Saturday, 23 June 2007

How a Pole looks at the World

'When asked to describe the Polish national character, [Barbara] Labuda [Poland's ambassador to Luxembourg] returns to the spiritual model. She gives a powerful example that, for her, represents the sentiments of many of her countrymen. Attending a spiritual retreat in Germany with a thousand people of diverse nationalities, she and all the participants were tasked with an oath of silence for four days. "It was amazing ― all these people together in absolute silence. At the end of the four days, the leader of the conference said that in understanding the power of silence, we can understand the power of the spoken word. Then she asked us to say the one word that lay in our hearts, which had special meaning after so long a silence. Slowly the words came from the nationalities represented there… some said 'gratitude', some said 'love', some said 'beauty'. A member of our Polish group stood up and said the word that reasoned within all of us, after which we all raised our thumbs in unison. The word he said was freedom."'
Rendez-Vous City Magazine Luxembourg 5/2007

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