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    IFLAC is a voluntary Association that strives for peace by building bridges of understanding and peace through culture, literature and communication. IFLAC is founded and directed by Egyptian-born Israeli writer Ada Aharoni (Ph.D), since 1999.

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    Poem of the Month, March 2014: For Our World

    Text: Solveig Hansen

    What now? What next? When the world stopped turning that dark September day in 2001, so many tried to find the right words of comfort and understanding. Mattie J.T. Stepanek’s (1990-2004) response was For Our World, which he wrote the same evening. He was then eleven years old – a child, wise beyond his years. Mattie wrote his first poems at the age of three. He was almost 14 when he died due to complications of Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy.

    Listen to Mattie himself reading the poem:


    By Mattie Stepanek
    September 11, 2001

    We need to stop.
    Just stop.
    Stop for a moment.
    Before anybody
    Says or does anything
    That may hurt anyone else.
    We need to be silent.
    Just silent.
    Silent for a moment.
    Before we forever lose
    The blessing of songs
    That grow in our hearts.
    We need to notice.
    Just notice.
    Notice for a moment.
    Before the future slips away
    Into ashes and dust of humility.
    Stop, be silent, and notice.
    In so many ways, we are the same.
    Our differences are unique treasures.
    We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
    To nurture, to offer, to accept.
    We need to be.
    Just be.
    Be for a moment.
    Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
    Like children and lambs,
    Never judging or vengeful
    Like the judging and vengeful.
    And now, let us pray,
    Differently, yet together,
    Before there is no earth, no life,
    No chance for peace.

    Mattie’s wish was that these words would serve as an international passage of peace. 10 years after 9/11, Mattie’s Foundation, run by his mother, initiated the For Our World Campaign with the goal of spreading Mattie’s words around the world in all languages. So far the poem has been translated into some 50 languages.

    For our World by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Hope Through Heartsongs (Hyperion, 2005). Used with permission. For more information, please visit

    One Comment on “Poem of the Month, March 2014: For Our World”

    1. selenedreams says:

      great poem thank you


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