European Parliament - Brussels
International Conference organized by the 1st Vice-President, Gianni Pittella
WORDS OF PEACE FOR EUROPE
29th June 2010
International ambassador of peace and keynote speaker
In his address, Prem Rawat put the topic of peace at the centre, as an individual and fundamental need:
"Mr. Vice President, Mr. State Secretary, honorable members of the European Parliament, distinguished guests. You've already heard a lot from both of our speakers, and I have a few things to say. They are very simple in nature. I am a person who believes that it's good to talk about peace; it's better to feel it. It's good to talk about human progress; it's better to actually have it.
A long, long time ago, human beings showed a particular trait. And this trait was to better themselves.
And in this spirit of bettering ourselves, not only externally, there is a fundamental need to better ourselves from within. From our heart. Not only from our mind, but from our heart. Not only in ideas, but in reality. This is who we are. These are the genes, the ideas, that have shaped us to the point that we are today.
We have always been concerned about our future. We have always wondered: What will happen to us? And today, after all the changes that we see today, we still question our future. "What will happen to us?" There are people who say that earth will be destroyed. And when we hear that, we feel concerned. It's natural. Right now, in the economic situation of the world, there are people who are wondering what's going to happen to them. United States is still fighting the longest war that it has ever fought. Wars continue. Reasons are declared. Justifications are thrown out. Innocent women and children are killed. For what? For reasons. For explanations. For ideas. For ideals that people have created.
In my opinion, the ideal should be to have peace on this earth, where people feel and celebrate having peace."
Mr. Rawat then addressed the topic of prosperity, putting it in close relation to peace:
We talk about prosperity. In my formula—and this is only because I have observed it prosperity without peace is chaos. Just a few years ago, everything was wonderful. Everybody was proud. "Yes, the economy; yes, the economy…" And then all of a sudden, we see that prosperity without peace leads to chaos. If we want to avoid this chaos, then we have to work on what peace really is.
And see that peace is not a monastery. That peace is not absence of noise, as it is not absence of war. Peace is not a declaration. Peace is a fundamental human need that needs to be felt from within. And I'm paraphrasing the UNESCO Charter: That it is in the minds of men, of human beings, that the wars are created. That's where it comes from. And I just want to add this much: it is in the hearts of human beings that peace will be created. When there is a simple recognition of one another —that we may look different, we may speak differently, but we have the same fundamental needs, we share this place called planet Earth.
One example that I like to use is that scientists have searched for many of miles of outer space for another form of life, and…guess what? It's just us. Only us. We need to understand the importance of getting to live along with each other. With each other's differences. To accept and welcome the differences.
I speak two languages, and I know that what you say in English, you can say in Hindi. It's not any different.
You just say it differently. It's different words, but the meaning is exactly the same.
Not too long ago, my wife and I were blessed with a grandson. And just five months old. And, he likes to talk. Of course, he can't speak a word, but he likes to talk. And he makes noises. And there is a way he communicates. It is the most powerful form of communication. When he's happy, he smiles. Do you know who taught him that? It wasn't me. It wasn't his mother. It wasn't his daddy. It wasn't any instructions that he read, "When you are happy, smile."
We are part of a much greater world than we realize. Much more fundamental things are afoot here. And amongst those fundamental things is the need and desire for peace. So, like I said, it is good to talk about peace, it's better to feel peace. It's good to talk about food, but it is better to actually eat it. It is okay to talk about water, but it is better to drink it.
People ask me: If you think peace is so simple, how come we don't have peace on this earth? It's a very important question, because everybody has their own interpretation of what peace is. We don't recognize peace as being as universal as the sun. We don't recognize peace as fundamental as water. We don't recognize peace as essential as air. What we are busy doing and this is another thing that as human beings we are very good at —whenever we can't find what we are searching for we immediately start defining it. And our definitions are our expectations of what we are looking for.
Instead of coming together, we argue, "What is peace? How will peace be?" We fight with each other. Do you know there has been a war going on amongst the people who love God for a longer period of time than you can imagine? And they all love one God. But they fight about their version of who God is. Are we doing the same thing with peace? Are we fracturing the necessity that we have in our lives for peace, by giving it definitions? Or, are we accepting the simple principle that peace is a real need, and it will only be felt in the heart of every human being?
Every human being. That has to be the target. There are people who can give five reasons, six reasons, seven reasons or even ten reasons, of why there cannot be peace on this earth. I have 6.5 billion reasons why there should be peace on this earth.
This is the time when the nations need to come together, because remember, it was those kings and those rulers in whose rule peace reigned who were considered the most successful rulers. And prosperity followed.
It seems to me that prosperity loves peace. Create peace, and prosperity seems to come right along and create its stage, and dance for everyone
Then, regarding the difference between a far ideal and a real possibility, Mr. Rawat added:
These are not impossible dreams. These are realities that can be had. If we can make such a mess out of this earth, if we have that much power, then certainly, we have enough power to bring peace on this earth, too. The question remains whether it is something that we want to do or not.
Because peace begins with every one of you. When you look at a city at night, you see a whole area that is lit up—but don't forget it is individual bulbs that are actually making that scene look the way it looks—individual bulbs. It is individual human beings who need peace, it is individual human beings in whom the desire resides, and it is on the individual human being's stage that peace needs to dance.
Is it possible? It doesn't require a prayer. It requires an understanding. It does not require a wish. It requires determination. Nor does it require definitions. It requires clarity. If we can go to the moon, it should certainly be possible to reach the shortest distance there is from one to one's heart, and feel that joy that exists inside of us.
Determination, understanding, and clarity have to be the fundamental foundations on which this palace will be built. Not exclusion, but inclusion. When our measurements are going to be the similarities and not the differences. That is the day we begin to lay the foundation for peace in this world.
Who will benefit? We will all benefit. Our future generations will benefit. Their children and grandchildren. A place proudly call their own. As citizens of this planet earth, which unquestionably—is the rarest thing around for millions of miles.
Mr. Rawat concluded his address extending his thanks and expressing a wish for everyone present:
"I always find it a great honor to be in the company of those people who are interested in peace, because they forge the way ahead to the possibility of peace for everyone on this earth.
It has been my great honor to be invited to the European Parliament, to have the pleasure of saying a few words about peace. Believe me, I have a very strong feeling that if we really want to, this can be done. It will not be one person. It is too easy to say one person will do it. No. It will be all of us. It is the responsibility of all of us, because it is all of us who need peace. Not just our neighbor all of us.
Thank you very much. And may peace come one day to all of us. Thank you."
Born in India, he lives with his family in the United States. His ongoing commitment to encourage people to consider the topic of peace sees him travelling around the globe for most of the year in response to the numerous invitations he receives. His ceaseless activity as promoter of peace has taken him to over 50 countries.
In his addresses Prem Rawat presents a profound yet original point of view regarding the topics of peace and the importance of the individual. His perspective has been welcomed by people of the most diverse cultures and backgrounds.
With the understanding that peace is strictly connected to human dignity, Prem Rawat has founded TPRF (The Prem Rawat Foundation).
This Foundation is engaged in numerous humanitarian initiatives, often in collaboration with other important international organizations.
For his commitment, both as an ambassador of peace and a promoter of humanitarian initiatives, Prem Rawat has received awards in honour of his work by many Governmental Organizations in countries all around the world.
Alongside his work as an international keynote speaker, Prem Rawat has many other interests. He is a highly qualified civil aviation pilot, author and composer.
Produced by The Prem Rawat Foundation
Photos and excerpts by courtesy of the European Parliament