I love London, I think it’s the greatest city on Earth: ancient and achingly modern at once, diverse, multicultural, a microcosm of the planet. I’m not from here, like so many millions of us, I came from somewhere else. I am an immigrant but in London, above all other cities, this is no barrier to calling London my own, my city. London is unique in this: all the world’s cultures and traditions included intact but also forming the pillars of a greater commonality – being a Londoner is to be a citizen of the world. Peacebeam was inspired by the soul of this great city and the understated power of its people. We formed in the wake of Brexit, and some of the divisions and global craziness that have been underscored in the last 12 months. It was our desire to remind London and ourselves who we are: this vast, beautiful, powerful mosaic of a community with infinite capacity for peace, for kindness and for all that is the very best in us. Peacebeam is intended as a gift to the commuting community – the 4.1 million of us who move in and out and around this city every day – it’s heartbeat. We wanted to remind ourselves that we in London are capable of embodying solidarity in its true sense – unity of feeling and action: true community, true tolerance, true peace.
Since we started Peacebeam at the beginning of the year, there have been 3 terrorist attacks in the UK: Westminster, Manchester and over the weekend at London Bridge. There are no words to express our sorrow for all of the people hurt and killed in these senseless attacks. The only word that seems appropriate in these times is solidarity. I woke yesterday to the news of the London Bridge attacks and I was shocked and frightened. That feeling of fear is unavoidable, its stirs up from our deepest parts and takes hold. But then, as I read the news, the social media feeds and heard the stories of the people involved and the people who helped, slowly the messages of solidarity, of peace, of calm and community soothed the fear, calmed the bewilderment and fired up something deep in my heart. We worry in these times that we are disconnected from each other, increasingly separate, locked in our own worlds. In part Peacebeam is intended as an antidote to that, a way for Londoners to connect to themselves and to each other in peace. But as I write today I know that its not a question of needing to connect, it’s a question of remembering that we already are connected, that underneath everything we are this vast, beautiful, powerful mosaic of a community with infinite capacity for peace, for kindness and for all that is the very best in us. I would give anything for the reminder not to have been these attacks but we honour all those who lost their lives, all those injured and affected, the first responders, the police and helpers at the scene by rising to the very best in ourselves: solidarity, tolerance, kindness and peace. It is said that every act of evil unleashes a million acts of kindness. In London, shadows will never win because the light that shines in all those unified hearts is too bright. We wish you unconditionally, and from the deepest part of our beings, unrestricted good for yourself and for everyone around you in peace and in love.