Whether you're in the business of helping people or not, it's hard to sit back and watch a situation like Ferguson unfold. With information coming at us via social channels, muddied like a game of telephone, it can be difficult to discern which side is right or wrong (as if it's ever that simple anyway), much less take any sort of action.
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the "Wisdom of the Elders Pillars of Peace" conference focusing on peace, compassion and ethical leadership.
For some, nationalism can feel like all they have. Others turn to a gang, revenge, or a twisted form of Islam. None of this, of course, remotely excuses invasions, gang violence, massacres or terrorism. But it may be a warning that we can't just flatten the world. We also have to find ways to fill it up.
Here is a list of terms taken from different cultures and languages (English, Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit and Bantu) that all form part of the quest for that one elusive word: peace.
In all of our lifetimes we have seen the United States led into war based on inaccurate and false assertions of dangers and horrors, often for the benefit of a few. It should not happen again.
To paraphrase Churchill : Homo Sapiens will always eventually arrive at the right solution -- after trying everything else. Our question : how long and how many unnecessary deaths will it take ?
Abu-Adil, my source within IS, sees all of us as unfaithful. The man at the dinner party. My friends in Stockholm. The journalist in Turkey. To him we are all infidel pigs, and we shall either convert, pay religious taxes, die och flee.
Rockets fired. Retaliation ensues. A shaky peace follows and we are back at another round of negotiations in the stop-and-start cycle of ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza confrontation. As talk turns back to how to re-start the broken peace process, even as Israel claims fresh territory in the West Bank, let us consider something radically different.
I am told that if a small group of American Muslims drawn from both the Sunni and Shia strands of Islam, and from different ethnicities come together to discuss solutions they will come up with ideas that can lead to breakthroughs.
Gratitude is part of the puzzle; the other main part is being kind to myself. I have cranky, sad and lethargic moments too. But instead of criticizing myself at those times OR faking gratitude I have experimented with another practice backed by science.
"Mommy," he piped up from the back seat in his sweet little voice, "I don't like people who have different skin color than mine." My brain sort of froze, but I stayed on the road as I gulped in discomfort.
The United States simply cannot return to the Cold War days of nuclear tests. We have not carried out any tests since 1992. We need to keep it that way. The alternative is downright scary.
We should do more to help potential entrepreneurs in places where domestic economies are too weak to assist. If we give this effort a higher priority in our country's foreign policy, we can create a healthier balance of world commerce.
"The world is a reflection of who we are and if we don't like the reflection, it doesn't really help to break the mirror." -- Deepak Chopra at Global ...
Volatility and overwhelming emotions like sadness are flooding into everyone's consciousness, but that's our key to freedom right there: realizing we're tapping into everyone's consciousness -- as in the collective consciousness of the planet.
We need real leadership now in both Israel and Palestine, leaders who will not just stammer and blabber, but who will put forth courageous and realistic plans for peace, rather than simply blame the other side and go on preparing for the next war.