And so it goes that I’m posting content from an unsolicited and unexpected e-mail…but first:
Thich Nhat Hanh is the real deal. I know of Thich Nhat Hanh because I listen weekly to public radio’s Speaking of Faith. In March he was featured. He is a Buddhist. The website is here. The transcript is here. The podcast here. I recommend the podcast because hearing the man speak is to hear peace.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Personal trivia: the “Christian conference center in a lakeside setting of rural Wisconsin”, where the radio show was recorded, is a conference center my family has connections to.
What about the e-mail?
Thich Nhat Hanh is apparently speaking to UNESCO on October 7. He will propose that UNESCO organize a Global No Car Day. Part of the effort to convince UNESCO to accept the proposal involves a petition that is attempting to gather 10,000 signatures by October 7. The petition is located at the Deer Park Monastery website.
I have signed it.
Here is the message:
From Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh:I have also responded to the invitation in their e-mail to help develop and promote a Global No Car Day. I wonder what that might mean?
Only collective awakening can help us to solve the difficult problems in our world like war and global warming. In an upcoming talk which I have been invited to give at UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization) on October 7th, I will propose that UNESCO organize a Global No Car Day-- a day when people refrain from using their cars, except in emergencies.
It may take six months or more to prepare for such a day. UNESCO can promote this day around the world and use it as a means to educate and inspire collective awakening concerning the present environmental dangers facing all of us on planet Earth. I will suggest that UNESCO itself, from the director to ambassadors and other members, try to live in such a way that the message becomes a true message; not just a call for action, but action itself.
In our daily lives, we should each try to drive a car that doesn't pollute the environment, or ride a bicycle more often, or use public transportation. Every one of us can do something to protect and care for our planet. We should live in such a way that makes a future possible.
Thich Nhat Hanh
September 16, 2006
Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, CA