I’m not a monarchist, but…

Christmas messages (excerpted):

King Albert II of the Belgians (original Dutch) (original French):

The cause of many of the conflicts which infest the world is generally to be found in the non-recognition of the ethnic or religious or cultural identity of a part of the population. One of the formidable challenges of our time is therefore to bring about harmonious relations between different population groups, with respect for the individual character of each, and in the conviction that those differences in identity are enriching. Our country faces precisely that challenge now.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (original Dutch):

Twice in a short time actions of extremism have shocked the Netherlands. Such attacks are serious abuses of the freedom which characterises our country. All too well we realise how vulnerable we are in an open society, based on the freedom of every citizen. It is troubling that trusted certainties no longer seem sufficient to protect the community against settling into violence.

Understandable emotions can seduce people to the call of one-sided answers, but there are no simple solutions. In our society, where many interests, insights and convictions must always be united with each other, more is now asked of us. We build our society together.

Queen Elizabeth II (original here):

Most of us have learned to acknowledge and respect the ways of other cultures and religions, but what matters even more is the way in which those from different backgrounds behave towards each other in everyday life. It is vitally important that we all should participate and cooperate for the sake of the wellbeing of the whole community…

There is certainly much more to be done and many challenges to be overcome. Discrimination still exists. Some people feel that their own beliefs are being threatened. Some are unhappy about unfamiliar cultures. They all need to be reassured that there is so much to be gained by reaching out to others; that diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat.

President McAleese of Ireland (can’t find original):

…reflecting deeply on that message at this crucial time in the Peace Process, we in Ireland may find the trust and the faith to complete this journey of healing and reconciliation… the simple essence of this great feast is to be good to one another, and to fill the world with generosity instead of greed.

President Bush (here):

By bringing liberty to the oppressed, our troops are defending the freedom and security of us all. They and their families are making many sacrifices for our Nation, and all Americans are deeply grateful.

I was struck by the fact that three of these were very similar in theme – so much so that it almost seems pre-planned. And guess who was the only one not to call for reconciliation or for tolerance of diversity?

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1 Response to I’m not a monarchist, but…

  1. mylescorcoran says:

    I’m so glad that B is on the mend. It must have been hell for you all.

    Single parents have my slack-jawed admiration, particularly if they’re holding down a full-time job too. I sometimes think that raising kids is properly a job for at least a half-dozen adults.

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