The essence of all that is best
and honourable in Humankind
Raymond Edward Stewart
I have observed Paulos Mar Gregorios for twenty years and came to know him personally about eight years ago. when I became executive Secretary of the World Peace Council my respect and admiration, for his abilities led me to seek his advice and guidance on matters of global peace whenever I could.
I found him a truly international human being who transcended east-west and north-south, global boundaries and all levels of any society. His mind could reach into the farthest corners of almost any discipline, across boundaries between disciplines, and formulate solutions to problems that ordinary men and women of this world could comprehend and understand. He cared and in caring gave his all, often to the detriment of his own health.
He cared deeply about the reality of daily life for ordinary people and argued their case at all levels of society, in all forums locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. He saw, only to clearly, that the worst of the social problems of today, the gross inequities in society, were the result of fundamentally flawed economic and political, systems that dominate human activity in most countries. He devoted his life to developing new ideas and approaches, that would change or minimise the impact of these contradictions on the lives of ordinary people. He took every opportunity to talk his ideas over with a wide cross-section of people, always seeking to add to his vast store of knowledge and to reflect in the development of his ideas the practical experiences of others as they strove for a better life and a better world.
I was often fortunate enough to observe his role at important global events, or major international or regional meetings. He spurned all doctrinaire approaches and sought to find those elements that would build a greater sense of human achievement for the broadest constituency represented, avoiding sectarian selfishness. So deeply rooted in his beliefs, the very essence of human goodness was expressed in his every word and deed.
Of the many occasions I have watched in awe this great man at work, none was more memorable than the time we travelled together in November 1990, on the eve of the so called 'gulf War'. We visited all the leaders and governments or their representatives, of the Arab countries involved. Using his skill and wisdom, based on a vast knowledge and understanding, of the religious, cultural, social and political elements of the region, he crafted a proposal that balanced the needs of all parties to this dispute. The results were welcomed by all, but regrettably events outside the region superseded the implementation of these plans.
It is with some regret that other major world trouble spots could not have benefited from his abilities to find the key elements that would lead to solutions and minimise the suffering of all involved. More efforts must be made to involve the very best of humankind to lead those who have become misguided or lost, in their search for a better life.
The ongoing contribution of Paulos Mar Gregorios, reflected in his writings and work, are a reminder of how precious our most talented human beings are, and a challenge that daily we must strive to emulate all the goodness that is a reflection of this great and wonderful man.
(September 15, 1995)