Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Inspiring people - past and present

I learned today that Elise Boulding died in June, at the age of 89. It was my great privilege to be part of a three-day workshop she ran in 1991 on Imaging a World Without Weapons. This, and her book on "Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History" have inspired me in many ways since. More widely, she played such an important role in developing peace studies and in the peace movement generally- I think many of those who never met her also owe a great debt of gratitude. There's an interview with her here.

This past week I have also had opportunity to meet and be inspired by another brilliant thinker and actor for peace: Rajagopal P.V., founder and director or Ekta Parishad, the Indian people’s movement dedicated to non-violent principles of action. He spoke and led workshops at the QPSW conference on 'What do we mean by peace?' last week, and then at a packed meeting at Manchester Meeting House on Sunday afternoon.

Both combine/d vision, clarity of thought and passion with a wonderful humour, honesty and inspiring faith in the potential for humanity to make the world a peaceful and just place to live. Thank you too all those who inspire me in these and in so many other ways.