The Spirit of Peace


There is One God and our Universe is One and there is One unified humanity.

 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

—Albert Einstein

 

 

 

Physicist Albert Einstein

Physicist Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

We need to feed the hungry,

to house the homeless,

to free those in bondage,

to clothe the naked,

to embrace the despised

to reject the obscene

and to destroy complacency.

That’s what God wants—

nothing more and nothing less.

—Rabbi Greenspan

 

 

“There is an old Chinese tale about the woman whose only son died. In her grief she sent to the holy man and asked, “Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow.  We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.”

 

The woman set off at once in search of the magical mustard seed. She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, “I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place?” They told her, “You’ve certainly come to the wrong house,” and began describing all the tragic things that had recently befallen them. The woman said to herself, “Who is better able to help these unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own?”

 

She stayed to comfort them for a while, then went on in her search for a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in palaces, she found one tale after another of sadness or misfortune.

 

Ultimately, she became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had in fact already driven the sorrow out of her life.”

–author unknown

 

 

 

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                                     Peace

 

“Let us live in peace, God.

Let children live in peace, in homes free from brutality and abuse.

Let them go to school in peace, free from violence and fear.

Let them play in peace, God, in safe parks, in safe neighborhoods; watch over them.

Let husbands and wives love in peace, in marriages free from cruelty. Let men and women go to work in peace, with no fears of

terror or bloodshed.

Let us travel in peace; protect us, God, in the air, on the seas, along whatever road we take.

Let nations dwell together in peace, without the threat of war hovering over them.

Help us, God. Teach all people of all races and faiths, in all the countries all over the world to believe that the peace that seems so far

off is in fact within our reach.

Let us all live in peace, God. And let us say, Amen.”

—Naomi Levy

 

BJSquiggel

Everyone talks about peace. And then the conversation ends and we put the thoughts of peace aside. Peace begins within each and every one of us. We must develop peace within our own hearts and souls. Then we have to make the effort to spread it out by giving old clothes to charity, volunteering in our communities, helping the sick and homeless. We can show compassion for those who are suffering financially, or who are struggling with mental illness. Then we can care about the politics of our country and our world, we can join a peace and/or justice organization.

 

We can pay attention when, in times like these,  people talk and promote war and injustice, and we can speak up for justice and peace. We cannot allow ourselves be caught up in talk of war.

 

What do we get from war…nothing

What does peace bring…everything.

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

Life Inside Syrian Refugee Camps


Life inside Syrian refugee camps –

originally published, in part, in The Week by Lauren Hansen & Sarah Eberspacher.

[In March 2011], Syria began to be torn apart.

Syrians took to the streets, demanding democratic and economic reforms from the government of Bashar al-Assad. What they got instead was a civil war that has turned cities to dust, killed more than 100,000 people, and forced millions more to flee.

Jan. 9, 2013: A man stands on top of a water tank as clouds roll over the Al Zataari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

For those who managed to escape — women and children, mainly, with whatever they could carry — some semblance of life continues in refugee camps throughout the region. Through grit, luck, or the help of others — and often a combination of all three — those displaced millions have sought to create moments of normalcy in the temporary rooms, mud-floored tents, and makeshift shelters they call home, waiting for the day their country stitches itself back together.

Here, a look at life for the millions of refugee-camp residents:

Aug. 12, 2012: Boys carry water for their family at Al Zataari, Mafraq. | (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

Sept. 2, 2013: A woman bathes her child at Domiz refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq. | (REUTERS/ Haider Ala)

Feb. 15, 2014: A girl washes her family’s clothes at Bab Al-Hawa refugee camp near the Syria-Turkey border. | (REUTERS/Mouaz Al Omar)

Aug. 21, 2013: Women wait in line for food at Kawergosk refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq. | (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Dec. 11, 2012: A woman cooks food for her family outside their tent at Atmeh refugee camp in Atmeh, Syria. | (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Dec. 23, 2013: Children attend classes at an unofficial camp near Amman, Jordan. A teacher-turned-refugee set up the makeshift school because the Jordanian schools are too far away. | (REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

March 2, 2014: A girl gets a snuggle and a smooch from a puppy at Kilis refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey. | (REUTERS/Nour Kelze)

Nov. 21, 2013: Children play on a makeshift swing at Harmanli refugee camp in Harmanli, Bulgaria. | (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

Sept. 17, 2013: Children participate in taekwondo training at Zaatari refugee camp near Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

March 25, 2013: Friends cut a young man’s hair at Bab Al-Salam camp near the Syria-Turkey border. | (REUTERS/Giath Taha)

Oct. 28, 2013: A family eats a meal inside their makeshift room in a mosque, which is being used as an unofficial refugee camp, in Shebaa, Lebanon. | (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)

Sept. 2, 2013: A woman applies makeup to a soon-to-be bride at a makeshift beauty parlor in the Domiz refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq. | (REUTERS/ Haider Ala)

May 6, 2013: An obstetrician holds a baby after delivery at a field hospital in Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

bjwordpressdivider
According to some news sources, the Syrian Refugee Crisis is the largest refugee crisis to occur since the Nazis drove thousands of Jews, Poles, Roma and other “undesirables” to leave their homes in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.
I feel that it is the responsibility of every person in every country, and of every government, to show their compassion towards these people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their homes, their livelihoods and, in many cases, family members and friends to a war they did not start and cannot control.
These refugees are all human beings, all worthy of help and assistance, all our brothers and sisters in need, and it is shameful how many countries are refusing to help.  At the same time it is heartening that countries like Croatia — itself no stranger to civil war — is willing to open its borders in this time of need.
Namaste,
Barbara

The Spoils of War


We are ending ten long years of war. Wars not won but thousands of people dead. Now we are putting ourselves into Syria to protect the citizens and the Western world. Peace isn’t being spoken about at all. Yet, there are many of us who know that peace is the only way for us to go.

 

As sides line up and stories begin to flow out of the war torn countries, we will find that not only will there be deaths and emotional scarring but there will be a huge amount of using women to shame their families and themselves. The countries in Africa and the Middle East are finding that their women and children are in particular danger due to all the wars around the world.

 

Raping women and girls has become an important aspect to war. It is part of the plans for winning wars. The Democratic Republic of Congo is known as the “rape capital of the world.”  Women and children are enslaved and gang raped. If they conceive, they are killed.  Why rape women and children?  If women can escape, their husbands and families don’t want them. They are dirty and full of shame.

 

Women and girls raped in war are far more likely to die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. Young women who are impregnated during war do not receive prenatal care. They are owned, after all. The death rate increases by five times for these young women. It would have been kinder if we could have provided abortions for those that wish them. These babies represent the horrors of their rapes and /or gang rape. All monies going to war-torn countries from America cannot be used to provide a compassionate abortion for these women who have suffered the worst thing that can happen to a women.

 

So, US aid is prohibited from being used for abortions and they can’t even be discussed. Today’s wars continue to use sexual violence as a tool to win battles and even wars. It is part of genocide. To contaminate the gene pool of a country has a devastating effect on its citizens.

 

Currently in Syria, reports have found that armed men, often many at a time, kidnap, rape, torture and kill women and girls. One of the primary reasons for human displacement during this conflict has been fear of rape. The Global Summit held in London this past summer, rape as a tactic of war was discussed.

 

Because we do not provide abortions for rape victims, we are re-victimizing these poor women and children. The United Nations and the Security Council have urged countries to take steps to help these women. Because the US forbids any of its monies from being used for abortions in these cases, America is in violation of the Geneva Conventions policy to comply with the human rights of women and children.

 

President Bush’s administration specifically forbade funding for rape survivors and child slaves. The Obama administration can take steps to address this injustice but hasn’t so far. The administration has yet to abolish Bush’s unfair restriction.

 

When applied to women and girls raped in war, the abortion ban not only denies them their rights to all necessary care under the Geneva Convention, it also interferes with the way the aid is distributed by countries that do allow abortion.

 

For young girls, their bodies are not developed enough to give birth. Young girls who do manage to give birth and live, face long-term economic and psychological trauma. Again, we are re-victimizing these human beings.

 

Save the Children’s “Unspeakable Crimes Against Children: Sexual Violence in Conflict” report says that these children are being condemned to a lifetime of extreme poverty, illiteracy, increased vulnerability to risky or exploitative economic practices as children and then as adults. Poverty will spread across generations.

 

Female bodies must not be used as a background in war.

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

WeR1

            We are all one family and we are all the same species

 

Guatemalan-rape-victims-006                   Victims of rape during war.

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