It saddens me that one of the most painful wounds the soul can bear is when it is inflicted by a person you love. At the same time, I am amazed at the incredible power of love to heal and provide strength. Love is a powerful emotional force which can sometimes cause us to do or say strange (and wonderful!) things. Words Are Windows (Or They’re Walls), a poem by Ruth Bebermeyer, reminds me of this.
This post was edited for clarity and additional details were added following the original publication date.
Earlier this week was Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day in the United States, a national holiday celebrating the American hero who fought passionately, in a non-violent way, for the civil rights of African Americans during the 1950s and 1960s.
“As far as your own future goes, think long and hard about university. It’s a great place to learn to think. Forget about exactly what the degree is in – it’s the environment that will give you the tools for the rest of your life. Just three or four years of thinking, playing, and living. You’ll meet people and flex your mind. The fact is that Montreal is a great place to do this. Concordia is an incredible school and is situated in a very stimulating city. It’s full of people from all over the world. This environment will open your mind and you’ll make contacts that will last a lifetime. University’s a great place, Ryan. If you can do it, get yourself a bachelor’s degree. Take courses in a wide variety of things that interest you and you’ll see. You’ll begin to understand what you can do with your mind, and you’ll stretch the limits of who you are and where you want to go. Now is the time to learn.”
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
It is my firm belief that for the world to achieve peace we must first seek and find peace within ourselves.
A recent incident involving a university student in Wilmington, North Carolina is a great example of this in action. When confronted with hate, Brent L. Campbell responded with kindness, and proposed a solution in a letter to university officials. This is the sort of leadership the world needs. I greatly admire people like Brent who approach things differently in a way that can inspire others. I hope he continues spreading his message far and wide about how to achieve peace and understanding through “knowledge and love”.