Our Collaborator — Vadivu Govind, Singapore
Vadivu Govind, Singapore
Vadivu Govind first saw Mattie on television may years ago while watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. She said she was struck and moved to tears by his wisdom. “The peace and beauty many of us yearn for in this world starts with what ordinary people like you and I think, speak and do. That’s what I love most about Mattie’s poems.” In an e-mail to Mattie’s mom, Jeni, Vadivu wrote that “Mattie inspires all people to take little steps, daily steps to fall in love with life and the world.”
A member of Mattie’s Peace Network, she learned about the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation’s “For Our World Campaign” through a Foundation e-Peace update, and decided to do more than translate the poem into one other language. Instead, she blogged about the effort, and invited her readers to consider the poem deeply, and become a part of the effort. She wrote, “in “For Our World”, Mattie calls out urgently for us to live in greater awareness and appreciation of our shared humanity. This is my call too so I feel connected to Mattie in spirit as I do my work in my corner of the world.” As a result of her efforts, Mattie’s poem was translated into nearly a dozen languages that are now posted on the Foundation’s website.
Vadivu started an initiative in Singapore to inspire greater happiness and kindness. In her blog, www.happiness.sg, she has a section on “Unity” in which she shares personal experiences, ideas, and resources for living in peace, even if others hurt us. She has used Mattie’s poetry to spread this message, and has shared his poem titled “I AM” at a workshop on ethnic diversity. Her mother is a teacher, who also shares Mattie’s poetry, especially the “For Our World” poem, with her students. According to Vadivu, “We can keep the spirit of Mattie’s messages to us alive by striving to live out the principles he captured in his poems; with such sacred eloquence. It is an honor for me to collaborate with Mattie’s mom, Jeni, and with the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation.”
To read Vadivu’s blog on Mattie’s poem,
or to view her “Awake, Happy, Kind” blog,
please visit http://www.happiness.sg/forourworld/
FALL 2013 UPDATE from Vadivu:
During September, 2013, Vadivu was a guest speaker at
a Model UN Conference at the
United World College of Southeast Asia.
The audience was youth who care about international affairs.
Her goal was to speak about bringing the spirit of peace to our daily lives.
Mattie was one of the people Vadivu chose to use as a source of inspiration,
and she shared several of the videos and other information from www.MattieOnline.com.