By: Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Earth Charter International Council Member
My Dear Earth Charter Community,
I am reflecting on our Earth Charter event at Leiden University at the Hague (held on Friday, 29 September). I was able to join Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp on stage at an SDG – Earth Charter Meet-up, organized by fellow Earth Charter Council member Alide Roerink and Earth Charter Friend Harriet Sjerps and their colleagues.
The program was moderated by EC Council member Ama van Dantzig’s colleague and soul sister Lynn Zebeda. It was a beautiful day.
I was not expecting to be so overcome with emotion at seeing Rabbi Awraham, it was so powerful to see him. It was 20 years ago that we gathered at Rio+5 to work on the first Earth Charter Draft. Rabbi Awraham’s stories and words were so potent, full of meaning and wisdom.
Alide spoke at the event too, explaining the connections between the Earth Charter and the SDGs, and I felt so moved by her too, involved for over 17 years. There we were, all still working away for these beautiful principles for survival. All still Here.
This year is also the 25th anniversary since Rio. I was very proud that here, at this Earth Charter event with Alide and Rabbi Awraham, we held the World Premiere of our Rio 1992 Anniversary video project, “I’m Only a Child, but…” 25 children participated in this video compilation.
See the video here:
I hope that you enjoy it, and will spread it in your networks! We had such a positive response from the children participating that we are continuing a second phase of the project – we have opened a YouTube channel where we will have instructions there for how to make a video, and there we can upload all the videos (including already a wonderful one from Sao Paulo!). We want to give children a portal to their power! And amplify the challenge to today’s adult generations.
Rabbi Awraham left the program early, as he was preparing for the Day of Atonement, such an important time, when one thinks about what one is sorry for.
It reminded me of how I have been feeling very negative about the state of the world of late, as so many disasters have been coming to pass. There are many upsetting things happening in our world, and any number of reasons to become upset, and impatient. I have been feeling very small.
But after this day, the conclusion of my visit in the Netherlands – a week of working together with old friends and making new ones – I felt uplifted by an amazing community.
I am uplifted by the spirit (of young entrepreneurs at Impact Hub Amsterdam, and at Impact Startup Fest Europe), by the projects (the De Ceuvel community in North Amsterdam, the innovations of Dr. Monk and the bee friendly work of the Pollinators…), and by the endless dedication of the Earth Charter friends and community. This visit reaffirmed this community to me.
I am so proud to be part of this movement with all of you!
With much respect.