Through leadership by example

Talking points for Kul C. Gautam

On the Occasion of the Award Ceremony for the

Lifting Up the World with a Oneness Heart

4 August 2001 

It is truly a great privilege and honour to receive this Lifting Up the World with a Oneness Heart award on behalf of UNICEF.

I would particularly like to thank in this regard my colleagues  Hashi Roberts and Chandika Kapalika, and any other members of the UNICEF family who proposed this.  You have made this happen at a time that is so propitious, coming just before the celebration of Sri Chinmoy’s 70th birthday as well as the General Assembly Special Session on Children.

This event is so meaningful in many ways.  For I know that Sri Chinmoy usually performs this tour de force with celebrities and persons of great renown.

I am no celebrity, but today it is the cause of children that is being celebrated, and that is what makes this moment so special.

Sri Chinmoy, I see your act of upliftment as being one that symbolizes the elevation of the cause of children, something that all of us who work at UNICEF are dedicated to.

And this is a truly noble cause, as children, whose needs and rights are often accorded low priority, who are not visible on political agendas, and whose voices are not usually heard, deserve to have the highest position in our societies.

Children are the foundation of peace and harmony among peoples.  We need to nurture among children the values and skills to evolve a culture of peace in our world, so that future generations may live free from strife and conflict.

Sri Chinmoy, you have dedicated the past thirty years of your life to the service of world peace and to the fulfilment of the unlimited potential of the human spirit.  Through leadership by example, you have inspired and encouraged millions of people through your endeavors and innovative peace initiatives.

I was particularly touched by one of your poems quoted by our previous leader at UNICEF, Mr. James P. Grant: “The heart’s simplicity shall always succeed when and where the mind’s complexity fails”.

I deeply believe that the heart is the ultimate driving force for change, and, as we know, children always have a place in our hearts.

Again, on behalf of the UNICEF family, thank you for this precious occasion and award which recognizes and celebrates those powerful forces in us all-our hearts, our common quest for peace and harmony, and a better future for children and the fulfillment of their human potential.