To restore faith in humanity and build trust in local and global society, I join with others with my soul song, Finlandia’s Song of All the Nations. Finlandia is a hymn that revisions global partnership that I hope for in my own country, the United States of America. I hope you will substitute your own word –perhaps Buddha, Allah, Ra, Universe, Goddess, Oneness, Transcendent, Ra, Krishna, Spirit, Mary, Yahweh–for that which transcends you if the word God is not in your belief system. The partnership begins with the empowerment for each person on this earth to claim their own destiny, their innate gifts we call leadership from the inside out, a soul song for global community, interdependence and healing.
Indeed, the need for global community and interdependence and healing was part of my assessment of what the world needs at the 1991 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As part of my commitment to help others sing their soul songs, I help people write their own mission statement in the Reconciliation Leadership training.
Leaders receive an overview of and experiential learning on the mission statement process and how it could help them dig below the surface of their lives and refocus on core values and principles. They learn how their values and principles renew a sense of purpose and act as the springboard for a mission statement. Participants also learn they can be bring a specific conflict or challenge and apply the methodology learned to any conflict they are experiencing.
They take away a sense of their innate gifts and strengths and a better awareness of how these gifts and strengths could be used in managing conflict. They have new resources for generating and using their mission statement as a way to face the obstacles of a too busy life.
I found the late Czech president, Vaclav Havel, spoke to my condition as he spoke at Harvard University graduation on my birthday, June 8, 1995. He said he has not lost hope. We must be in touch with that which transcends us.
” But I have not lost hope.
I have not lost hope because I am persuaded again and again that, lying dormant in the deepest roots of most, if not all, cultures there is an essential similarity, something that could be made if the will to do so existed a genuinely unifying starting point for that new code of human co-existence that would be firmly anchored in the great diversity of human traditions.
Don’t we find somewhere in the foundations of most religions and cultures, though they may take a thousand and one distinct forms, common elements such as respect for what transcends us, whether we mean the mystery of Being, or a moral order that stands above us; certain imperatives that come to us from heaven, or from nature, or from our own hearts; a belief that our deeds will live after us; respect for our neighbours, for our families, for certain natural authorities; respect for human dignity and for nature: a sense of solidarity and benevolence towards guests who come with good intentions?
Isn’t the common, ancient origin or human roots of our diverse spiritualities, each of which is merely another kind of human understanding of the same reality, the thing that can genuinely bring people of different cultures together?
And aren’t the basic commandments of this archetypal spirituality in harmony with what even an unreligious person without knowing exactly why may consider proper and meaningful?”
Havel has been a teacher to me in his life questions. for the whole speech, click here.
Here are the words of Finlandia, the hymn by Stone in 1934 based on Jan Sibelius, 1899. Please use your own word for that which transcends you.
This is my song, O God of all the nations
A song for peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other Hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine.