Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

The Power of Words Award


I have designed this award because so many feel they can’t change the world. They can. You can. Your words, your blog can educate, raise awareness, change opinions and raise spirits. Through your blog you are reaching people you may never have effected any other way.

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So this is for all who click away on the computer with a heart full of love, kindness, compassion and caring. For all of you who write to correct wrongs and injustices. For all of you who work to bring light into our world and hope to people’s lives. You are all heroes in my book. Please accept this heart-felt award and pass it on to those in your WordPress family who deserve it. Let’s keep it going for the entire year. May it inspire all with light, words, and love for the human family.

You all know how much I hate rules, so please just:

  • post the award on your blog
  • thank the person who gave it to you
  • pass it on to those whom you deem worthy
  • let your nominees know

The first ever nominees of the Power of Words Award are:

  1. Xena
  2. IvonPrefontaine
  3. Professions for Peace
  4. Petchary
  5. Inavukic
  6. ValentineLogar
  7. The English Professor at Large
  8. Dr. Rex

Poverty


A few days ago, I wrote about the 1% of the world’s richest people having one half of the world’s money. Definitely doesn’t seem fair. There are a lot of middle class people in the world and they really work hard to be in this niche. Most are poor and/or extremely poor. They live through hopelessness and despair. Some are destroyed by these emotions.

 

What is poverty anyway? It is more than not being able to buy your child an ice cream cone in June. It is putting cardboard in the bottom of their too small shoes. It is wondering how you will feed your family through the end of the paycheck, and wondering if you can afford needed medication.

 

What is abject poverty? It is not having clean water so that you gamble with each drop not to get Cholera. It is dressing children in rags the rich wouldn’t use to dust their houses. Abject poverty is a mother that is so malnourished she can’t suckle her babies. Babies die from hunger. Is is neglect? It is horrifying to see a baby die from dehydration and malnutrition. The mother still has to go on to do what she can for the rest of her children.

 

Abject poverty is having no education, so you cannot have hope. Hope is what kept the prisoners in the concentration camps alive…at least until their number was up. Hope is what you wear when your country is at war, or there is a civil war. Can you take your family and run? No, not really. Many tried during WWII and were executed. In the nineties, the Baltic War robbed citizens of food, water, and even lives.

 

What happens usually is that people see the homeless and the hungry and many look away. They decide that what they saw wasn’t real. The homeless and the hungry people are lazy and are taking advantage of other people, people will say.

Many years ago I discovered this: people don’t want reality, they want pretty. I decided to begin random acts of kindness. Just doing something kind for someone who doesn’t ask, but it is needed. I have been questioned often, by by-standers.

 

I have heard, “don’t give your money away, they probably have more than you do”. I answer that that would not matter. What matters is the kindness and gentleness you show.

 

We as a species are getting a little smarter. We always used to send food. Now we send seeds and volunteers who will show villages how to plant, cultivate and harvest those seeds. Instead of sending money, there are organizations where for a donation of $15-$20, a family receives a cow, sheep or goat. The milk will feed the children and they will go to bed at night with full bellies. Just like we do every night.

 

The next time you see a person or a family who is obviously poor, meet their eyes. Look into their souls and see a brother or sister, a fellow human being. Just like we are, except we have more money than they do. Does it cost us to care about the poor? No. It makes us better people. People who walk their talk. It also gives us peace and a sense of well-being.

 

Neuroscientists say that the brain is changed by the traumas and horrors it survives. The brain rewires around the damaged areas. This is oversimplified, but tragedy makes us turn into different people. Love, caring, assistance changes people too and brings them a sense of inner peace.

 

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The poor suffer in ways we can’t even imagine. They can’t even get medical care when they need it. So the next time you see a poor person, or a person on a fixed income, try a random act of kindness and watch how their eyes light up. It has nothing to do with religion or faith, kindness and compassion are part of a human’s basic character.

Namaste

 

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Botanical Gardens Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Botanical Gardens
Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

 Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

 

 

No place for anger within us.

No place for anger within us.

 

Where is Unity and Peace?


Unity, the ability to come together in harmony and compassion. Unity brings with us peace that flowers within us and then flows out into our worlds. Is Peace possible without unity? I don’t really think so. Perhaps this is why peace comes and goes in our lives.

 

So, let’s look at unity. Unity is not everyone thinking alike. Or as they are told to think. I believe that Unity is a process where we come to really know one another, our deepest selves. Within Unity, we find differences of education, race, religion or no religion. We see people with different dreams. Unity can bring us together despite that I don’t look like you. I possibly don’t think like you. I don’t, perhaps, dream like you.

 

Unity is people, whoever they are, coming together for a common goal. With all that is happening here and around the world between me, you and the other people, we need to know that each attack, each death brings us together. There have been two recent times of extreme love, compassion, forgiveness and kindness in America. Twice we have recently come together out of shock, horror and unbearable pain. One was Pearl Harbor, which effected my immigrant father more than I realized. The other was 9-11 and I don’t think I have to discuss this one.

 

Pain, tragedy, suffering pulls people together. Hitler found this out. There have been, there are, and there will be evil in the world. At least until we fix all of the problems humans are dealing with. When there is huge amounts of evil in the world, the events which effect humans are put into their proper importance.

 

I had a horrific migraine yesterday and it was hard to get past the pain. But today, with the pain mostly gone, what matters to me is sleeper cells, the homeless people, the war on women and the journey to truth and peace.

Focus on the positive

Focus on the positive

 

We need to remember that the most terrifying serial killer has a spark of goodness within. Divinity is in there. So suicide bombers, lone terrorists, and Jihadists who decapitate innocent people are barbaric, yet there is that one small drop of Divinity within. Are they harmful? Yes. Do they need to be found and punished? Yes. Does their existence mean we can’t have Unity and Peace? No, it does not. But it may seem that way at times. I think that is why we form connections to people we will never meet. And we become friends and care about them and want them to be happy and safe. Each of us has created a network of people with whom we are safe. Now, let us grow our networks, spilling peace out into the world.

 

Let’s celebrate every positive act we see. Let’s not take them for granted. Let us be sad for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and celebrate that no one else was killed and those who are guilty of this barbaric act were caught. It was barbaric. But people around the world are now working together to find these cells and stop the Jihadists from bringing more death to a world that has plenty without any help.

 

May we choose unity and peace and may we not hate “others”.  May we find forgiveness for those who hate and kill. May we live centered and in contact with our inner peace.

Namaste

 Bloggers 4 Peace

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Achieve peace with understanding.

Achieve peace with understanding.

Let’s Get Together and Be All Right


 

 

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I believe this song is familiar to at least half of us. I love to listen to it while having a bad day. We, the citizens of the world have had a bad week. Mass murders in Nairobi and in Paris. More people were killed in Nairobi and my heart cries for them and their families. May they all RIP and may their families find comfort and freedom.

 

In Paris, we also had murders. We had a crazy horrible breach of Charlie Hebdo offices and twelve people were dead. Both events left the world shaken and stunned. This is the bad part, the painful part.

 

The good part is the love shared by the people around all of the victims. It is the love we, the rest of the people in the world feel for all those effected. The good part is also people drawing together to support each other.

 

We are, after all, one human species. Where we are different is cosmetic. We do not all look alike, but that makes us more interesting. We worship god/goddess in different ways. But there is only one god/goddess. We walk different paths but they lead to the same place–to Divinity. Some people don’t walk a path to Divinity and that is fine also.

 

 

We have the same basic needs as human beings. We need sleep, good health, exercise, food and hydration to live our lives here on this one planet with one body. This is it. This is as good as it gets. Sometimes, it is really awful and sometimes life can be the sweetest most beautiful experience we will ever have.

 

Do we react by adding to the hatred? Do we allow anger and injustice to destroy our lives? We only get one life here on this one planet. It is sad to waste this life on hating and anger.

 

Change can only come on the wings on love, acceptance, freedom from fear and injustice. Change comes to us who have open arms and will embrace it. Change comes to those of us that want kindness, gentleness, passion, thoughtfulness in our lives. Change comes when those who are exhibiting free speech, understand some may be put off. I see and hear things that are off-putting to me. I bet most of you have had the same experience. People make fun of everything. To have free speech, you can’t control what is said around you.

 

The camaraderie from the pain of recent events have brought us together, but we don’t stay together. We came together after 9-11, but even with thousands of lives lost, we didn’t stay together.

 

So One World, One Life, One love is the award for seeing not the differences between us but seeing how we need each other, how we can work together to make the world a better place. We can fight poverty, illiteracy, crime, illness together. Everyone wins when we work together.

 

Open your heart and keep it open. Forgive, reach out in love, be a friend, be understanding, show compassion and kindness. Know that change is coming and it starts with each of us.

 

There is no God, but that which is God.

Namaste

 

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  Give our One World a Chance.           

Bob Marley quote

Bob Marley quote

 

 

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Bob Marley quote

Bob Marley quote   

My Message in a Bottle


To whomever finds my message:

I have filled this bottle with Love, Peace, Patience, Compassion, Empathy, Gratitude, Beauty, Forgiveness and Kindness.

I believe that when we sow the seed of these ideas with words and plant them in the soil of life and add water and sunlight, we can grow Peace.  Peace is the trunk of the Tree of Life.

If, every day, every person performed one Peaceful act, shared beauty with one other person, shared forgiveness with one who needs it, then we would have the beginnings of the Peace we need.

Everyday that you touch someone else with kindness, with compassion and peace, you make an imprint on their heart and on their soul that will gradual help them find their way to a life lived in peaceful harmony with everyone in the world.

This could erase racism, sexism, ageism, all forms of bigotry and the violence that comes from it.

There are people who are haters, and bullies.  These people need our kindness and empathy perhaps more than other people, because bullying comes from insecurity and troubled minds and the inability to know how to be kind.

Statistically, 97% of American families are dysfunctional to some degree.  But what I know and have experienced is that with self-compassion, self-understanding, self-love, everyone can learn to grow beyond what traumatized or hurt them, and continue on their way to a life filled with kindness and peace.

You may know someone who has had a very difficult life, and you can make a difference in their life by living your peace, your empathy, your forgiveness, your gratitude, and they can learn from your example and from living within the light of your being.

After a while, someone who carries darkness and hatred and negativity and violence within themselves can be changed by the daily dose of gratitude, love, acceptance, peace, empathy, and kindness that touches their heart and soul even if they don’t want it to.  These gifts are much stronger than the negativity within any soul.

Please open my bottle and spread the contents around.  You won’t be sorry.

May peace fill all of your lives.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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Bottle floating on the Ocean. Charcoal drawing by Barbara Mattio Copyright 2009

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The Importance of Hope in Today’s World


 

In Wales, Nato is meeting to address the dual problems of ISIL and Russia. It is also a time of increased racism here in the United States. The world is tense, you can feel it as you go about your regular life. I want to encourage you to remember that peace starts within us. Hope and peace live within and is touched by the Divinity within. Our hearts and souls are very important in our lives. We just are not really aware of them.

 

Our hearts have been attacked more than once in the last few months. Mother Earth is screaming in pain. 16 million children live in poverty in America, we really have no idea of how many people in Iraq and Syria have been killed and or displaced. Now ISIL members are discussing moving into India. That country is filled with a billion people. They have just been served notice that the darkness is now planning moves to disrupt their country and families.

 

What can one person do? One person in France, Belgium, India or America can do a lot. We can keep giving love, peace, hope, compassion and empathy flowing out from our hearts and souls into this world. We must believe that, in the big picture, that good will conquer the hatred and bigotry that we are up against. Our spirituality can be the engine that pulls us ahead and keeps us focused on what can be done rather than what can not be done. We may suffer, I may suffer but if we lose our lives, we will return home to the Divine presence of God.

 

“At night make me one with the darkness, in the morning make me one with the light. ”   —Wendell Berry

 

“Just to be is a blessing, Just to live is holy.”   —Rabbi Abraham Heschel

 

” As we are together, praying for peace, let us be truly with each other.

Let us pay attention to our breathing.

Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.

Let us be at peace with  our bodies and our minds.

Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves. Let us maintain a half-smile on our faces.

Let us be aware of the source of being common to us all and to all living things.

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion, towards ourselves and towards all living beings.

Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all brothers and sisters. all nourished from the same source of life.

Let us pray with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive other beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.

With humility, and with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth. Amen.   —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

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Truth

 

The face of truth is open,

The eyes of truth are bright,

The lips of truth are ever closed,

The head of truth is upright.

The breast of truth stands forward,

The gaze of truth is straight,

Truth has neither fear nor doubt,

Truth has patience to wait.

The words of truth are touching,

The voice of truth is deep,

The law of truth is simple:

All that you sow you reap.

The soul of truth is flaming,

The heart of truth is warm,

The mind of truth is clear,

And firm through rain or storm.

Facts are but its shadows,

Truth stands above all sin;

Great be the battle in life,

Truth in the end shall win.

Wisdom”s message its rod;

Sign of truth is the cross,

Soul of truth is God.

Life of truth is eternal,

Immortal is its past,

Power of truth will endure,

Truth shall hold to the last.   —Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

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Cup and Ocean

 

“These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean of living consciousness.

They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or any good bye spray.

What we are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it and drink it in.

Don’t be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night and never knows the horse

beneath this thighs, the surging that carries him along.”   —Rumi

 

 

 

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