Last month marked the twentieth anniversary of a speech given to the world delegates attending the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. Four 12-year-old girls from Canada, who raised the money on their own to fly down to South America, stood before the delegates and gave them a proverbial “slap in the face” wake-up call speech that silenced the members for over five minutes. (Hence the title of the video of this speech, “The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes.”)
I came across this video by chance a few years ago while doing video research on another topic. This is one of those speeches that speaks for itself and for me to go over the speech will not do it any justice, for on its own, this video has gone viral internationally. What I will say about it is how this video, this speech, affects me.
I teach Sunday school (PSR) and the boys and girls in my class are the same age as the girls from the video. Each time I hear this speech, I can’t help but wonder what has changed, or not changed, for the better or worse, in the world during the past two decades since this speech. Whenever I stand in front of my class talking about Catholicism and the life of Jesus here on Earth, I look at these children and pray that they may find their voice as they continue to grow in their Faith.
Each time I watch this video, I hear the messages of Jesus and of St. Francis of Assisi come out of the mouth of this young girl as she speaks.
All I ask is that you take five minutes in silence to watch the video and listen for yourself.
*** God Bless***
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