The film 'The Man Who Built Peace' is very helpful towards taking on board the heritage of IofC. But more to the point, we have the opportunity to draw from this film a perspective that might help us address the challenges faced in the present-day world.
It is helpful for a European to see our planet from the other side. My daughter Camilla and I were in Tokyo 16-28 November, mainly to participate in Japan’s '39th IofC International Forum'. She represented IofC’s International Council, I had received a generous invitation to come back after countless previous visits and a five year stay in the 1950’s. In returning to Japan, I was conscious that the world’s centre of gravity had moved from the West to Asia. Now it is Asia’s turn to lead. In my opinion, the West was responsible for turning the 20th century into a catastrophe. I was keen to discover if Asia had learned from the West’s failure.
Quiet Time. Never more than now have these words become urgent requisites to cope with the day’s toil and tumult. Taking a moment to bathe in silence and quiet cogitation was something I learned from Initiatives of Change. And my life and internal harmony has been immensely improved for it.
The late Conrad Hunte gave this talk at the IofC international centre at Caux, Switzerland, 20 August 1994. When thinking of the seemingly increasing turmoil in the world today, when what divides people seems to be more important than what unites us, this talk seems very relevant. He was a descendant of slaves, grew up in poverty, yet became one of the world’s most famous cricketers. He was Vice-Captain of the team that beat England in 1963. He used to say ‘You taught us how to play, we taught you how to win!’
A reflection by Cornelio Sommaruga, honorary President of Initiatives of Change International and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1987-99, which he gave at one of the morning reflections at the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, originally given in French.