Saturday, December 11, 2004
Peaceful Time of the Year
10:52 am est
The holiday season is upon us. Lines of cars spiral slowly down freeways towards the many shopping malls. Parking lots
are jammed. Store coupons come our way more often than snowflakes. Tempers flare or become shorter with all the additional
pressures our consumer culture heaps upon us at this time of year. Christmas has very nearly become Consumer Day in our culture
and many children weigh the success of the day by the number or appropriateness of the gifts they have received.
All of the external activities of this time of year can leave our internal worlds famished and gasping for air. We have
choices to make as the turn of the year approaches and they are critical to our work as peacemakers. Take awareness along
with you as you plan this season's activities. Just being aware of the choices you are making for your participation in the
"hustle and bustle" of this time of year can light the way toward a more fulfilling, joyful and peaceful time of year. Take
peace along with you. Breathe. And know you are not alone on the journey.Peace, joy, and goodwill to you and your world. Peace.
Thursday, December 9, 2004
10:09 am est
Have you ever wondered why there are wars? When you were a child you had fights with your siblings or friends over turf
and toys, no doubt. Usually these ended up with someone saying something hurtful or even pushing another and feelings welled
up...why is this happening to me? I don't deserve to be treated this way. We have a natural instinct for injustice when it
seems to come in our direction. Do we have the same instinct for injustice which we ourselves may be perpetrating? Maybe we
don't even realize what we are doing until someone "pushes back" and we take note that something we have said or done has
caused this reaction. Looking more deeply at situations both in our immediate sphere of influence and in the wider world takes
a moment of reflection. A pause to reconsider the source of the conflict and a moment to gain some perspective on our own
participation in it. Taking time is not wasting time. Thoughtful reflection is not a luxury.It is essential if we are to move
beyond the playground of our youth to a mature and responsible comprehension of our work and our possibilities in the face
of conflict. Take time. Take a moment. Take a breath. Peace.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Count to Ten
7:54 pm est
Perhaps when you were a child your parents gave you the advice to count to ten before you became angry. The notion that
giving yourself time to cool down before you blow up may be a child's instruction but it is an adult process and challenge.
What if we did count to ten before reacting to something which enrages us? What if we worked to respond to a situation after
a cooling off period rather than reacting to it in a fit of rage? Anger takes a tremendous amount of energy which could be
spent in a more constructive process of consciously considering all the circumstances involved in a situation. Thoughtfulness
is available to all of us, but it is of no use unless we acknowledge its gifts and invite it along with us, even in moments
of frustration and defensiveness. An Indian philosopher said years ago, "Only the fool becomes angry...The wise person understands."
Peace to you today. Peace.
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Pearl Harbor Today
7:43 pm est
Years after the attack on Pearl Harbor the date is still commemorated. We have a choice as to how we remember the event,
though. We may remember it as a reminder of attack or we may remember it as a reminder that working for peace is something
that is ongoing, before and beyond Pearl Harbor and September llth. We may reflect on these events as reminders of the incompletion
of the human spirit and soul. Pearl Harbor is an event but each one of us has no doubt experienced ourown version of Pearl
Harbor in our lives...times when we felt misunderstood and perhaps attacked by words or deeds we felt were undeserved.
These moments are life defining and so they become opportunities for personal excavation and evaluation...why did they occur?
What was our role in contributing to/creating them? Where do we go from that point on. The opportunity and the challenge of
moving forward without the angry bitterness and seeking for revenge that may seem so well deserved is clear. We choose our
future in the ways in which we respond. Choose peace. Choose perspective. Peace.
Monday, December 6, 2004
Peace and Snow
10:33 am est
Can anything be as peaceful as the first gentle snow of the Winter season? Listen to the sound of soft white flakes as
they drift downward past clouds, trees, buildings , cars and squirrels. The journey of a snowflake requires no effort. It
is in the nature of the snowflake to fall in cooperation with nature itself...to join with other snowflakes in a quiet symphony
of serenity. Take time these coming months to appreciate the beauty and gentle lessons of a snowflake. Savoring the natural
beauty around us can put us in touch with that within us. Peace and stillness to you today. Peace.
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