Nobel Prize Speech by Aung San Suu Kyi

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Twenty-one years after being awarded the Nobel peace prize, Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has received her prize in Oslo, and her acceptance speech was met with awe, reverence and a standing ovation. In her June 16 speech, she stated: “Often during my days of house arrest, it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world. There was the house which was my world. There was the world of others who also were not free but who were together in prison as a community. And there was the world of the free. Each one was a different planet pursuing its own separate course in an indifferent universe. What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings, outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me. … And what was more important, the Nobel Prize had drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma. We were not going to be forgotten,” she said during her 40-minute oration.

She shared how she had thought much on the Buddhist idea of “dukkha,” or suffering, in her long years of isolation and house arrest, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi said. “If suffering were an unavoidable part of our existence, we should try to alleviate it as far as possible in practical, earthly ways.” One crucial avenue, she said, was simple kindness. “Of the sweets of adversity, and let me say that those are not numerous, I have found the sweetest, the most precious of all, is the lesson I learned on the value of kindness,” she said, with a rare shred of humor. “Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world.” Kindness, she said, “can change the lives of people.”

If you are not yet familiar with her life and dedication to peace, see the film, “The Lady,” and I encourage you to view her June 16, 2012 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.

For those who are committed to peace and loving kindness, it is essential to be aware of the lives of those whose leadership and courage continue to inspire us all.


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From life in Maui, living among flowers and ocean breezes, to a more recent move to Lake Las Vegas, with its beautiful desert vistas and sunsets, the golden thread of Divine Spirit has guided my life. My journey has led me to spiritual masters, authentic friendships, encounters with death and healing, and more changes than most people could imagine for one lifetime. Listen to the wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke, in “Letters to a Young Poet”: “Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.” Remember, a wellness coach can only take you as deep as their own journey has taken them. Transitioning through grief, loss, and change requires guidance from a mature and experienced Soul. Achieving optimal health is a worthy goal, no matter your age or current life situation. As you browse through our site, I invite your comments and welcome new friends and clients into my world. Ellen M. Laura

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