Love and hope

Love and hope

by Barbara Gabler
Post date: 12 August, 2016

Dear all

Yesterday I read a quote that deeply resonated with me: Svetlana Alexievitch was the author - the Nobel laureate of 2015:

"I believe that humanity can only survive through compassion."

"All that we know about Women is best described by the word "compassion". There are other words too - sister, wife, friend and, the noblest of all, mother. But isn't compassion a part of all these concepts, their very substance, their purpose and their ultimate meaning? A woman is the giver of life, she safeguards life, so "Woman" and "life" are synonyms."

I read on about her - becoming more and more impressed and then I found the speech she gave accepting her prize:

"Freedom is not an instantaneous holiday, as we once dreamed. It is a road. A long road. We know this now.

We all live in the same world.  It is called "The Earth." This world of ours has become uncomfortable. Turn on the television and you will hear announcers gush with excitement as they describe new warships and airplanes ... in Russia, in America, and in other countries and languages. A barbaric era is upon us once again. An era of power. Democracy is in retreat. I think back to the '90s.  At that time, it seemed to all of us ... to you, and to us, that we had entered a safe world. I remember Gorbachev's dialogue with the Dalai-Lama about the future, the end of history.  Today that all seems like a pretty fairytale.  We are witnessing a new clash between good and evil. We are both witnesses and participants.

What can art accomplish? The purpose of art is to accumulate the human within the human being. But when I was in Afghanistan during the Soviet war, and recently, speaking with Donbass refugees in Ukraine, I heard how quickly man sheds culture, and a monster emerges. The beast is revealed. Yet I write ... I continue to write ... I write as I was taught by my teachers, the Belarusian writers Ales Adamovich and Vasil Bykov, whom I remember today with gratitude. I write as my Ukrainian grandmother taught me in childhood when she recited poems from Taras Shevchenko's book Kobzar (The Bard) to me. Why do I write? I have been called a writer of catastrophes, but that isn't true. I am always looking for words of love. Hate will not save us. Only love. And I have hope ..."

I was so grateful to have found her - and I was again sure that in Russia, in China, in Vietnam, in Italy, in Cambodia, Indonesia, in Syria etc- everywhere we find women and men who are sick about the warfare, fighting, extremists, separation, polarisation etc, we all genuinely want to live in peace and trust some standards of human cooperation.

Our conference - worldwomen17 is also about creating a sisterhood on a larger plane in order to achieve a voice that will be heard louder around the world.

We want peace!

We want education for girls!

We want equal human rights for women!

And of course we want to have a good time with each other, laugh, celebrate and enjoy!!!

Lots of love to all of you