Acknowledgment (Part I)

Image: Abstract, by Luis Trápaga

Dear Mr. Pablo Pacheco,

My name is Sebastian Lebre. I work as a presenter on Dutch television and thanks to my job I have had the luck to see a large part of the world. In this way I have come into contact with many different cultures, regions, and different forms of spirituality; with poverty and absurd wealth. I have also spoken to people who are from countries ruled by dictators. All of these things that I have experienced have been translated continually into themes for my show. There you can experience many of the good and bad things that our world has to offer. I do not pretend to know how such things in life feel, but of course these experiences have allowed me to better understand and appreciate the fact that I live in a free country, which for me constitutes a grand fortune and something that I should think about every once in a while.

You wrote this text in November 2003: “The enemies of freedom can have strength but not reason; can have laws but not justice; can have means of communication but not the truth; can manipulate the thoughts of a man but not his conscience; can jail his body but not his soul, the sign of a hero.”

To me it’s difficult to understand the immense strength that is needed to be consistent with these words in a system that does everything to shatter them. I can only express my deepest respect for that. I also think what you say is true: “They can destroy a man’s body, but never his will.” But I’m sure it’s much easier said than done.

I have spoken to numerous people about you and we all doubt that we’d have the same willpower that you have in a similar situation. In these conversations, we quickly drew comparisons between you and Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. They are examples of people with such a strong belief in their own convictions that they sacrificed everything in return for them. Each one of them had seen the light, so that they never again would be in darkness.

In my opinion you show exactly the same thing, and because of that I express my deepest admiration. It’s a shame I cannot do anything else for you, except to tell you that you are in my thoughts and in those of my friends. Perhaps these are only words I am blurting out, but ever since I read your story, you have become a source of inspiration for me.

I wish you a never-failing strength as well as the support, love and compassion of God and also very good health. You are in my thoughts.




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