Hiran Abeysekara has won award for Best Actor this year at the Laurence Olivier Awards at Royal Albert Hall in London.
He won the award for his extraordinary performance in the play “Life of Pi”. The awards recognize the excellence in professional theatre in London.
The Olivier Awards are recognized internationally as the highest honor in British theatre, equivalent to the BAFTA Awards for film and television, and the BRIT Awards for music.
The Olivier Awards are considered equivalent to Broadway’s Tony Awards and France’s Molière Awards.
Paying tribute to his motherland, Sri Lanka, Hiran made an interesting speech. Hiran mentioned Sri Lanka was going through a “tough time now… I think of you and wish I was there with you”.
In his mother tongue, he uttered “machanla mama umbalata adarei”, which means, “I love you my brothers. He also stated “I wish I was there with you.”
The words are truly amazing. As a Sri Lankan, he feels the agony of other people even if he is not there with them. Moreover, he adds, “Sabbe Sattā Bhavantu Sukhitattā”. That means may all beings be well and happy.
In writing this article, I would like to elaborate more on two humane qualities highlighted in his speech.
- Pure love
“I think of you and wish I was there with you.” This is the first thing felt by anyone in a critical situation who is away from his/her motherland. Even if you live miles and miles away from your people, you would really want to be with them and be of assistance when there is a crisis.
Sri Lanka is going through a financial crisis that deprives many Sri Lankans of the bare necessities of everyday life. Sri Lankans overseas would remember them every day as they get to use daily needs such as milk, rice, gas, and electricity etc.
The purest form of love called loving-kindness is sharing love and care with anyone who lives at any distance with no strings attached. It necessarily need not be your closed ones, but any living being in the universe.
When we consider every being out there as our friends, we wish nothing but the best for them. That means wishing for the mental and physical well-being of others.
Compassion means to be sensitive to another person’s suffering. It is a way of caring for others when they are in need of your help. Here, Hiran’s wish of being there with fellow Sri Lankans is an example of compassion. In Buddhist texts, it is called karuṇā.
When you are overseas, it is easy to forget your past in the motherland and live a new life. However, at this wonderful moment of winning the best actor reward, Hiran remembers his fellow brothers and sisters who are stuck in the country.
A compassionate mind is the beginning of compassionate words and acts. It diminishes selfishness and lets you extend a helping hand toward others.
No matter where we live, we need to cultivate love and compassion toward others. Those are excellent humane qualities that strengthen bonds among human beings.