Saint Francis of Assisi came from a wealthy family. He had all the comforts of luxury for his day, but he saw that material things and pleasures could not fill his heart and soul with joy and peace. He left this existence of emptiness and suffering for the life of an ascetic monk. He chose a life of material poverty so that he could find abundance within his heart through teaching love and compassion and providing service towards others, not only to humans but also towards both animals and the environment. Today he is the patron saint of gardens and animals.
When war between Israel and Iran seemed imminent, Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry shared a poster on Facebook of himself and his daughter with a bold message: “Iranians … we [heart] you.” Other Israelis quickly created their own posters with the same message — and Iranians responded in kind. The simple act of communication inspired surprising Facebook communities like “Israel loves Iran,” “Iran loves Israel” and even “Palestine loves Israel.”
Ron Edry: “This is the courageous thing to do: to try to reach the other side before it’s too late.”
I have been reflecting a lot about the concept of individualism and what it really means…
Many societies in the world advocate and defend individualism fiercely, as part of their culture and even their forms of government. Other societies/cultures however do not focus much on it.
I have been lucky to experience both types of cultures and I think it is very important to keep in mind that there are pros and cons to individualism, it is not all good and progressive, and in fact, it can become pretty detrimental to the individual and the society. (more…)
It is not an exaggeration to say that bullying in our schools, particularly in North America, has become an epidemic. Despite all the attention and news coverage, kids continue to be bullied, and unfortunately, many are driven to take their own lives.
There is no need for this to continue. With a workable short term strategy and cooperative long term plan we can put an end to this plague.
When I asked myself: “What do I really want?” Peace and Quiet is the answer I got. Not peace like RIP at the cemetery, but Peace with the capital “P”. This Peace is alive, becomes part of my cells and is there as my core experience no matter what turbulence may be in my situation or surroundings. The Quiet with a capital “Q” is also transcendent; it doesn’t exclude any sounds or noises but rather shines out from within them and lifts them up to join with the Peace. We have all heard the words “The Peace that passeth all understanding”.
Georg Brandes already before the war was known as a big influence on Danish and world literature. And as a supporter of human rights causes. (more…)
Living in the western world, we often become accustomed to our own version of what poverty really means to us. Poverty may be: I can’t buy Starbucks today or I don’t drive a new car. Poverty rarely means that we can’t afford a meal or have to spend the night without shelter. We rarely go hungry or end up out in the cold. It’s funny to hear the news media champion the idea that America is in a terrible recession and then drive past the packed malls during the holidays. Our version of poverty is not the world’s version of poverty. (more…)
It’s been many years since I last sent Santa my wish list and I feel it’s high time I did, so here it is.
There comes along in our lifetime, events … watershed events … that serve as opportunities to ignite change. Some are positive, such as the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Some are not so positive, like the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and John Lennon, or the untimely deaths of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
Most of us have heard the term, the Age of Aquarius, or at least we’ve heard the famous song about its dawning. What is the Age of Aquarius? What will the Age of Aquarius bring? Here I will explain, without getting too technical, the astronomical and astrological meaning of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
The Astronomy of Astrological Ages
During what is called the Great Year or the Precession of the Equinoxes, our sun journeys across the backdrop of the stars in the sky, completing its precession of the equinoxes through all of the twelve zodiac constellations in about 25,772 years. (more…)
Imagine world peace … a world where you could walk down any street in any city in any country anywhere in the world any time of the day or night and not have to worry about being beaten up, robbed, raped or murdered. People would greet you with smiles and friendly hellos.
During World War I, Allied war propaganda depicted the German people as a mass of “Huns”, slavishly following the militarism of Emperor Wilhelm II and the ruling clique.
During World War II, Allied war propaganda depicted the German people as a mass of Hitler fans, slavishly following nazi militarism.
Historic reality was much more complex than that. (more…)
There has always been a definite connection between Religion and Spirituality, some people feel they are closely linked while others consider them to be polar opposites. I have personally found that this view stems from a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what Spirituality really is. Now I have not been literate on Spirituality for very long, and you are free to disagree with my views on this topic, but I urge you to at least entertain them for a while, as Aristotle said; “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” (more…)
Of these two, Helen Keller is the best known (though often in a one-sided way).