I met Fernando Garcia(email@example.com) around 1980 when he came on a mission to spread Silo's message in India. I was deeply influenced by his sense of commitment, faith in Humanist doctrine, his interest in people, his attentive listening habits, his quick learning abilities and by the way he gave contemplative response to every situation. For me he was an incarnate of Silo, in flesh and blood. (Ref:- www.silo.net)
I lived and was surrounded by common people who had nothing to teach about higher dimensions of life. They did not know if there was a higher dimension of life at all. The only higher force for them was the concept of God. This concept was given to them by their religion, by tradition or by belief. The relationship with the concept of God involved fear, punishment, asking help, being protected etc. I could not see in them any depth of character. They had no ideals to live for. I could not see in them any non-negotiable values they stood for in life, nor was there no any firmness in approach to life.
against this, Fernando was completely a new character and a contrast. I had found in him a higher reference for life to learn from and be oriented towards what makes the life meaningful. I could see in him clear values and stand in front of daily situations of life. his behavior and simplicity matched his way of living.
I met Fernando with reference to Humanist Movement. In my association with him i could know the deeper meaning of Silo's teachings, and its practical applicability in daily life. I could grasp from these teachings how to make a sense out of whatever we did. All this was covered by the doctrine of Humanist Movement. The teaching imbibed by us during discussions, meetings, seminars and retreats.
Fernando had been prolific, insightful and very precise in giving new perspective to the points we discussed during events. He makes you see things in a new and meaningful way. His simplicity and very unassuming ways do not allow one to understand his depth of his character. He has been an amazing teacher, orientor and a guide for life. The members of Humanist Movement in India gave him a momento etched on a wooden plaque by laser. That plaque synthesized the common feeling of the people who came in contact with him for years. I feel it appropriate to include copy of that plaque as a separate attachment. (Included)*
His book Humanism in India (firstname.lastname@example.org)is a testimony of his deep study, penchant for authenticity and a synthesis of human landscape through which humanism passed through in India in different eras of its history.
It has been not just a great privilege to work with him, it is been a blessing to be in his association for over three decades.
When I asked, Fernando about essence of his stand on life, he said:
I think that, no matter how “great” our “I” may be, it will always have limitations.
Therefore, real greatness can only be achieved by placing our limited “I” at the service of what is truly boundless and impersonal in nature.
To achieve it, we should have at least a glimpse of what that “That” is.
In case we don’t have such a glimpse, we may still advance by intuition, placing our humble “I” at the service of something greater beyond it.
Thus, many people do it all the time in the name of, for instance, “our family,” “our country,” “humanity,” etc.
They mostly make a mistake when they do it as a self-affirmation against others;
when they believe that the good of some should be at the expense of others.
They also make a mistake when they do it while expecting some sort of reward for their service.
However, all mistakes can be overcome and move forward and upward.