The following speech was given by my friend friend His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, in the days and weeks following the worst terror attack on the people of Norway in at least my generation. I am sure it will inspire you, as it has already inspired me. Full text, shared as follows.


His Royal Highness The Crown Prince
Appeal at City Hall Square 25 July 2011

Tonight the streets are filled with love.

We have chosen to defy brutality with fellowship.
We have chosen to counter hatred with solidarity.
We have chosen to make it plain what we stand for.

Norway is a nation in mourning. Our thoughts go to all those who have suffered loss, who are grieving.

To all who have worked so heroically to save lives and re-establish our security. And to our leaders, who have been so put to the test these past days.

The acts of terror may have targeted the people on Utøya and in the government buildings, but it has affected us all.

With terrible clarity they have shown us how enormous the consequences of one person’s actions can be.

And at the same time they demonstrate that each individual’s attitudes count, that it matters what we choose base our lives on. And how we choose to use this to benefit each other and the society in which we live.

After July 22nd we can never again allow ourselves to think that our opinions and beliefs don’t matter. We must go into every day ready to do battle for the free and open society which we hold so dear.

To our young people: You are our corrective, our courage and our hope. It is you who will shape and determine Norway’s course in years to come. We have none of you to spare. Yet we have lost so many.

No one will take from us the Norway that we want.

Tonight the streets are filled with love.

We have a choice to make. We cannot undo what has been done.
But we can choose what we let it do to us, as a society and as individuals.
We can decide that no one should ever have to stand alone.
We can choose to stand together.

It is up to each of us now. It is up to you and it is up to me.

We have a job to do together. It is a job we have to do around the dinner table, in lunchrooms, in our clubs and organisations, a job for all men and women, in all our cities, villages and towns.

We want a Norway:

Where we can live together as a community, at liberty to think freely and express our views.
Where differences are perceived as potential.
Where freedom is stronger than fear.

Tonight the streets are filled with love.

Note from John Hope Bryant:

HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway is a co-founder of Global Dignity, along with our friend and fellow former YGL, Professor Pekka Himanen and myself. As a result of our deep friendship and the work we do around the world, we spend a lot of time in Norway. Norway, is family, to us all.

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