Friday, July 29, 2011

Concensus

In a recent blog I stated "peace begins with concensus - not rule by the majority or levels of authority. This majority rule system in place in the United States since 1776 has led us to a path of endless cycles of conflict - whether among ourselves or with other nations. There is no better example than the gridlock that exits in Washington, D.C. today. The entire government that controls the livelihood of millions of Americans is on the brink of falling apart because of the headstrong and stubborn refusal of people sent to represent so many different views to find a way that can work for everyone instead of having "their way" or no way. This happened in 1914 when the entire continent of Europe was in a stalemate of endless slaughter and the debilitation of national economies so that over 25 million died from famine after the "cease fire." The famines and starvation in African countries resulting from years of civil war and political unrest are other examples. Isn't it time the people in our country opened up their minds to find solutions that would be in the best interests of everyone in this country to continue to provide "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," or food and water (in ample quantities and quality for everyone), freedom from fear that we will not have the basic necessities of clothing and shelter, and the pursuit of happiness - living life to the fullest according to the choices each individual makes."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time to End the Cycle?

A young Palestinian man was found in Israel; he had a bomb strapped to him. And when it detonated, it didn't detonate properly and he was wounded. But he did not get the triumphant results that he was seeking; he did not blow himself up and the people that were around him. And so he was captured. And when the newsman was asking him, why did you do this? He said, "They killed my friend and I wanted to die." In other words, it was that simple: "They killed my friend and I wanted to die." We think that those pure and simple words speak to this (Middle East Crisis) more clearly than all other words that have been spoken. It is that feeling that you've done this to me, so I'll do this to you, then you'll do this to me, and then I'll do this to you. And what happens in that is: It just gets bigger and bigger, and bigger. And no one ever wins. There is no triumph that ever comes from any of that.

This was sent to me in an email and I thought it spoke volumes about how things keep spiraling.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Choosing Peace

My little corner of the world is more joyful when I choose peace. I am not always successful, but when I am I realize how much I prefer choosing peace. There are several ways that I choose peace. The more I choose peace, the easier it is to do this. I choose peace whe:

1. I stop judging and show compassion.
2. I seek friends instead of enemies.
3. I forgive instead of getting even.
4. I bless instead of condemn.
5. I am thankful instead of resentful.
6, I stop to smell the roses.
7. I allow someone else to be right.
8. I refuse to listen to or spread gossip (hard one for me).
9. I move aside for someone obviously in a hurry.
10. I respond instead of react.

I am never 100 percent successful at this, but the more I practice, the more peaceful my world becomes. I am also a lot healthier!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake!

I had occasion to be somewhere when a person came with an offer of left over cookies from an event to give for the less fortunate. I will not mention the group because it doesn't matter and I'm not making judgements. This act reminded me of the famous quotation from Marie Antoinette who "lost her head" during the bloody French Revolution. When the queen was told that the masses were hungry without bread to eat, her response was "Let Them Eat Cake." I am not putting this generous person in the same category as Marie Antoinette but I believe when massive numbers of people are hungry and hopeless, society needs to address the problem with more than a band aid for everyone's benefit.There's a lot of unused land in the inner cities that could be cleared by the unemployed and used for a community garden to serve anyone willing to go into it and work and take the food and cook it, can it, freeze it whatever. We have the resources to feed the hungry and it doesn't have to be "cake."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peace and Human Rights

Peace is most prevalent in those countries where human rights are most respected. Aside from natural disasters violence in the United States that has disrupted internal peace has been connected to groups pursuing human rights. The Civil War and the violence during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's are two examples that come to mind. Dr. Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 because of his determined stance to honor passive resistance and avoid use of violence while promoting the cause of human rights for African Americans in this country. Therefore, I believe that the person or group that can be instrumental in affecting change and bring stability to Afghanistan is not some outside military force but those people within the country who are working at great risk to their own safety to advocate for human rights. One such person is Dr. Sima Samar, Chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Rights Commission. Read about her work as an Afghan rights advocate at http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Time for Peace: Is Peace a Choice?

A Time for Peace: Is Peace a Choice?: "http://youtu.be/p05E_ohaQGk If soldiers can make peace for one day, would it be possible to decide to stop the fighting for good?"

Is Peace a Choice?

http://youtu.be/p05E_ohaQGk  If soldiers can make peace for one day, would it be possible to decide to stop the fighting for good?