12th May 2018
Teatro di Milano, Milan, Italy.

 

Over 300 people attended this public outreach event, titled ‘Human Values to Protect the Planet.’

The event started in the afternoon with an exhibition by associations involved in the protection of environment and animals. Each of them had the chance to present their work with the aim to inspire the public to personally engage in the protection of the planet through the practice of the human values (HV).

The representative of the first association, Gaia Animals & Environment, (active at National level since 1995), emphasised the importance of a deeper knowledge about the consequences of our habits. Highlighting the issues such as the need for a vegetarian and biological alimentation, and for using cruelty-free cosmetics. The underlined value was Love. 

The second association, Tom & Jerry, has been active in Milan since 2002, and is focused on the protection of animals. Animals rights is their main concern, with two offices they have taken care of the adoption of almost 7,000 animals, and are involved in the creation of a recovery of dogs and cats (‘Cangattile’) with the intention to perform pet therapy in coordination with social services. The value underlined was ‘Non-violence’. 

The third association, Artists4Rhino, is a more recent association, founded in 2013, and it gathers artists (painters and sculptures, mainly) that offer a considerable part (more than 40%) of their profits to associations working in Africa and Asia that take care of rhinoceros’ and elephants. They also take care of whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Values that summarises their speech were ‘Non-violence’ and ‘Peace’. 

The education committee involved in this event, invited public schools and students to create artwork on HV. An award was given to students from EID (the European Institute for Design) who created a video on HV.

After the video of the students from IED, participants watched another video from Sri Chinmoy Oneness Home – Peace Run, a very well-known worldwide Association active in more than 180 Countries all over the world, who also have an event at the Colosseum in Italy on 21st of September (the United Nations day of Peace), which the Sathya Sai International Organisation contributes to. The value that they mentioned was, of course, ‘Peace’, with a specific focus on inner peace.

To close the afternoon session, a round table was organised with the participation of four religious leaders (Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism) who shared their views on God, Nature and Man. The speakers decided to speak following the order of ‘revelation’ of different religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam. 

Each speaker was inspiring and an example of Unity in Diversity. They quoted each other, they took notes from one another, and they thanked each other. During their speeches, the audience was attentively listening, with each greeted with great applause. Overall, the emphasis was on the need of ‘giving’ instead of ‘getting’, and the responsibility of taking care of future generations. In relation to Human Values, they emphasised that they are the current that unites all religions and all people even if they do not practice any religion. What is important is the goal, to be one with Divinity, even though the paths and the Names of God are different.

In the evening, Dana Gillespie’s performance was a real success. Besides her blues repertoire, she included some spiritual songs. In between songs, she sensitised the public on the importance of the practice of Human Values, the protection of the Planet and highlighted that we are all One with the Universe and that we should love all without any discrimination. The public and everyone in attendance were impressed by her spiritual, universal love-based approach.

25 members had been involved in the preparation of the event: each one with a specific task. The feeling of unity and joy among the audience and all participants was overwhelming! The religious leaders, associations and public were so enthusiastic that they profusely thanked SSIO Italy for organising such an uplifting, love-based event.