I would like to share with you that the boy you see on this year’s Nobel diploma is intended by the artist to symbolise the uncertain future faced by young people today, especially all those who feel that they have no power or opportunity to influence it. This is a forceful, eloquent image. The expression on the young boy’s face reflects a cry for hope for the future, for the opportunity to be seen and heard, take part in society, use his skills and live in peace and security.
And may the diploma remind us all of our obligation to the millions of children and young people who, while we are gathered here today, feel as if they are groping in the dark, with no hope or faith in the future. May these young people have the blindfold removed from their eyes and see a brighter future, a future in peace and freedom.
Inspired by this vision, I would like to conclude with the words of an earlier Peace Prize laureate, Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
MAY 16, 2016
Diversity was a fact of life at my elementary school. Like most kids, I accepted it without much thought. Until, that is, I became the target of bullying that appeared to be racially charged.
This experience has been a touchstone for me; it taught me that diversity doesn’t have to mean divisiveness. Understanding that we are children of the one God enables us to see others, even those who seem very different from us, as our brothers and sisters – beautifully individual, but having a common spiritual heritage. This view dissolves hatred and prejudice..
What does that mean? I like to think of this spiritual view of diversity in relation to music, where the principles of music connect and harmonize a wide variety of notes. Similarly, God, divine Principle, expresses the infinite diversity of His ideas, His children, and harmonizes them in lovely ways. Governed by this Principle, we aren’t just safe in relation to one another; we’re brought into constructive and beautiful relationships.
The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, saw the promise of this kind of unity-in-diversity when she wrote, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself…’ ” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 340).