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Models of Success

John Hume: Northern Ireland’s Magnetic Leader and Peacemaker, Part 2 of 2

2021-05-23
Language:English

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“And their philosophy of their founders, which I quote often when I’m speaking in America, is summed up in three words, which is written on the American cent. And if you can’t read the cent, go to the grave of Abraham Lincoln, and there is that powerful message in three Latin words: ‘E pluribus unum’ – ‘From many, we are one.’ The essence of our unity is respect for diversity, not fighting about it. And that is the philosophy of peace.”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the historic Good Friday Agreement, Boston College in the US hosted a public symposium to pay tribute to John Hume. Prominent scholars, journalists, and government officials discussed his contributions of promoting civil and human rights, and his role in shaping the Northern Ireland peace process. Professor James Murphy, co-sponsor of the event, stated, “John Hume is perhaps the greatest statesman produced by Ireland in the 20th century. At a time of deep division, bitterness, and violence, he always pointed the way towards reconciliation and peace.”

In 2017, a documentary film titled “In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America” premiered in Ireland. In the film, John Hume says, “Ireland is not a romantic dream. It is not a flag. It is 4.5 million people divided into two powerful traditions. The solution will not be found on the basis of victory for either, but on the basis of agreement and a partnership between both. The real division of Ireland is not a line drawn on the map, but in the minds and hearts of its people.”

In 2013, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the price of peace: Anything for peace is worthy to pay, and then it’d be done. Have to put down the pride, both sides, and really concentrate on the welfare, development, peace, and prosperity of their own people, and just shake hands and sign and live next to each other in peace, like good neighbors. Then it’s done. So easy.

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