Talent For Humanity is edited and introduced by Patrick Gaffney and foreword is written by Thierry Sanchez.
This book presents the stories of people, who have had and are still having a great impact on their fellow humans. Readers learn about their individual paths or journeys of enlightenment and their discovery of self.
My Seven Voyages by Reza
His voyages into the Persian culture and how deeply he has been influenced by the words and poetry of said culture. He explains how he came to understand the true meaning of injustice and his road leads to a crossroads. Making the choice between two roads ‘one of inaction and renunciation or the exposure and denunciation of injustice.’
His path leads him right into the open arms of the Shah’s secret police. Reza mentions the months of torture almost in passing, as if it is a mere blip on his radar. His letter to humanity speaks of the tool with which he chooses to communicate the pain, turmoil and journeys of his fellow humans.
Making the World a Better Place Through the Arts by Sherry & Bob Jason
Many decades ago Sherry and Bob Jason ‘created a non-profit organization called City Hearts, which is dedicated to bringing the arts to underprivileged children.Giving them the opportunity to experience creative arts in a way they would possibly never have the chance to. ‘Our goal was to show these children that there were other choices they could make – positive ones.’ Their letter to humanity speaks of helping young people to find their path and putting their talents to work.
In the UK both the Primary and Secondary Schools always try to introduce a steady flow of the creative arts, especially to children in low socio-economic areas, because realistically they will never get to experience them in their home life. It does give them a new perspective and opens their eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.
Rise! by Aliza Hava
Aliza’s experience with injustice was on a personal level and started very early on in her life. When she discovered music she realised the career she wanted to embark upon.She had a profound experience after reading a specific book, which changed the way she understood and embraced what she calls ‘God consciousness.’ Her letter to humanity speaks of her deep connection to her faith and her hope that others will find inspiration in her experience and words.
In My Own Voice by Deeyah Khan
Deeyah uses the phrase ‘music is my home and my exile’ to describe a doorway into her special place. Perhaps a doorway she needed, because she grew up as an outsider. I understand completely how she experienced growing up as a foreigner, outsider or as someone, who is perceived as different from the majority. Her passion to have a voice puts her life in physical danger, despite that Deeyah decides to give a voice to others.
She specifically sheds a light on the topic of honour killings that take place even when the victims live in countries, where it is clearly deemed a crime. Deeyah set up Sisterhoodnetwork.org to empower young Muslim women. Her letter to humanity is actually a very heartfelt appeal to one of these victims, an apology of sorts, because society is still not doing enough to protect them.
Connecting the Dots by Yarrow Kraner
Spending a significant time of his life bearing the brunt of the ‘anger and resentment against white people’ on a Native American reservation. He uses his negative experiences to empower others.‘Superheroes aren’t simply the characters we see on the big screen.’ His letter to humanity speaks about the ability to envision and believe.
On Tastes, the Journey and Clowning by Daniele finzi Pasca
I want to start Daniele’s segment with his poignant words ‘In the very early morning, we would pick up the bodies of those who had died during the night.’ His letter to humanity speaks about fear being so controlling that it traps us in a corner. Making use of the talents we carry in our hearts.
Putting Our Heart into The World by Patrick Gaffney
Patrick asks important questions, ‘why is it so difficult for us to think and act out of altruism and not out of self-interest.’ It describes how humans in general tend to fixate on themselves. Selfish rather than selfless. How we can improve our own self-worth, morale and positive feelings if we volunteer and help others. His letter to humanity is to leave a blank page for the reader so they can write your own Letter to Humanity.
A common thread within the people in these stories is being an outsider and/or a minority in the midst of a majority. In the introduction Gaffney points out that this isn’t supposed to be a self-help book. Instead it is a way of honouring men and women, who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Paying tribute in form of a book.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.