Judy Chaussalet, Head of Development at Think Global attended the Commonwealth Service on the 12 March at Westminster Abbey. Here she shares her experience of the day and reflects on this year’s theme ‘Towards a Common Future’.
On 12 March I joined representatives from across the globe to celebrate the Commonwealth at Westminster Abbey.
Starting off with an amazing ‘Call for Welcome’ from the London Maori Choir in true style, we were treated to a series of readings, beautiful choral renditions and reflections from key figures across the Commonwealth.
With many from the Royal family attending, it was a ceremonious occasion – but also a time for reflection.
There was an emphasis on how we are enriched by other cultures, how we learn from others and how a shared inheritance can allow us to overcome difference – powerful messages in a world where global challenges and cultural divides seem so hard to overcome.
Some examples of excellent initiatives by the Commonwealth include The Royal Commonwealth Society’s youth programmes such as the Model Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings; the new Commonwealth schools pack explaining what it’s all about; and the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting planned for 16-20 April, all working ‘Towards a Common Future’.
For me, one of the highpoints of the day was the beautiful poem by Jaspreet Kaur:
“The moment that you realize that true contentment can be found when we serve others, all other desires will seem so small.
And the moment you see joy in another beings eyes, because of your own selfless actions, life starts to make a lot more sense.
And the moment you begin to act as the reflection of the visions that you have a of a better world, things will begin to change.
And the moment that you recognize your own responsibility for the betterment of others, you’ll see such beauty in life.
And the moment that you recognize that you’ll make more of an impact by being righteous than always being right, rewards will come and fall into your lap.
And the moment that you are more concerned about learning to love, than to be loved, positive emotions of oceanic depths will engulf you.
And the moment that you are more concerned about understanding others than to always be understood, that’s when your mind will truly begin to learn.
And the moment that we realize that our enemies are not physical flesh and blood, yet they are our own thoughts, peace will begin to conquer.
And the moment that we overcome those inner enemies, rather than deflecting them onto others, merriment will come find you.
And the moment that you are more concerned about learning to listen, rather than to always be heard, you will hear languages you thought your mind could never fathom.
And the moment that you realize that life will always be about mastering and relearning, hunkering and climbing your journey will begin to feel so smooth.
And the moment that we all believe that we can change this world for the better, we will do it. Where we learn, change, grow and give, so go live your moments.”
– Spoken-word artist Jaspreet Kaur, at the 2018 Commonwealth Day Celebration
Blog by Judy Chaussalet, Head of Development at Think Global.