Here in some edited reprint from: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/the-truth-about-life-20081216-6zro.html?page=-1
The Truth about Life:
(by Michael Kirby).
"THERE is nothing like the prospect of a radical life change to concentrate the mind on the things that really matter.
I want to identify, if I can, the most important thing that I have discovered.
I refer to love.
Love for one another.
Love for our community.
Love for others everywhere in the world.
Love transcends even scholarship, cleverness and university degrees.
It is greater than pride and wealth.
It endures when worldly vanities fade.
Love exists at different levels.
Last week, in Australia and the world, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It was brought into effect by an Australian, Dr H. V. Evatt (a past justice of the High Court of Australia) and president of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 when the declaration was adopted.
Over the ensuing six decades, it became the foundation for the worldwide movement to express the fundamental freedoms that inhere in all human beings, simply because they are human.
Of course, there are people and interests with unchecked power who hate such notions. These are ideas to put limits on their power. To uphold the dignity of the powerless. To put a brake on the hegemony of the rich and influential.
The essential underpinning of fundamental human rights is love.
Love for one another.
Empathy for fellow human beings.
Feeling pain for the refugee; for the victim of war; for the prisoner deprived of the vote; for the child dying of cholera in Zimbabwe.
We can imagine what it must be like to be a victim because, as human beings, we too feel, and yearn for, life, freedom and justice.
Australians must be voices for the voiceless and protectors of the weak and vulnerable. With our privileges and gifts go duties and obligations.
Australian democracy is not merely a rule of majorities. Don't believe it when public figures say otherwise or when sections of the media, revelling in their power, say that everything can be safely left to parliament, which will quickly fix things up. Majorities can certainly err. They have done so in the past. They will do so again.
Basic human rights afford the means to remind majorities of the love they owe to all human beings, both at home and abroad.
We need to love our communities.
In Australia, we did not always love our indigenous people. Some still don't. In law, we rejected their land rights. We consigned them to the outskirts of our civilisation. Many are still there.
So too with Asian people in the decades of White Australia. We did not love them either. We feared their numbers and their different ways.
So also for women and for gays. Here, too, there was an absence of love and empathy. Now we Australians are getting better.
I believe that this is because of knowledge, acquaintance and love."
"When we take time to think about what our lives actually mean, we surely know how lucky we are if we still enjoy consciousness, rationality and love.
But the greatest of these is love."
Yes, indeed Justice Michael Kirby-yes.
"Love is not a thing to understand.
- Sri Chinmoy
Kiss The Earth
Walk and touch peace every moment.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Thanks so much to Thannhausen for the link to www.writespirit.net much appreciated.
I hope to get and visit everyone this week, that will be me ratting around, trying to be quiet, catching up....if not have a wonderful xmas time. 2008 was very interesting, some good, some beautiful, some just plain wacky and some a little sad..but heck, let's do it again.