The roots of benevolence reach far beyond history and deep into a common struggle shared with our mammalian and primate cousins. Would humanity have survived the trials and tribulations of evolution if selfishness, greed, envy and violence were not increasingly curbed by benevolence? In humans, it is the reciprocation of good in deed, thought and expression among human beings that continues to guarantee our survival as a troubled species. The foundation to what was eventually coined albeit simplistically, as the “Golden Rule”.
Perhaps the singular characteristic that distinguishes Persians from other ancient cultures at the dawn of civilization, could be the nomadic nature of a multicultural, pluralist society that culminated in the flatlands of Iran. Benevolence is perhaps the unifying and principal thesis underlying the ancient cylinder of Cyrus the Great. A thesis that heralded a major turning point for humanity.
The elegant simplicity of Benevolence was the essential currency to help small, nomadic tribes in their struggle for survival. Good thoughts that would lead to good utterances to achieve good deeds. An inspiration that fuelled the fascination of western philosophers from ancient studies of Hermippus, to modern times when Friedrich Nietzsche spoke through Zarathustra.
Canada is a modern iteration of a society shaped by multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. The Canadian model heralds the promise of peace and progress in the global tapestry affected by conflict and upheaval. A model that passionately aspires to protect its aboriginal citizens while shaping an efficient multi-cultural society in which diversity and respect for minority are virtues that guarantee Canada’s success as a country on the leading edge of civilization. The ancient quilt of Iranian culture in which ethnic, religious and cultural diversity are deeply engrained, fits flush within the Canadian cultural mosaic model. The Tirgan biennial showcases the contribution of Iranians to Canadian culture. A festival that emphasizes benevolence. A pure and simple, yet essential theme for humanity to strive for.