His story had the power to reach inside and speak to individuals - to me - far greater than the Archbishop of Canterbury's exhortations to peace.
On Tuesday I was at a conference where a workshop leader spoke about Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Manchester. He spoke of how people's views on them change when they here the plight that many people arriving in the UK face. 'You just have to hear their stories...',
the workshop leader said. And indeed many of their stories deserve our compassion not derision.
For some years I have kept a notebook, largely to remember things I might write about in the future, but at times it has become something of a personal journal. This time last year we nursed someone very close in the last week of their life, and yesterday I read my notes of that week.
I was both really pleased and deeply moved by the story I had recorded there. Remembering day by day what we had gone through together - the humour and pain - was easier for having the simple practical details laid out before me.
Much of my personal recollections deserve to be shared - not yet though. My point is that the story, in its telling - no matter how great the audience - is both a therapy and a possible source of future comfort for anyone else faced with a similar challenge.
I have recently been helping my friends develop a new website called Experience My Culture (www.experiencemyculture.com), my primary reason for thinking it is such a good idea is that we have such a lot to gain by sharing our stories.
If you consider your own life's events to be not worthy of remembering or recording, think again.
Our stories have the power to change lives and futures.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange