OF HOPE: Global Agenda for a Peaceful Future
By John McConnell: 90 year old founder of Earth Day (TrusteeOne@aol.com)
Faced with a
growing global danger of total catastrophe, we need a worldwide
agenda that will enable us to continue the human adventure. The
original Earth Day (March 21, 1970) followed two events I was
responsible for -- the global Minute for Peace (December 2nd 1963)
and my Star of Hope Satellite proposal which obtained front page
attention around the world in 1957. Let's go back to the Star
of Hope idea. It provides astonishing ideas that point the way
to peace on our planet. HOPE stands for Help Our Planet Earth
and Help Other People Everywhere.
STAR OF HOPE POINTS
To peaceful progress on Planet Earth.
In October 1957 I obtained
global attention for an editorial in my weekly North Carolina
"Toe Valley View" newspaper. It urged that we launch
a Satellite that would have a bright flashing light that would
appear every night and be seen globally as a bright Star of Hope
for all humanity. Sputnik, the first Satellite, had just been
launched on October 4th. None of the media seemed to note that
this was the "Feast Day of St. Francis." And launched
by the then Godless USSR! (The person who chose the date must
have been a secret Christian.)
My own study and prayer
life led to the conviction that we needed a common purpose that
would appeal to people of all creeds and cultures - and a way
to get attention for it. We needed something that would end history's
terrible record of war and injustice. When we set out to explore
Space, we discovered Earth. Now we know we are one human family
and have only one Earth. But our addiction to war and our greed
has almost ruined planet Earth and the future of its people. At
the same time there is a growing recognition that we must change.
SAINT FRANCIS PRAYER
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury...pardon,
Where there is doubt... faith,
Where there is despair... hope,
Where there is darkness... light,
And where there is sadness... joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The Prayer of St. Francis
appeals to people of every creed and culture and aids the Earth
Day goal of Peace, Justice and the Care of Earth. The Space Program
should plan now to launch a Star of Hope Satellite on October
4th 2007. This will be the 50th anniversary of our venture into
Space. This can obtain global attention for the wonderful way
to global peace that St. Francis provided -- and aid all sincere
efforts for peace.
DOOMSDAY -- OR OPPORTUNITY?
In Today's global crisis, are we approaching the doom of civilization
or a new beginning for our planet? Can we get rid of our addiction
to war and the lust for money by investing in devilish weapons
and using them to kill the enemies we have created by our evil
control of their resources?
-- A CALL TO ACTION!
It is imperative the
whole human family mobilize for a moral equivalent of the Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb. Every thinking individual who receives this message
is urged to quickly choose what they will do. Think about it,
talk about it -- and then act. Be aware that today global institutions
induce individuals to accept as truth their propaganda and keep
them from thinking for themselves. Don't let powerful people in
political and social institutions do your thinking for you. Think
for yourself. You know the way to a better future is for everyone
to follow the golden rule -- love of neighbor and nature.
The Earth Trustee idea
of the original Earth Day (March 21st 1970) provides the key:
Every individual and institution must now seek to eliminate pollution,
poverty. injustice and war by Earth Trustee choices in ecology,
economics and ethics. Thousands of group projects are already
helping people and planet. Their impact can increase dramatically
by uniting in a global Earth Trustee Campaign with one common
cause -- peaceful progress on Planet Earth.
Until now, Earth Caretakers
have been a sad minority. The most powerful institutions (global
corporations and rich governments) have usually put financial
profit first. The resulting social and environmental damage is
disastrous. But Earth Trustee vision and action can change that.
It provides a way for you to tap the best in your thinking and
in your faith.
Press, Radio, TV and Internet play a vital role. Actions, good
or bad, begin in the mind. Those able to command media attention
have a special obligation to speak out about the crisis and its
solution -- the Earth Trustee vision and agenda. (See: www.earthsite.org)
Here is an opportunity
for ALL world leaders to call for prayer and heartfelt dedication
to ending our addiction to war and to aiding peaceful resolution
of conflict. The time and money devoted to war can then be replaced
by efforts for the care of Earth. We must now think and act as
Trustees of Earth.
Mass media has a sacred
obligation as the eyes and ears of the public to:
Feature solutions as well as problems.
Headline cases of peaceful progress in the human adventure
that replace hate, fear, greed and lust.
Give recognition and attention to people and projects that
eliminate pollution and poverty and foster peace, justice and
the care of Earth.
With the media's cooperation
St. Francis Day on October 4th and Earth Day - on nature's historic
annual event - the March Equinox, will provide world wide participation
by people of every creed and culture. This will inspire actions
for Earth's rejuvenation in this new millennium -- with peace,
justice and prosperity for all.
John McConnell --
90 year old founder of Earth Day
4924 E. Kentucky Circle, Denver, CO 80246 www.earthsite.org
John Saunders McConnell,
Sr. (Evangelist J. S. McConnell) was my father. He was born in
Seattle, Washington January 9,1892 (died in Ahwahnee, California
in 1966). His father was Rev.T. W. McConnell and when I was small,
Grandpa told about his going to Oregon in a Covered Wagon and
how the Indians they met did not attack them because he prayed
and trusted God.
When I was a teenager
I heard many stories about how we were related to Daniel Boone
and the pioneer spirit was in our blood. When I was about ten
years old we were living outside of San Diego. I was walking down
a dirt road and picked up a piece of paper which had a poem on
it. It said,
"Lord give me the strength of the pioneer
and the faith of his hardy soul.
Provide me with courage to persevere,
make me fight till I reach my goal.
I want to be known
as a man who wins,
as a fellow with nerve and pluck,
Who finishes everything he begins
And as one who can whip his luck."
I still remember the poem and feel it contributed to my drive
and persistence. On March 22nd 2005, I became 90 years old. I
hope you who are younger will pick up the ball (the Earth Trustee
idea) and help turn the global crisis into a new beginning for
the whole human family. Help
make the March 20, 2006 Earth Day a global Turn Toward Harmony
on our planet. The human family can then launch the Star of Hope
Satellite on St. Francis Day - October 4th, 2007 - celebrating
life on our wonderful planet. www.earthsite.org
Star of Hope
Reply from: peter bentley <senseadventures-at-yahoo.com.au>
Sir McConell - G'day from the Land of OZ!
Thank you so much for your communication. Congratulations on ALL
your work - you are a living Legend! Just remember if you treat
your body GOOD, you stiil have potential for another 30+ years
- a quarter of your life still to come man!!
Your wonderful E-mail - the contents - are well known. There is
little time left for further 'thinking', we must ACT wisely NOW.
Since the age of 9 when I used to put in my scrapbook, various
cuttings from Time & Newsweek re. Armaments (who had what
& how many, etc) & other world problems, I have been experiencing
& observing life. I am about to embark on my 3rd world journey
in 3 years - No, I am not well heeled with $, I use my VISA &
'hope' & trust that the financial drag will sooner than later
be resolved. I am impatient now with what I call intellectual
Question: Did you know & meet Laursen Vig of Hesbjerg Peace
Research College in Denmark??
We look forward to your continued urgent calls for appropriate
action - we need to wake people & governments up - hopefully
Vig's suggestion that maybe only a 3rd World War can do that trick
will not be the catalyst.
Thank you Sir.
Walk Good ..... with Love & in Peace.
PS.: This is for William Thompson: Thanks for your call man -
Yes, hopefully we will talk soon, & I hope we can meet in
From: John Courtneidge <john-at-courtneidgeassociates.com>
I'd like to make a comment on this: one that may be somewhat
prickly, but with (I hope) a strongly positive suggestion. Some
will know that I worked at Peace News for a few years and that
I was a Management Group Member ('trustee') of the Network for
Peace (the UK peace federal for national and local peace groups).
More-over, as a Quaker, my attention to the Quaker Peace Testimony
is, I hope, pretty much continuous. However . . .
Here's the prickly bit.
I'm going to suggest that peace is a consequence of equality rather
than vice-versa. And, therefore, work and calls to create equality
(equal-ness of income and the 'power' to contribute) are ordinate
in creating global and local peace.
I'll end by saying that I could add a post-script of sorts in
elaboration of that, but, for this part, let me make that (hopefully)
I'm suggesting that all pro-peace organisations deliberately
re-format and (even) re-register them-selves as community service
co-operatives (or what-ever adjectivised co-operative seems most
appropriate to the participants).
If one looks at the Statement on the Co-operative Identity (see
eg the papers section at www.interestfreemoney.org
for a copy of it), then it is clear that a co-operative (if
it is faithful to that Statement) is (or should be) an inherently
peace-making, peace-be-ing corporate identity.
More-over, if the participants in each co-op were to have a 'co-operative
consciousness' (see google - also google, perhaps, 'consciousness
of the common good'), then a global consciousness of peace becomes
a networked reality (I'd hope!).
In peace, for love
Reply from: peter bentley <email@example.com>
Dear John & Mary, & all on the above List,
G'day Mates! Good on you - your feedback is much appreciated -
let's form a "World Peace Co-op"
Hmmmmm ..... well, come to think of it - Why not? Maybe we could
concentrate on getting funding to assist other groups on the way
..... do you know of any experts in the field - who is versed
with this matter?
The only person I know who could have some suggestions is an
old friend, Paul Martin, the Executive Editor of the National
Geographic 'Traveler' - he has been receiving the current round
of E-mails. I keep wondering, especially during my walks in the
World Heritage National Parks adjoining MAYA or a canoe on the
beautiful Tweed River on our doorstep .....And this is in keeping
with the Report & decisions from WUPED re. the recent Global
Symposium in Lucknow, India -
It seems the time is well nigh drawing near when we have to,
after due consideration, launch a real thrust to mobilize the
public opinion of the people of the World re. our serious problems.
Governments alone cannot do it, moreover it really needs a combined
approach: To reverse & correct certain negative trends.
It will be necessary, I feel, to garner the support or act as
catalysts in motivating (further) the likes of Geldhof, Baez,
Sting, Hilton, the richest man in the World (Bill Gates), Nobel
Peace Prize Winners, etc.
Just thinking down the road a little: Who has the time to start
work on this, & from where? WUPED, & others have already,
in their particular ways, started on such an effort - but more,
much more effort is urgently needed. Maybe we could have several
spots around the Globe specifically cooperating on the project
& in harmony with the World Peace Co-op. We can put Hesbjerg
Peace Research College's interest in such a project 'into the
hat'. I have a feeling that there would be several groups offering
their commitment ..... great, world management resulting from
Iran and Star of Hope
By Earth Day Founder, John McConnell
The media hype about
Iran is unfair and dangerous. I went ot Iran in 1980 to try and
get the hostages returned. I based my arguments on the fact that
Iran observes their New Year (Noruz) on the same day as Earth
Day - and on that day call attention to the actions that foster
peace and understanding. I did not get the hostages back, but
fostered the understanding that led to their return.
Following is an example
of the result.
When media accent the positive we will have a great global future.
Iran Press Release
- Mar. 20, 1999
Statement by H.E. Mr. Hadi Nejad Hosseinian,
Ambassador & Permanent Representative of the
Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in the Earth Day
Ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters, New York at the moment
of Equinox, 8:46 P.M. EST, March 20, 1999
Dear friends, Earth
Trustees, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a privilege and
an honour to have the opportunity to say a few words in this small
gathering which has a big and global agenda. I would like to share
with you the fact that since time immemorial Iranians have celebrated
this day at the exact moment of Equinox, as the beginning of Iranian
New Year and of the miraculous rebirth of life and the earth.
More than seventeen other nations in Central and West Asia also
do the same with special emphasis on thanksgiving, conciliation
and extending love and friendship to all humanity, all creatures
and to the earth that sustains the balance.
On behalf of the Iranian
people, I wish to congratulate all Earth Trustees for their noble
efforts, and to confirm our commitment to becoming real Earth
Trustees and working hard together to make choices in environment,
politics and economics that are ethical and provide for a sustainable
future for the whole human family on earth.
In the threshold of
the third millennium, celebration of the "Earth Day"
finds a renewed meaning and importance. The need for a new and
global understanding of the earth's fragility and the man's destructive
power and habit is all the more present. "Earth Day"
is filled with symbolism for all civilizations. They signify the
care for the earth and fostering peace and prosperity for all
as the common denominators of civilizations.
The designation by
the United Nations of the year 2001 as the year of Dialogue Among
Civilizations, as proposed by President Khatami of the Islamic
Republic of Iran, is an enabling vehicle for constituents of all
civilizations to engage in an enlightened dialogue to enrich each
other on responsible citizenship of the planet while preserving
each civilization's uniqueness.
Let us hope that the
new millennium will be marked by a greater understanding for peace,
justice and harmony among the family of man on earth and by living
in harmony with the planet and all that it nurtures.
Reply from: peter bentley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks again John - we'll do what we can. Why do you keep reminding
us of your age - does 90 have a special meaning for you .....
or generally? For example, Confucius said something about .....
that when you reach 60 you are finally becoming Mature, at 70
you are starting to learn about Wisdom (or are Wise?).
Anyway, no need to mention your age any longer - we know! Best,
LanaYang@comcast.net (Lana Yang) writes
Congratulations to the age 90. Most of my good friends are 85
It is a pleasure to learn from the older and wiser.
Confucius said, "When a man reaches age 70 he has reached
the age of Freedom, that is, he is so mature and wise that he
is able to do whatever he wishes and yet does not go out of line."
Are you the one living in O'dense? I have been there twice.
Are you coming to the UN for the Earth Day? I would be pleased
to meet you and help find a place for you to stay if I can.
Best regards from Philadelphia,
Main Representative to the United Nations