The Universal Circle of Ambassadors for Peace
The Universal Circle of Ambassadors for Peace in Geneva, Switzerland and France, has appointed me as a “Universal Peace Ambassador”.
Here is what happened:
A few weeks ago I published my newsletter to share with my readers all about my latest adventures (if you didn’t receive it and would like to read it HERE is the link). The day after publication, I woke up, poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to check my emails. I was shocked to find many kind responses from my readers. My coffee suddenly tasted like heaven :)). And there I was, happily reading the messages, when I noticed that one of them was from the great Peruvian poet Carlos Hugo Garrido Chalén. For those who do not know Garrido Chalén, here is a summary of his impressive awards and distinctions: winner of the award World Literature "Andrés Bello"; nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize from Dominican Republic; author of thirty books and last year, eleven countries postulated him for the prestigious Literature Award " Miguel de Cervantes"; the author is founder and CEO of the Association of Writers Hispanomundial.
Yes. Garrido Chalén is a renowned poet.
I never imagined that someone os his stature would take the time to open my newsletter, let alone read it. If my list of contacts includes a few well established authors, like him, it is only as an affirmation – let’s say a wink to myself –that helps me visualize myself having a drink in a bar with them, chatting about our favorite subject: literature. But wouldn’t you know it; this time the affirmation actually worked! Here he was writing to me.
I immediately replied to thanked him for his attention. Much to my surprise, he responded right back. I looked at the clock - it was five in the morning! This time he expressed his desire to appoint me as a Universal Peace Ambassador.
I chocked on my coffee.
What, me? A Peace Ambassador? The poor guy had no idea how much I fight with my husband. And not only with him, but also with the neighbor who won’t turn down the radio, the press that won’t deliver my books and the deer who eat my roses for lunch. The battle with Comcast (my internet company) is a duel to the death. How to explain to my beloved poet that this is precisely why I practice Bikram Yoga: to twist my body as jargon and squeeze the sweat from all my tantrums?
I thanked him graciously for the honor, but then explained that the title was several sizes too big for me. Besides, I told him, I'm not a poet but a novelist and my only intention at this point is to finish my third novel.
"I see that you are humble and that's good” he wrote, “but I know what you are worth. So shake off your own prejudices and accept the wings that I am offering so you may fly into heaven”.
Humble. Wings. Heaven.
Ah yes… he is good poet.
I swelled up like a peacock and drank my coffee, savoring the praise. When I finally deflated, I reflected deeply on his words. He right. My own prejudices were locking me in like a caged hen. There, at my reach were those other wings. The angel wings.
I went online and researched about the foundation. I discovered that the Universal Circle of the Ambassadors for Peace is a small, independent nonprofit foundation that was born ten years ago in Ambilly, France. Their mission is to work for peace and create a universal bond of peace. I was amazed to know that today there are more than one thousand Ambassadors from more than one hundred countries. According to some articles “Peace Ambassadors are nominated by their actions, spirit and words and become living examples of peace and humanism in their daily lives. They advocate for peace in their everyday lives, their profession, and family life at regional and global levels. They are living torches of the spirit of universal and eternal peace. They seek only to create a seed of peace.”
I kept reading, focusing on the work of the Ambassadors for Peace who are authors, like Garrido Chalén. I learned that those writers, not content with the simple mission to delight their audience, exalt their pen by sowing seeds of peace. They write against marginalization, poverty and hunger, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance in the world from the perspective of the protection of human rights. They advocate for the common good in the world and against all forms of violence. I recognized the themes. They were the themes of my own work.
I realized that the poet’s invitation was not coincidental. His call was, in a way, the next step forward in my professional and personal development. For years I was a gladiator in the halls of justice and my sword was law. Later, when I realized that litigation was not the answer for the families I was trying to help, I learned all about conflict resolution through dialogue. That transformation – from warrior to mediator - is the theme of my second novel, Mas alla de la justicia (Beyond Justice). It turns out I have been an ambassador of peace but just didn’t know it.
I have always believed that it is possible to prevent conflict before it arises. The key to preventing violence. I think, is the ability to express our feelings, desires, and expectations with respect while listening - really listening - to the position of the other. Healthy communication is peace. And it is something we must learn as children.
I accepted the letter of Gabrielle Simone , president of the Universal Circle of Ambassadors for Peace confirming the proposal submitted by the author Chalén Garrido. My mission: to write children's literature that teaches healthy communication. But first I have to practice it here, at home, with my husband, my neighbor and the deer. I can’t promise anything about Comcast. For that I will just have to keep sweating buckets in yoga.