“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -- Marcel Proust

Are there people you’ve known who have made a great impact on your life? A teacher who inspired you, a coach who encouraged you, a friend who was always there when you needed a listening ear? It is remarkable how one person can plant a seed of faith or courage or support that can change you forever.

There are people whose dedication and commitment to their beliefs have changed the world. Some of these people have been unknown to the masses; others have received recognition for their efforts. Every year a Nobel Prize is awarded to men and women who live the truths they espouse.

Alfred Nobel’s story is an interesting one. He made a fortune manufacturing explosives to be used during wartime. Even when one of his brothers was killed when one of the factories blew up, he continued his work. Nobel’s life changed when another brother died, and the obituary published in the paper mistakenly described Alfred’s life. The headline read “The Merchant of Death is Dead.” When Nobel saw his life described in that way, it was a wake-up call for him to make an impact in a much different way.

Encouraged by his friend Bertha Suttner, Alfred Nobel dedicated his fortune to prizes to recognize people in the arts, sciences, and peace. To this day, the Nobel prizes bring recognition to people who determinedly (and sometimes quietly) make a difference in the world.

People who win such prizes do not have a goal to do so. They simply do their work, they live their high ideals, they plant seeds of peace. Whether we know their names or not, our lives are changed because of them.

Imagine what it would be like if some of these Nobel Laureates came together to discuss their ideas of peace. How intriguing it would be! This is the seed idea of The Invitation, a program presented in the World’s First Peace Dome at the College of Metaphysics in Missouri.

The Invitation brings together eight Nobel Peace Laureates across time and space. They discuss their ideas with each other. The words they speak are the words they actually spoke when they accepted the Nobel Prize. Being in the presence of these men and women is a remarkable experience. They come to life, planting seeds in the consciousness of the audience, inspiring people to imagine how they could be peacemakers in their own lives.

I have portrayed Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel laureate from Iran, for the past four years. I have learned much about our world by studying her life (she is still alive), along with the other Nobel laureates: Albert Schweitzer, Linus Pauling, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alva Myrdal, Betty Williams, Mother Teresa, and H.H. the Dalai Lama.

The Invitation is an invitation to be a peacemaker so that we can all live in a garden of truth and harmony. I hope that everyone who is invested in self growth and aiding other people realizes how powerful one person can be. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Although Gandhi never won a Nobel prize, his life and message was an inspiration to peacemakers around the word. Let us all bring peace to the world through our own effort and example.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurel Clark is the President of the School of Metaphysics. For the last three years she has portrayed Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Laureate from Iran, in The Invitation. You can contact her through the School of Metaphysics, a not-for-profit educational institution with 15 branches in nine Midwestern states. Dr. Clark hasbeen teaching metaphysics since 1979, is an ordained minister in the Interfaith Church of Metaphysics, and an intuitive counselor. She has written several books, including one entitled The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization. She is currently writing a book on The Law of Abundance. The School of Metaphysics has websites at http://www.som.org and http://www.dreamschool.org.