One week ago today, Sunday morning, August 11th, 2013, I was busy in the kitchen and my partner had sat down in her chair and pulled her computer onto her lap – as I had seen her do hundreds of times. Moments later, I heard her gasp and, as I turned toward her, heard an almost inaudible “Oh my…” as I saw her hands go to her face and in her facial expression I knew it was something serious. Then she started reading the email: “We are here to inform you that Bernard passed away in the early hours of Sunday the 11th of August…” By that time, I was signing on to my computer and minutes later read, then re-read, the same email that had just been read to me.
My initial reaction was one of sadness. I was sad for all of the people at the Desteni farm – his family and the Destonians that live there. I was sad – selfishly – that I would never get to meet Bernard in person and shake his hand and give him a big hug. I was sad for all of the Destonians scattered around the globe for the loss I figured each must be experiencing. But most of all, I was sad for the world… There have been but a handful of truly great men walk on this planet, and the world had just lost the greatest man I’d ever known – or known of…
I shed a few tears, then, as I looked at this sadness, I also knew that B wouldn’t have wanted anyone to go into any kind of pity-party due to his passing. (After all, twenty-something-thousand children die every single day due to preventable causes – lack of food, poor sanitation, and no access to clean water – to name a few.) No, he wouldn’t have it – I knew that. He had provided his family – and everyone in Desteni – with all of the support and preparation they’d need to carry on after he was gone from this physical existence and, it is now up to Us to carry on – to continue spreading the message of equality to the world.
Bernard led the way – and he was a leader unlike any other leader we see in our world today. Where most of today’s so-called leaders – be they in government, corporations or religions – just give lip service to principles, Bernard Poolman Lived principles. He lived his words. There was never any doubt of where Bernard Poolman stood on any issue and it was – and is – oh, so simple: he Always chose What’s Best for All.
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve either read or heard these words from Bernard:
- Investigate All things and keep that which is good.
- Give as you would like to Receive (or)
- Do to another as you would have them do to you, and
- Love your Neighbor as yourself.
With the tools of Self-honesty, Self-forgiveness, and Self-corrective application, to help each of us see and figure out how we are responsible for – and have created – this world through our acceptances and allowances, Bernard showed us how to live these principles. And it will be through Living these Principles that we will one day create Heaven on Earth.
If I would have had the opportunity to say one more thing to Bernard it would simply have been: Thank You. That’s it. He dedicated his life to creating a world that’s Best for All – Always and in All Ways – and was still doing just that when he died. And, for that – the principles by which he Lived his Life – I am eternally grateful.