, 8th Aug 2011
Norway's reaction after the tragic events of July 22nd is witnessed all around the world. The entire population, with the prime minister and royal family at the helm, has come together in deep sympathy with those affected. Hearts are opened and unimportant things have been revealed as just what they are - unimportant. We had our eyes opened to what really matters in life.
To show respect and support after July 22nd, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, invited to an open meeting at the Oslo Convention Centre with the topic: "Call for a violence-free, prejudice-free society". Guest speakers were Oslo mayor Fabian Stang, actor and singer Mia Gundersen and lawyer and politician Abid Raja. A full hall participated in a joint peace meditation. In just 20 minutes the audience was able to relax and let go of botherations, under the loving guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Abid Raja was the first guest speaker. He talked about how important it is to expose different opinions through dialogue. "Dialogue can be hard, brutal, ruthless and honest. A troll (note: mystical, sometimes dangerous creature from norse mythology) needs to be brought to light. Let the racists be exposed! Why should it be hidden? Dialogue creates reflection, and reflection is essential to bring about change."
Mia Gundersen emphasized the value of daring to be a fellow human being in everyday life - being able to meet a man with something as simple as a smile. "There is an inherent power in every one of us. There hasn't been room to talk about this in Norway. After July 22nd we saw what love does, we saw that we stood together as a people. I was proud and overwhelmed by my people. It was like a big wave came in and cleansed us of the little things in life. This is the most important thing that has happened after July 22nd. It has triggered so much love. I am grateful to be part of this. "
Fabian Stang said that it is completely incomprehensible that someone who has been part of the Norwegian democracy can do something like that. Furthermore, he urged everyone to stop slander and consider others worse than us, and emphasized that we all have a job to do: "This is a job we must do every day for the rest of our lives in order to succeed. Every day when we wake up, everyone of us must do something to take care of others, in a better way than we have done so far."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: "Only ten years ago there was not much room to talk about love. I think that love's language is the language the world should speak now. From Norway this message has spread around the world. Even in times of crisis we talk about love, and that is what is needed today. Love and wisdom. Today's youth must receive a multi-cultural and multi-religious education for the world to be a safe place. Non-violence and compassion must be valued. The way the Norwegian press and the community has responded is an example. Love, not anger, and understanding that compassion and love is more powerful than hatred."