‘You agree with Mother Teresa (declared a saint by Pope Francis in 2016)? How about Tenzin Gyatso who advocates peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people?’
YES, how about two journalists winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize? The more senior and better experienced recipient: “Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power. The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and ‘troll factories’ to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.
“Novaja Gazeta’s opponents have responded with harassment, threats, violence and murder. Since the newspaper’s start, six of its journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaja who wrote revealing articles on the war in Chechnya.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2021/press-release/]
Clearly, the defense of free expression is part of the peace package. Another is exemplified by the Catholic Albanian girl Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu turned Saint-in-the-Gutter in Calcutta whose work for bringing help to suffering humanity included this appeal: “I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child – I will not forget you…Because if a mother can kill her own child – what is left for me to kill you and you kill me – there is nothing between. And this I appeal in India, I appeal everywhere: Let us bring the child back.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1979/teresa/lecture/]
You agree with Mother Teresa (declared a saint by Pope Francis in 2016)? How about Tenzin Gyatso who advocates peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people? Have you heard his plea: “The awarding of the Nobel Prize to me, a simple monk from faraway Tibet, here in Norway, also fills us Tibetans with hope. It means, despite the fact that we have not drawn attention to our plight by means of violence, we have not been forgotten. It also means that the values we cherish, in particular our respect for all forms of life and the belief in the power of truth, are today recognized and encouraged. It is also a tribute to my mentor, Mahatma Gandhi.
“Tibet has, for 40 years, been under foreign occupation… more than a quarter of a million Chinese troops are stationed in Tibet. Some sources estimate the occupation army to be twice this strength. During this time, Tibetans have been deprived of their most basic human rights, including the right to life, movement, speech, worship, only to mention a few. More than one sixth of Tibet’s population of six million died as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation. Even before the Cultural Revolution started, many of Tibet’s monasteries, temples and historic buildings were destroyed.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1989/lama/facts/]
You agree with the 14th Dalai Lama? No? Try the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant (Founder of the Red Cross): “Would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted and thoroughly qualified volunteers?”
[https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1901/dunant/facts/] Receive his souvenir: “A little further on lies a dying Zouave who is weeping bitter tears, and we console him as if he were a little child. The preceding fatigue, the lack of food and repose, the intensity of the pain, the fear of dying without help, excites even in these brave soldiers a nervous sensibility which betrays itself by sobs. One of their chief thoughts, when they are not suffering too cruelly, is the memory of their mother, and the fear of the grief she will experience on learning of their fate. On the corpse of a soldier we found, hanging from his neck, a medallion containing the portrait of an aged woman, without doubt his mother, which with his left hand he was pressing on his heart.” [The Origin of the Red Cross (“Un Souvenir de Solferino”). Translated from the French by Mrs. David H. Wright of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Red Cross. Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Co., 1911]
Try the Swedish bishop Nathan Söderblom: “Let us now turn to the International of Labor, organized on behalf of the nameless workers who once included Jesus the carpenter…
Finally, let us turn to the governments. Without entering the political arena, the Christian Church must assert itself as the indomitable prophet and interpreter here on earth of the moral Law, which is imposed on national communities just as it is on individual consciences.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1930/soderblom/lecture/] If you appreciate his Nobel Lecture of December 11, 1930 (The Role of the Church in Promoting Peace), then you may want to check out Anwar al-Sadat’s Nobel Lecture of December 10, 1978: “And since then, through the ages, even when wars appeared as a necessary evil the real genius of Egypt has been one of peace… and its ambition has been to build not to destroy, to create not to annihilate, to coexist not to eliminate. Thus, the land of Egypt has always been cherished by God Almighty: Moses lived there, Jesus fled to it from injustice and foreign domination, and the Holy Koran has blessed it. And Islam, which is the religion of justice, equality and moral values, has added new dimensions to the eternal spirit of Egypt.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1978/al-sadat/lecture/]
Finally, as an officer of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society Chapter 045, I must cite Linus Carl Pauling (winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962): “We see that science and peace are related… Our increased knowledge now provides the possibility of eliminating poverty and starvation, of decreasing significantly the suffering caused by disease, of using the resources of the world effectively for the benefit of humanity. But the greatest of all the changes has been in the nature of war the several million fold increase in the power of explosives and corresponding changes in methods of delivery of bombs.” [https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1962/pauling/lecture/]
Thus must we encourage the enrollees in Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to attend to the issue of peace and the good works of Malala Yousafzai (and the imperative to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan and everywhere else), Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela (and the crusade against racism and Han chauvinism), Jane Addams, Muhammad Yunus (for the efforts to create economic and social development from below) and the journalist and socialist Carl von Ossietzky (and the struggle against Fascism).