Sharing an illuminating piece from Pablo Casals, applicable not only for guiding our children but for reminding ourselves, as well.
For those not familiar with the name, Pablo Casals was from Catalonia, Spain (December 29, 1876 – October 22, 1973), and is generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. Also a composer and conductor, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
His comments seem especially relevant as so many search and attempt to find their way and place in today’s world.
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.
“When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them — Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.
And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?
The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world will not be, another child like him.
You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”
— Pablo Casals
These instructive words of wisdom seem very applicable today, as so many in our society struggle with self-image issues, self-doubt, personal worth, learned hatreds and prejudices, resulting in lashing out more and more frequently with heartbreaking episodes of violence, with families and communities shattered and forever changed.
People the world over share a desire for happiness and a better life for their families. If we truly desire a peaceful, kind, compassionate, and forgiving world, not only for ourselves but for our children and children’s children, then it must start now with each of us taking responsibility for our own actions and for the age-old resentments we harbor, continue to nourish and pass along to future generations. No one is born with hatred and prejudices — they are learned.
Leaders and politicians may bluster, give speeches, form committees and convene hearings. But change, true change in society never comes from the top because attitudes and morals cannot be legislated. True changes in society invariably spread and percolate up from the bottom.
Peace and kindness for our children and the world begin with each of us as we go about our daily lives, starting with how we view and treat ourselves, our families, and our neighbors. We must step up and “Say ‘No!’ to Violence”, and become a kinder and gentler people. Because violence and hateful rhetoric are dividing and ripping us apart.
You, like a child and along with each and every one of us, are a marvel, unique in all the history of the world and time to come. There has never been and will never be another “You!” A gift to the world. A perfect marvel capable of so much more than we imagine.
You and I each have within us the power to change the world for the better or worse. It is up to us. Do we choose to allow our light to shine, encourage, and show the way for others, or to keep it hidden while those around us continue to stumble thru the darkness and our world becomes ever more violent and intolerant? Our country and the world are in urgent and dire need of more Light.
Thanks for visiting and spending part of your day with us. Brighten someone’s journey with your smile today, share a kind word or gesture, and truly be the change you wish to see in the world. Lead with your light for others to follow, and help to make the world worthy of its children. — Jim (and Red!)
“In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness . . . I see what people call God in all these things.” – Pablo Casals
“When we see God in each other we will be able to live in peace.” – Mother Teresa
“In this world, hate never dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.” – Buddha
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” – Gandalf, “The Hobbit” – J. R. R. Tolkien
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“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace . . . . ” – St. Francis of Assisi