselves to hold the same reflections on Christmas eve 1999 and 2000: have I lived a life which will be remembered in the hearts and annals of humanity? Will at least my children and grandchildren celebrate the fact that I was born?
Robert's The Miracle, Joy and Art of Living,
Volume II Chapter 11 - Of Gratitude
As I was washing the windows of our little farmhouse, I was thinking:
"What would a Roman Emperor say if he saw those beautiful, flat, perfectly transparent window-panes, which are so common and cheap today, which the poorest people can afford? He would not understand how such wonders can be made."
We of course take them for granted and seldom look at them with love and gratitude for letting light come into our homes. For thousands of years scores of humans lived without them. He would express the same astonishment at electricity, cooking stoves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, television and radio.
He would not believe his eyes, and would exclaim: "You must be the happiest people who ever lived."
Alas, too many people would look at him, disgruntled, taking all these blessings for granted, and would come up with a long list of complaints.
He would not understand it. I believe God does not understand it either.
This is why our troubles on Earth continue: since we do not have the gratitude to count our blessings,
God is not encouraged to help us solve the new problems before us.
Dear reader, look for a few moments at the marvel of a windowpane, smile to it, give thanks for it and give it a little kiss.
UN News Sources - UN Chronicle, United Nations News Service , UN Wire News Archive
References: Earth Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Rights of: Children, Women, Indigenous People
To Be Written: Rights of Nature, Birds, Animals, Fish, etc.
WORD FOR THE DAY
The whole idea of compassion is based on a
keen awareness of the
interdependence of all these living beings, which are all
part of one another, and all
involved in one another.
-- Thomas Merton
Books recommended by Robert are here.
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