Dear Sir or Madam,
Friends of yesterday, today or tomorrow,
For you, all my wishes at the dawn of this New Year that I wish you enamelled with the small and great joys that make Life beautiful!
For you, all my wishes of Serenity in a world too often disoriented and in search of meaning, so that these 366 days to live in 2016 allow you to concretize your aspirations and to keep your dreams!
Matthieu Ricard, – whom I had the privilege of meeting in early September during a Breakfast I organized for the benefit of the Nepalese projects of his Karuna-Shechen Foundation -, sees only one antidote to not being caught in the trap of empathic stress so often felt in echo to the suffering of the World: the altruistic approach!
There is only this movement of the Spirit, and of the Soul towards the other, which allows us to surpass ourselves and to give meaning to what has none… we are all potential “Near Helpers”, as long as we know how to open our eyes to what surrounds us!
My recent involvement as Special Advisor to the World Organization Against Torture has just given me a concrete example of this, on the occasion of a Conference-Debate that I set up at the beginning of December on the occasion of World Human Rights Day, with the support of the City of Lausanne!
Defenders of freedom and human dignity, coming from countries where they themselves had mostly been tortured, bore witness to their daily struggle, marked by courage and humanity, “spokespersons” for all the thousands of “voiceless” unjustly imprisoned throughout the world.
The time has now come for us to mobilize alongside them, to denounce this scandal of torture which has almost become familiar to us, insofar as it is practiced in many countries close to Europe, and even in friendly democracies!
On a completely different note, I would like to mention a major issue that affects us all – whether we are aware of it or not: mental health.
Who among us realizes that mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Switzerland, and that it is expected to become the leading cause of disability in the world by 2020?
The commitment to mental health represents a major axis of my action, on the one hand, through the recent example of Special Olympics, that of Graap, or through the numerous Ladies’ Lunch that I have chaired, dealing with this subject over the last few years, and on the other hand, in favour of the scientific research that is essential to better prevent and treat people suffering from these illnesses in Switzerland and in the world.
This indispensable support for scientific research is the reason for my role as Ambassador to the newly created FondaMental Switzerland Foundation, chaired by David de Rothschild.
We also need each of you in this fight!
A bouquet of THANKS to you, so many, who follow me and encourage me through the news I share with you!
Finally, I invite you to take a few minutes to listen to Father Henri Boulad, a Melkite Jesuit priest, born in Syria, a specialist in Islam and a witness to the desperate situation of Christians in the Middle East!
What strikes me most about this man who has given his life for others and who lives in the powder keg that the Middle East has become is this …
There is only a “supplement of Soul” that will save our West, weakened and shaken from all sides. This means entering into the altruistic process without ever losing our identity!
Good wind to all!