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Dear All,

“He that seeks the good of the many seeks in consequence his own good”- St Thomas Aquinas

“God loves a cheerful giver”- St. Paul

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity”- The Buddha

“l'amour triomphe de tout"-Virgile

Annie and I got back home yesterday. We stayed for the post-conference tour and had a great time seeing many historical and cultural places and sharing joy and laughter with all those who had stayed for the tour also.

We live in difficult and troubling times, facing unprecedented global challenges. It is precisely in times like these – unstable and confusing though they may be – that people everywhere need to keep their eyes on the better side of human nature, the side of love and compassion, rather than hatred and injustice; the side of the common good, rather than selfishness, individualism and greed.

And I am delighted and honoured that this was indeed what we did and achieved at our GCGI Paris Conference. We truly showed what it means to be of and for the common good, unleashing the power of passion and purpose (http://www.gcgi.info/2013-paris-papers/457-for-the-common-good-unleashing-the-power-of-passion-a-purpose). We lived together and pursued the common good.

Soon I will send you a more comprehensive report, outlining in more details the work of our Paris Conference. For now, we, who came from around 20 countries, alongside our French colleagues and friends,  all came together in Paris, young and old, students and teachers, observers and story-tellers, experienced and newcomers, and formed a community of committed and passionate gardeners, sowing seeds of sustainability, peace, justice and global friendship for the common good. In the wonderful and wise words of Rumi:

Tender words we spoke

to one another

are sealed

in the secret vaults of heaven.

One day like rain,

they will fall to earth

and grow green

all over the world.

I thank you and wish you all well.