World & Inner Peace

** Special section on Iraq and the Middle East situation. **

** My personal reaction to September 11, 2001 **


I grew up in the turbulent 60's.   The Vietnam war was raging, violence on campuses throughout the country, riots in Watts and across the south.   The radio was playing Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beatles.    The Beatles inspired me in more ways than I can say.   They preached love, peace, and enjoying life in their songs.   As I grew up they evolved too and their messages got deeper and more personal to me.   By the time John Lennon recorded "Give Peace A Chance" I had already felt the time was long due for just that;  peace.    Somewhere John is still out there so I'll say a cosmic "Thank you, John, for putting words to the ache in my soul."

"All we are saying...    is give peace a chance!"   

"How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?"  

My generation has screamed for peace while throwing rocks and spitting at others..  that never made much sense to me.    The teachings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. made much more sense.   How can we ask for peace by being violent.   It's like teaching children it's wrong to hit by spanking them.    Each of us needs to be responsible for our own actions.  No one else can make you hit someone, hurt someone, yell at someone, belittle someone, condemn someone, injure someone, or bring harm to someone.    You have it within yourself to treat others as you would wish to be treated.   Even if they do not respond in kind, it doesn't stop you from acting in a responsible and compassionate way.

Each and every one of us is a unique individual.   We each have our strengths and weaknesses.   How can we ask others to accept us with our flaws if we are unwilling to accept them in others?   And what we might consider a flaw, someone else might consider a strength.    So much of the tragic violence we see in the world today is where people feel they cannot accept the differences in others or they feel the others do not accept them.    If we all can open our hearts to honor the life of each person that we share this earth with...  if we can accept that we are all NOT the same...   if we can allow each individual to be the very best they can be, then perhaps we shall finally have a chance for peace.

I'm not alone in my desires to see the world become less violent.   There are more and more groups out there that are working for just this cause.   Please visit these sites, read what they have to say and do all you can to create a better world for us ALL to live in and hand over to our children and grandchildren.     Please!?    There is no one on this earth that has the power to create this in your life but you.

  MANIFESTO 2000   Back in May of 1999 Kyia took a vow to Luumpho of total nonviolence. At the time it was an effort on my part to promote peace and try to convey that we all have a choice in how we act in situations. That violence is a choice and so is peace; that you can choose Peace! I guess it must have been in the air because the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace. You can support the cause of peace by visiting this site and signing the petition.  PLEASE!!    Take a stand for peace!   One person at a time we CAN make a difference.

  We Stand for Peace and Justice   This site is dedicated to working for Peace and Justice in the world. "To win against... the causes of war and of injustice more broadly, we need to assemble tens of millions of active, committed movement members." They have written a powerful statement of commitment for peace that they are encouraging people from all over the world to read and sign. Please visit their site and consider signing this declaration.

  A Season For Nonviolence   This site is dedicated to the teaching of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.    Their purpose is to create an awareness of nonviolent  principles and practice as a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and communities.

   Mothers Peace Movement   I have exchanged some email with these people and I'm very impressed with their program.   They are trying to teach nonviolence to children in the hope that by raising a generation of people who realize they can choose NOT to be violent that our world will evolve in more peaceful and productive ways.   Please read what they have to say and pass their message along to our children.

   Ribbon of Promise   Thurston High School is only three miles from where I worked.   In May of 1998 a young man walked into the school after killing his parents and opened fire on his classmates, killing two boys and injuring 23 others.   Kip Kinkle is a very troubled young man, and the tragedy of this event moved this community to try to find answers.   The violence in our schools rips at the very core of our society; our youth.   Go to this site; read about how you can help stop this before any other community has to face  the pain that ours has.

   Tolerance Watch  This site is a Web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center that encourages people from all walks of life to "fight hate and promote tolerance."   My opinion has always been that education is the answer to hate.

   United Nations Peace and Security   Whether you agree with the United Nations on all of their actions or not, they do make efforts towards peace in this world.    Visit their site and learn all you can.

   Forgiving   We cannot heal the wounds of hate until we can forgive.  Such is the belief of many strong people..  such as Nobel Peace Prize winners, Bishop Desmond Tutu, President  Jimmy Carter.  Co-Chair of the organization is Ruby Bridges Hall who says, "To forgive is to set yourself free, to acknowledge that it does no good to hate. Hate really, really destroys both the other person and yourself."

   Do you know of another site the works for Peace? Please email me with the address so that I might share with others.

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