‘Human Values Festival’ at North Bergen Library

Residents inspired to spread positive vibes

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Photos by Art Schwartz

The North Bergen Free Public Library held a unique event called the “Human Values Festival,” which featured informative discussions on the values that individuals should focus on in order to have a positive impact on those who surround them.

On Sept. 28, a group called ISSE-USA visited the library for a few hours. Hundreds of people browsed around 18 popup tables, each of which had a themed activity. More than 500 people turned out to learn more.

ISSE-USA, which stands for the Institute of Sathya Sai Education USA, focuses on the spiritual teachings of a world-famous guru, Sathya Sai Baba, who among other things amassed a multi-billion-dollar charitable trust, and promoted guidelines for living in a way that positively affects one’s surroundings.

The Sathya Sai Organization, which he founded, established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, auditoriums, schools, and ashrams (monasteries) in India and around the world.

ISSE-USA’s mission is to promote holistic development and mentorships based on five universal human values, which are “truth, right action, peace, love, and nonviolence.”

The activities, in a joint effort between the library and ISSE-USA, were designed to instill positive values for visitors of all ages.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco attended and stopped by the various tables to meet the many families who turned out for the upbeat discussion.

Eleni Theodorou, a bullying prevention educator and author of “Noko the Knight: Empowering Kids to Embrace Their Emotions Effectively,” addressed the group.

ISSE-USA holds programs, seminars, and events across the country, promoting human values. It visits libraries, schools, and prisons among other venues. Its philosophy is dubbed “educare,” which focuses on confidence, being compassionate toward all people and other living things, and practical skills that lead to success in personal life, education, work, family life, and contributing to one’s community.

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