Many elderly people contribute huge amounts to our society. I don't want to minimise the substantial obstacles that many older people face to achieve a better quality of life. Far too many live in poverty and isolation, in poor housing, and in neighbourhoods where they feel excluded and unsafe. They need support to improve their health and well being and to feel that they are valued for who they are and what they contribute.
Ever since I was quite young I have felt most strongly the need to contribute in whatever way I can towards a renewed search for balance and harmony in our existence and in the way we use and enjoy the world around us.
Wisdom, empathy and compassion have no place in the empirical world, yet traditional wisdoms would ask "without them are we truly human?". And it would be a good question. It was Socrates who, when asked for his definition of wisdom, gave as his conclusion, "knowing that you don't know".
I am also delighted to see at first hand what you have achieved through the Business Leaders Forum here in Hungary, having met many of you in London, at Highgrove, and elsewhere over the past few years. What we do often seems intangible at the time, because it is the process which is so important: a process designed to involve people; to encourage them - rather than people in London or elsewhere -to own their own problems and the solutions, a process which transfers ideas, skills, good practices and hard learned lessons. Now we can show that it is also a process which leads to sustainability.
But, Ladies and Gentleman, now is not the time for us to be gloomy about all these things. This afternoon is a celebration of the best. And I particularly wanted to congratulate all the prize winners and runners-up, and all those who are working so hard to give people the best quality food. And all I can say is keep up the good fight!
I have long had an instinctive sense of the value of the Commonwealth. It encourages and celebrates cultural diversity and makes no attempt to homogenise - and in this it teaches those of us living in multi-racial societies like Britain or Trinidad and Tobago a valuable lesson.
In the last hundred years or so years, and especially in the last one hundred, mankind has made enormous progress, not least by the development of scientific thought and the industrialisation of production. But this progress has been at a price.
The distinctly tepid response sixteen years ago when, as President of the British Medical Association, I first broached the subject of integrated medicine was ample evidence of the uphill struggle ahead.
I approach this task with great humility. We have come today to this House of God, people of different faiths, myself as a Christian, to remember in our hearts - for that is where his memory truly lies - a faithful follower of Islam, a man amongst men and a King amongst Kings.
People tell me that being diagnosed with a cancer is like suddenly finding yourself in an unknown land, with no map, no compass, no sign posts and no knowledge of the language.