AFSC KC Program Coordinator, Ira Harritt gave keynote address at the 26th annual Kansas City World Peace Mediation on December 31, 2011Photo: Lama Chuck Stanford
Over 100 area residents young and old attended the 2011 Kansas City World Peace Mediation event arriving at 5:30am. Activities included prayers for peace made by leaders of fifteen faith traditions; the awarding of the annual Boddhi Satva Award to Rev. Sam Mann; musical performances; and a keynote address on peace.
This year's keynote address was made by Ira Harritt, Kansas City AFSC Program Coordinator. In the talk he acknowledged the importance of cultivating inner peace but also the need to use that inner strength to create more peace in the world. Harritt quoted many peace leaders including:
The Peace Pilgrim - "When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Martin Luther King who spoke to the need to be "toughminded" and "tenderhearted" - “There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan. But we must not stop with the cultivation of a tough mind. The gospel also demands a tender heart..."
Harritt called upon participants to find their own vision of peace, a vision so compelling that it would fire them to actions and inspire others to join them.