My Grandmother – Joanna Lace – recently read a book by leading Brazilian Liberation theologian Leonardo Boff titled Fundamentalism, Terrorism and the Future of Humanity (SPCK, 2006). Boff seeks to understand and explain the phenomenon of fundamentalism, and to identify its causes and possible solutions. Joanna found the book so inspiring and thought-provoking that she has donated a copy to the Never Again International Peacebuilding Centre Library in Kigali, Rwanda.
For those of us not able to visit the Peacebuilding Library in person to leaf through Boff’s book for ourselves, here is an interesting quote from his conclusion:
"There are many philosophers of some stature, such as Martin Heidegger, whose thought rescues an ancient tradition that goes as far back as the time of Caesar Augustus. These philosophers see ‘caring’ or ‘taking care’ as the very essence of the human being. Without a sense of being caring or without being careful a human being can neither live nor survive. Everything needs to be caring and careful in order to survive. Being caring and careful represents a loving relation towards reality. Wherever we see one caring for others we see that fear disappears; fear that is the secret source of all violence, as Sigmund Freud argued.
The culture of peace begins when we cherish the memory and the examples of figures that represent ‘being caring’ and ‘being careful’. And when we live the generous aspect that inhabits us, such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others have done.
It is important for us to undertake small changes…and we must start these changes in us, since we are the cells of our communities. Each one of us must establish as a personal and collective project peace as a method and as a goal, peace that is the result of co-operation, being caring, compassion and love – all these must be lived every day. As we can understand, peace does not develop of its own accord. Peace is always an outcome of values, behaviour and relations that have been lived. The final and joyful result of these values, behaviour and relations is peace; peace which is perhaps the good that is currently most desired and required by humanity."