- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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May you find joy in the simple pleasures of life and may the light of the holiday season fill your heart with the hope for a better world
“…there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” —Ecclesiastes 3:12
We are very much looking forward to Christmas and the New Year when we will all continue our common good journey and share a common belief in the potential of each one of us to become self-directed, empowered, and active in defining this time in the world as an opportunity for positive change and healing and for the true formation of a culture of peace by giving thanks, spreading joy, sharing love, seeing miracles, discovering goodness, embracing kindness, practicing patience, teaching moderation, encouraging laughter, celebrating diversity, showing compassion, turning from hatred, practicing forgiveness, peacefully resolving conflicts, communicating non-violently, choosing happiness and enjoying life.
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 567
Embracing Our True Humanity:Kindness, Compassion, Collaboration, Cooperation and the Common Good
Birds flying in a V formation in collaboration to support each other’s flight. Photo: Pinterest
‘Fractious Australia has much to learn from the kindness and purpose of New Zealand politics’: ‘The New Zealand prime minister’s devotion to a new breed of politics, one rooted in “kindness”, “compassion” and “cooperation” often seemed too saccharine to be true, especially at a time when a series of notorious bullies were voted into positions of power around the globe.’
Whilst going through the pages of my Sunday Observer(12 November 2021) the above heading of an article and the subsequent passage by Eleanor de Jong, the former New Zealand correspondent for the Guardian, caught my eyes and attention.
To my mind, this is a very welcome contribution for those of us who have been pointing out the inadequacy and irrelvancy of the current ‘macho’, ‘bully boys’, neoliberal socio-political and economic model, divorced and separated from any norms of humanity and civility.
I will share more of de Jong’s article a bit later. For now, I want to say how happy and pleased I am that for a very long time, indeed, since its inception way back in 2002, the GCGI has been at the forefront of the campaign to highlight the significance and the relevance of “kindness”, “compassion” and “cooperation” in all we do and wish to achieve.
New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern is the strong, compassionate, kind and
caring leader the world needs right now.
‘The world doesn’t need a whole lot of massively thick- skinned politicians; they do need people who care’ –
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images/Via The Guardian
‘If you were to summarise the qualities that have underpinned your path to this leadership role, what do you think has been most important for you?
'Kindness, and not being afraid to be kind, or to focus on, or be really driven by empathy. I think one of the sad things that I’ve seen in political leadership is – because we’ve placed over time so much emphasis on notions of assertiveness and strength – that we probably have assumed that it means you can’t have those other qualities of kindness and empathy. And yet, when you think about all the big challenges that we face in the world, that’s probably the quality we need the most. We need our leaders to be able to empathise with the circumstances of others; to empathise with the next generation that we’re making decisions on behalf of. And if we focus only on being seen to be the strongest, most powerful person in the room, then I think we lose what we’re meant to be here for. So I’m proudly focused on empathy, because you can be both empathetic and strong…’-Jacinda Ardern: 'Political leaders can be both empathetic and strong'
‘Ko nga tangata katoa, e manaakitia ana te whenua, o te Ao Whanui
To all those who care for the lands of the wide world
Ko nga kaitiaki, e riterite ana, nga whenua, huri rauna, i te Ao
To the guardians of sustainability around the world
Me tu tatou ki te werohia I nga wero
Stand and challenge the challenges
I te ingoa o te tika o nga mea katoa
In the name of what is right with all things…
‘If instead of fierce nationalism or self-interest, we seek to form our tribes based on concepts that can and should be universal. What if we no longer see ourselves based on what we look like, what religion we practice, or where we live. But by what we value. Humanity. Kindness. An innate sense of our connection to each other. And a belief that we are guardians, not just of our home and our planet, but of each other. We are borderless, but we can be connected. We are inherently different, but we have more that we share. We may feel afraid, but as leaders we have the keys to create a sense of security, and a sense of hope. We just need to choose.Tatou tatou. No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.’-New Zealand National Statement to United Nations General Assembly 2019
'The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness.’ - Maya Angelou
In the beginning were the words...They bacame languages...They became poetry...They became how we express and project love, kindness, compassion, goodness, commitment and more
'Let the words sing to you, dance for you, empower you to become the person you envision yourself to be'
To highlight and celebrate our contributions to the study, research and actions on all that is good, as a model for a progressive development, below I have noted a small sample of postings from our GCGI archive for your interest:
GCGI: The Voice of Hope
“When beauty touches our lives, the moment becomes luminous. These grace-moments are gifts that surprise us. When we look beyond the moment to our life journey, perhaps we can choose a new rhythm of journeying which would be more conscious of beauty and more open to inviting her to disclose herself to us in all the situations we travel through.”-John O’Donohue
PM Jacinda Ardern: A Voice Of Hope for a Better World
Prime minister Ardern, has inspired love, kindness,compassion, cooperation, empathy, trust and the common good
To My Mind,This is the Key Lesson from New Zealand on How to Build a Better World
Jacinda Ardern campaigns in Christchurch.- Photo: Kai Schwörer/Getty Images Via The Guardian
Now, reverting back to the article Eleanor de Jong.
‘Pre-Covid, when international travel was still common, many Kiwi travellers received a similar question wherever they happened to be around the globe: Jacinda Ardern, is she the real deal?
The New Zealand prime minister’s devotion to a new breed of politics, one rooted in “kindness”, “compassion” and “cooperation” often seemed too saccharine to be true, especially at a time when a series of notorious bullies were voted into positions of power around the globe…’-Continue to read
A Must-read Book
I Know This to Be True: Jacinda Ardern: On Kindness, Empathy, and Strength
‘Politician, feminist, champion for social equality, and the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern epitomizes the modern leader. With confidence and grace, she talks about her legacy as a politician, a feminist, and a mother. Her humanitarian work and tireless efforts on behalf of her country during uncertain and difficult times make Jacinda Ardern a role model, an inspiration, and a beacon for anyone seeking true leadership.
Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy and created in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, I Know This to Be True is a global series of books created to inspire a new generation of leaders. Extraordinary figures from diverse backgrounds answer the same questions, sharing their compelling stories, guiding ideals, and insightful wisdom. The result is a landmark collection of books brimming with messages of leadership, courage, compassion, and hope. Delivered in lovely, giftable jacketed hardcovers with vivid photographic portraits throughout, these books offer encouragement and guidance to graduates, future leaders, and anyone hoping to make a positive impact on the world.
Royalties from sales of this book will support the free distribution of material from the series in countries with developing economies or economies in transition.’
Buy the book HERE
GCGI is our journey of hope and the sweet fruit of a labour of love. It is free to access, and it is ad-free too. We spend hundreds of hours, volunteering our labour and time, spreading the word about what is good and what matters most. If you think that's a worthy mission, as we do—one with powerful leverage to make the world a better place—then, please consider offering your moral and spiritual support by joining our circle of friends, spreading the word about the GCGI and forwarding the website to all those who may be interested.
The Values of the GCGI which we hold very dearly
We value caring and kindness
We value passion and positive energy
We value service and volunteerism
We value simplicity and humility
We value trust, openness, and transparency
We value values-led education
We value harmony with nature
We value non-violent conflict resolution
We value interfaith, inter-civilisational and inter-generational dialogue
We value teamwork and collaboration
We value challenge and excellence
We value fun and play
We value curiosity and innovation
We value health and wellbeing
We value a sense of adventure
We value people, communities and cultures
We value friendship, cooperation and responsibility
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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Two Must-read Books by Mark Huband, journalist, writer, and poet, born 30 August 1963; died 6 November 2021
Photo: Live Canon
'As an eyewitness account, as reportage, as poetry, Agony: A Poem of Genocide is a unique and deeply affecting journey through the experience of humanity at its most evil. A witness to the Rwandan genocide, Mark Huband challenges the human race to confront this most horrifying of truths, in a poem unprecedented in its range, power and the potency of its language. Haunted by the reality of evil, Agony is a poem which exposes the violence which has been repeated throughout human history, and aims through its raw honesty and brutal power to force us as peoples to confront this evil in the hope that to do so will prevent it from again being unleashed. Drawing upon the works of writers, philosophers, killers and survivors, Agony: A Poem of Genocide also stands as powerful testimony to humanity’s ability to look hard into itself – and to perhaps even learn from the experience of doing so.'
Mark Huband (1963-2021)
Mark Huband in 2013, the year he published Trading Secrets: Spies and Intelligence in an Age of Terror.
Photo: Pako Mera/Alamy/ Via The Guardian
'Born on the Yorkshire moors, Mark Huband grew up in Harlow, Essex. As a journalist and author he spent twenty-five years travelling the world. Postings as a newspaper correspondent in Abidjan and Nairobi took him to most countries of sub-Saharan Africa as they emerged from the Cold War. Initially for the Financial Times and then as Africa correspondent for the Guardian and the Observer, he covered the civil war in Liberia, the famine in Somalia, genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, and the conflicts in Angola and Sudan. Moving to Morocco, his focus was the emergence of political Islam across North Africa and the Middle East. Rebasing to Cairo as regional correspondent for the Financial Times, he became immersed in the turmoil stretching from Afghanistan to Algeria. Moving to London, in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks he was appointed to oversee the FT’s coverage of Al-Qaida – a role which took him from the slums of Manila to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
'The author of eight books on Africa, the Middle East and global affairs, Mark Huband’s debut collection of poetry, American Road, was published by Live Canon in 2014. A book-length poem – The Siege of Monrovia (Live Canon, 2017) – has been followed by three pamphlets: Skinny White Kids (2017), Exile (2018) and The Candidate (2020), an account of his experience as a parliamentary election candidate'...Mark Huband passed away on 6 November 2021
Read more about Mark Huband’s life journey HERE
Buy Agony, A poem of genocide HERE
Another must-read book of poetry by Mark Huband
Photo: Live Canon
‘In 1989 a young foreign correspondent, looking to make a name for himself, set off for a new life in West Africa. Writing initially for the Financial Times and subsequently for The Guardian, Mark Huband travelled far and wide, from the tumult of Mobutu s Zaïre to the Saharan homeland of the Touaregs, telling the stories of West Africa during that tumultuous time as the Cold War came to an end. When a small group of Libyan-trained fighters crossed the border into Liberia on Christmas Eve 1989, the series of wars which followed tore Liberia to pieces. Ostensibly launched to bring an end to the ten-year dictatorship of Liberia s President Samuel Doe, the ensuing decade of bloodshed left the country brutalised, its people traumatised, and its economy ruined. Rebel factions formed around Charles Taylor, a renegade government minister, and Prince Johnson, a former government soldier who broke away from Taylor s National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Characterised by the use of child soldiers, rape, drug-fuelled violence, and tribal slaughter, the Liberian civil war rapidly lost its purpose of liberating Liberians from dictatorship. Mark Huband was the first journalist to reach behind rebel lines, and reported on the war from all sides. Most journalists left when Monrovia, Liberia s capital city, was besieged by both rebel factions in the summer of 1990. Mark remained for the three months that the city was under attack, and his award-winning journalism provided a unique account of the conflict and its atrocities. But it is only now, almost thirty years later, that Mark has been able to write his own personal account of that time he spent among the rebels, killers, victims and warlords. He has found a way to do this in poetry, the terza rima form of the narrative poem The Siege of Monrovia allowing the verse to speak the unspeakable and describe the indescribable, in a work which bears witness to a time of chaos and bloodshed, but which also has space for light and humanity.’
Buy The Siege of Monrovia HERE
Read more on the healing power of poetry: A pick from our GCGI archive