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President of the Republic accepts the Peace Light from Bethlehem

Ljubljana, 12/20/2006  |  press release

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek today welcomed representatives of the Slovenian scout and Catholic scout movements, and the Youth Guild, who presented him with a Peace Light from Bethlehem. They brought the light to Slovenia from Vienna on Sunday and today at the same time as presenting it at the presidential palace are spreading it around Slovenia. The Peace Light has been brought to Slovenia this year for a record sixteenth year in a row.

The scout and youth representatives started their presentation by reading this year's missive to the President. The reading is entitled “Peace for Sale.”

"Welcome to the market! Let me lead you through the stalls to help you find your way. First this way – to the historic market. Listen to what the traders are talking about: Taxes, a census, thieves, wolves, young people full of despondency .... They are talking of their fears for the future, their lack of faith …

Among them is a pregnant woman, afraid her child won’t have a home, that it will be born in a foreign place, bereft of food and clothing ... Yes, you’ve done well to notice. There in that dark corner of history a debate on light and faith is going on. A still, small light shines there. In Bethlehem a child is born, a child named Jesus. His name means “God saves”.

Click to enlargeBut let’s go to the modern market, to see if the light still shines. Ah, here everything is much more animated, much more exciting. People are talking via mobile phones and computers. But they're talking about the same things: wages and taxes, terrorists, weapons, the weather .... and how to fight their fears.

Let us offer you this flickering flame of peace from Bethlehem. But peace is not cheap .... It's priceless. You can’t buy it. But if you accept that you gain so much … light, kind smiles, the sparkle of friendly eyes ... Now it’s up to you to spread it around. The more you give, the more you get!”

After the reading, President Dr Drnovšek spoke with the scout and youth representatives about peace, the importance of achieving inner peace, about how relationships between people are becoming more distant as information technology develops, and about the importance of being in touch with nature, achieving greater consciousness, restricting the logic of capital and profit. They also spoke about the role of the media.

Click to enlargePresident Dr Drnovšek agreed that peace could not be bought. He said that people with enough of all the material things, often have less inner peace, while those with nothing, are more at peace. In the run-up to Christmas people are anxiously making purchases, instead of looking within themselves. People, he said, are alienating themselves from each other and from nature, which is the problem of modern civilisation. So Christmas is a time for opposing the rush and busyness, for people to stop and find time for themselves and their loved ones. Dr Drnovšek also said that often very good laws were passed, but that officials did not have a high enough level of consciousness to apply them in a manner that would help those who actually need their help. There are no ideal laws, said the President, if there aren’t the people to put them into practice. That is the reason we must gather a critical mass of people with a higher level of consciousness. We must restrict the logic of capital and profit that is destroying the Earth. The media are an important part of this, because they can reach the most people.

In conclusion the scout and youth representatives thanked President Dr Drnovšek for receiving them. The President wished them every success with their “Peace for Sale” mission and wished them all a happy Christmas.