Striving for kindness

2009-01-23 00:00

Bobby Hackland-Morris was in Pietermaritzburg recently to enlist people in the Ubuntu Peace Project.

In 2006, Hackland-Morris’s sister-in-law, Gill Wheedon, was knifed to death at her home in Scottsville. The following day, Thulasizwe Mngomezulu, the director of the Heritage Department in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, was stabbed to death in the city centre.

People were outraged at the deaths of these two socially committed members of the community. Hackland-Morris was quoted in The Witness at the time as saying: “We should strive for peace and kindness instead of fighting against violence.” It is these words that form the basis of the Ubuntu Peace Project.

Hackland-Morris became aware of the mind-body connection after she was badly injured in a car accident. As a committed dancer she was devastated when doctors told her she’d never walk again. She decided to find a way to heal herself in spite of the doctor’s predictions.

“I spent three-and-a-half years reading everything to do with the mind-body connection,” she explained at her talk recently. “I journeyed from religiosity to spirituality and realised that everything in the world is energy. Divine intelligence is in every single particle of life. Because of that, we create our reality with our thoughts and beliefs. We are created in the image of God and can connect with God through meditation and prayer. In this way we can all become part of a wave of peace to heal our country.”

Hackland-Morris cites Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success as one of the books that changed her life. She was invited last year by Chopra to be a delegate at his Alliance for New Humanity Foundation. It strengthened her resolve to bring an end to crime, violence, war and poverty. Her Ubuntu Peace Project encourages all to embrace Mahatma Ghandi’s vision that we “become the change you want to see in the world”.

“Anger creates more anger,” says Hackland-Morris. “By fighting against crime and violence, you focus on what you don’t want and that is exactly what you get: more crime.”

The Ubuntu Peace Project’s message is to strive towards peace and kindness, as opposed to fighting against violence. It reminds one of Mother Theresa’s refusal to join an anti-war rally. She told the organisers to call her when there was a march for peace instead.

• For more information about the Ubuntu Peace Project, visit

• Janet van Eeden is a part-time teacher and writer.

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