Tag Archives: Bloggers for Peace

Pray for Peace – 6WS

Saturday, pray with Pope for peace…

pray for peace today and everyday;

communicate for peace today and everyday;

act for peace today and everyday;

the world needs more peaceful people;

say your prayer; spread the peace!

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Pray for Peace_

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Inspired by


September Peace Post

If-in-our-daily-life-we

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20130902-020209.jpgComic Strip Credit: Holy Molé Cartoons by Rick Hotton

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Inspired by (Click on badge for more info)b4peace

“For this month’s Peace Challenge, I challenge you to post a quotation that will bring peace to the world.”
-Kozo


August Peace Post

b4peace

“For this month’s Peace Challenge I want to invoke the power of music…Post anything about the intersection of music and peace…”
-Kozo

For August’s peace challenge, I’ve chosen to post a video I found on YouTube of the song “Some Where Over The Rainbow” arranged by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. It’s a combination of “Over the Rainbow” written by Yip Harburg and “What a Wonderful World” written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. Israel’s song reminds me of longing for peace and finding it in the events of everyday life. The images in the video are also very peaceful and soothing. Enjoy! Peace be with you!

“Wherever you go, God be with you.”
-Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


July Peace Post

b4peace

“For this month’s peace challenge, I encourage you to write a letter for peace and send it out into the Universe. You may not get an answer, but you will make a difference.”
-Kozo

This month’s challenge reminded me of a song I heard several years ago. It was less of a song and more of a speech or letter to young people. The song is called “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).” It turns out the song is based on a speech/letter written by a newspaper columnist for the class of 1997. This letter has been erroneously attributed to Kurt Vonnegut and has been given several different dates. Below is a video of the song that became a hit in the late 90’s and the letter below it. It’s a little unusual, but you’ll see it makes some good sense in giving the reader or listener some good advice in finding peace in their life. So, instead of writing my own letter, I’d like to share this letter/song that shares some of my own views and lessons I’ve taught or plan to teach my son.

By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune (June 1, 1997 – Original Article)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


May Peace Post – The Art of Peace

“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

-Anais Nin

b4peace

“For the month of May, we will focus on art. I believe that art has the ability to transform the soul. If art can change a soul, then it can change the world. What piece of art makes you a more peaceful person?”

-Kozo of Bloggers for Peace

The May challenge for Bloggers for Peace is “the art of peace”. Thinking about what to post, I remembered something a coworker said to me several years ago. While working on my undergraduate degree in college, I had a summer job. One day as we sat at our desks, I noticed my coworker looked worried and exhausted. She had taken off her eyeglasses. I asked her if she was okay. She told me she was tired. Then, she went on to explain why she took off her eyeglasses. She told me that she liked taking her glasses off when she was stressed, so she could experience her world in a blur. She further explained that everything looked softer, more peaceful, like a Monet painting. This technique sounded great to me. I wear eyeglasses, and Monet is one of my favorite artists, so I started taking my glasses off when I felt tense. Since then, I’ve kept the habit of taking my glasses off when I feel stressed or tired. Truly, I see a more peaceful image. Not so sharp or painful. I guess, sometimes, you just need to escape a little to continue to deal with the world and find a little peace. Or maybe, you need to learn to see the world in a different way.

Below are some of Monet’s peaceful, soft paintings.

Peace be with you!

Unloading Charcoal by Claude Monet Unloading Charcoal by Claude Monet

20130526-001138.jpgRed Poppies by Claude Monet

20130526-001833.jpgTulip Fields in Holland by Claude Monet


Spiritual Peace

(February Peace Post)

“May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”

St. Thérèse de Lisieux

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If you’re interested in promoting peace through blogging and want to become a Blogger for Peace, commit to write one blog post on peace once a month and click on the badge below to let Kozo at Everyday Gurus know you want to join. You can post a photo, video, essay, or anything you want that has to do with peace. Kozo is also providing a monthly post where he gives a peace challenge which can give inspiration for your monthly peace post.


Peace, Kindness, and Attention

(January Peace Post & January Peace Challenge entry)

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
-Simone Weil

Photo of a small pond inside the Cave Without a Name near Boerne, Texas, in 2012. You can’t help but listen to every sound in a cave. Caves are usually so quiet.

Paying attention to someone, really listening to him or her, is a major act of kindness and peace for me. So often, I find that when I take my attention away from someone, my appreciation for that person’s experience diminishes in someway. I think you need to pay attention to the person that’s talking to really appreciate and understand the person. Also, how do I expect to have someone listen to me if I don’t listen to them. I mean truly listen, truly pay attention to where this person is coming from. Their experience, their pain, their joy. So often, I think we believe our experience, pain, joy is it. But it’s not. I see news stories of conflict in the United States, in the Middle East, Africa, and basically all over the world. Come to think of it, conflict appears to be a natural part of the human condition. Okay, maybe it is. However, I think if there were more listening going on and less judging and shooting there would be more peace.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
-Aristotle

Disagreements do happen, since we’re different. Although we are all human, we have all been raised in different contexts. Consequently, all these contexts create a variety of experiences and beliefs. Maybe same earth, but different country. Maybe same country, different religion. Maybe same religion, different family. Maybe same family, different time. And the examples go on and on. These differences often scare us. Maybe that’s one reason we don’t pay attention and listen. But listening and paying attention to another’s different experience doesn’t make our experience any less. What ruins my experience and the other person’s experience is not listening and not paying attention. Forcing my experience on someone else with the assumption that someone with a different experience will accept my experience by force only creates some sort of conflict sooner or later. Instead, listening and paying attention brings the understanding of another person’s experience and encourages that person to listen and pay attention to my experience. The attention and listening open the door to true communication. Can you see how that comes closer to peace than forcing beliefs on someone and expecting resolution? I’m guessing that truly listening and paying attention may sound naive to some people, but I’d like to think there are better ways to deal with disagreements than being judgemental or shooting towards someone you don’t really know.

“…the LORD came and stood there, calling out as before: ‘Samuel, Samuel!’
Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.'”
-1 Samuel 3:10

It’s easy not to listen and want others to listen to me. It’s also easier to pray to God and expect Him to listen to all my prayers. My peace challenge for myself today and everyday is to do my best to listen and pay attention to other people’s experience because mine is not the only experience. Also everyday, I will do my best to listen to God, because life is bigger than me.

Below are some ideas for better listening that I’ve found helpful through my experience, reading, or from professors, family, and friends:

Practice a martial art or other physical exercise routine to learn discipline and self-control. You need self-control to keep from snapping at and yelling at someone you disagree with and listen without judgement.

Practice prayer, contemplation, meditation, or other spiritual exercise to quiet your feelings, mental chatter, and worry and develop discipline and self-control. With a calm mind, your attention and listening skills can improve.

Be kind to yourself and de-stress. Find ways to lower your stress such as exercise, relaxation techniques, fun activities, music, family time, friend time. You don’t work great with others when you’re stressed. At least I don’t.

Be aware of your own values. What pushes your buttons? Being clear about your own values helps you prepare to react better when someone pushes your buttons or disagrees with you. And understanding what is important to you helps you be more considerate and respecting of what is important to someone else.

Be aware of your attending and listening behavior. Are you looking at the person who is talking to you or are you looking at your cellphone, computer, TV, etc. Are you focusing on what is important to the person through what they emphasize and the feelings they express? Or are you focusing on how silly you think their ideas are, and how you think your ideas and experience are better?

Here’s a musical piece that gives me a little peace of mind to listen better. Enjoy! It’s Meditation from Thais, by Jules Massenet, performed by Itzak Perlman.

If you’re interested in promoting peace through blogging and want to become a Blogger for Peace, commit to write one blog post on peace once a month and click on the badge below to let Kozo at Everyday Gurus know you want to join. You can post a photo, video, essay, or anything you want that has to do with peace. Kozo is also providing a monthly post where he gives a peace challenge which can give inspiration for your monthly peace post. January’s peace challenge is “Acts of Kindness“.


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