Is This Child Safe?


Is This Child Safe?

I have been thinking about holidays and children. Not just American children, but children in the UK and children in India. I have been worrying about children in Russia and in Jamaica.

I have been thinking of children who don’t have good role models or lunch money. I have been thinking about children who are afraid and ones who like to look at books and yet they can’t read. They can’t write their names. This is for all the children around the globe, every last noisy, coughing, running, laughing, crying, dirty, sassy one of them. I hope they have someone to hug them tonight when they go to bed and I hope they did not see violence today.

 

 

 

If the Child is Safe

We pray for children

who sneak popsicles before supper,

who erase holes in math workbooks,

who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers.

who never counted ” potatoes”,

who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an x-rated world.

We pray for children

who bring us sticky kisses and fistfulls of dandelions,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those

who never get dessert,

who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents die,

who can’t find any bread to steal,

who don’t have any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,

whose monsters are real.

We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and

whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for children who want to be carried

and for those who must,

for those we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance.

For those we smother…and for those who will grab

the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

—Marian Wright Edelman

 

 

This time of year, everyone is looking for presents. Some people just have everything or you don’t know them well enough to be certain to find the right present. A lot of time gets wasted on trying to find the perfect item. Well, I have a suggestion. You can go to Heifer.com and decide how much you want to spend. Your money will be added to others and a flock of chicks, ducks or geese will be sent to a village where there is extreme famine and poverty. You can send a part of a cow or goat. It is your choice. These gifts will help to feed their owners and the animals can breed and everyone is better off. You get a card to send to your friend or relative and the family or village gets what you pick for them. Perhaps, this year because of your kindness, there will be more children who will not go hungry and will be ever so grateful for the kind stranger who helped fill their belly.

Heifer. com is an organization which has been around for seventy years. They provide livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of people who struggle to have reliable sources of food. They are currently working in thirty countries. they now  also give honey bees and the training to raise them, llamas, rabbits, stoves, irrigation systems and other items. Not only food but clothes are bought and children are going to school who couldn’t before. Women are becoming breadwinners. Men are learning how to use modern farming techniques. This organization continues to grow and make a larger impact on the people who so desperately need our assistance so they will be able to help themselves. I invite you to go to Heifer. com and give to them in the name of someone on your list this year.

 

 

What we can do for a child of this world

 

 

Children around the world playing. We can help them to continue to do so.

 

 

Namaste

Barbara

Peace Begins at Home


Costa Rica; Acrylic paint by Barbara Mattio 2011

Costa Rica; Acrylic paint
by Barbara Mattio 2011

Many people talk about peace, write about peace, sing about peace and march about peace. This is all very wonderful, however, how does it actually start?  What is the germ of peace that gets planted that makes people want to work for peace?

I believe that the desire for peace is within our souls at birth and it is a desire that cell memory carries. Every cell of every organ is imprinted with peace. I am not going to address those people like Hitler or Ted Bundy. That is another discussion.

As we grow into childhood and adulthood, we develop thoughts. Some thoughts are good and some are not so good. Some are evil even. Thoughts have energy and as we “think” the good thoughts go out into the Universe and bring good energy and vibrations. Evil ones or bad ones work the same. This is why affirmations and positive thinking are so important.

If I tell myself that I am stupid or ugly every day, I will begin to believe it. That negativity will effect myself and everything around me. So it is vital to watch your thoughts. If you have a negative one, replace it with a positive one. Practicing gratitude everyday is also creating positive thoughts.  Thoughts go out into this world and can affect nature, plants, trees, animals, insects, even our water. Studies have been done and the results are remarkable. You may want to look at my blogs from last year.

Once we begin to watch our thoughts and keep them positive as much as possible, then the cell memories have the ability to grow and thrive. Peace begins to fill us and as we are filled, peace emanates from our beings and people can feel the peace when they are around us. The opposite is also true.  As we feel positive about people and life, we begin to feel like doing things that help others. Perhaps volunteer work. Perhaps joining a Peace organization. You begin to bring peace to others and your actions and words bring peace in your life. The ripple starts with you and moves outward until neighborhoods, cities, counties and countries feel more peaceful. Now if half of the people on our planet would start with positive thoughts, can you imagine the difference this would make in the world?

Try it. Creating peace is free and feels wonderful.

The End of 2012


I picked this version of Auld Lang Syne for today because it has always been a favorite tune. My favorite lyric is “We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now.”  We are standing on the line–the line between the old and the new. The old, oft remembered song of innocence and yet one foot starting to move into now.

There are interesting centuries old traditions from the British Isles that we don’t necessarily follow here in America now. They are worth a look, however.

In England, any gifts brought into the house on New Year’s Eve should be welcomed with ceremony, as they will bring good fortune to the house. The cleaning of the house before New Year’s Eve is a way of clearing out unfinished business, of any kind; clearing out the dust and cobwebs of the old year, so you can start out fresh and new.

In Scotland, people burned Juniper branches and carried them throughout the house to clear it of negative energy. This dates back to the time when Juniper branches were burned in the fireplace to ensure the gifts of the New Year.  By 1893, toward evening the thoroughfares become thronged with the youth of the city.

Another tradition — today, championed by “pagans” — is to make a list of what you need and really want. This was also the time to give yourself one of the items on your list; traditionally, you wrapped it up and made a true gift of it to yourself, perhaps accompanied by this Blessing:

Blessing on Giving a Gift

Take, and welcome joy within you;

Showers, flowers, powers,

Hatfuls, capfuls, lapfuls,

Treasures, measures, pleasures,

All be yours to enjoy!

             —-Caitlin Matthews: A Celtic Devotional

Solitary watch

Solitary watch

The celtic traditions energize Gaia, Mother Earth.

The Celtic traditions energize Gaia, Mother Earth.

Tying up Loose Ends


goodthinking

         Positive thinking and owning our actions

Well, here we are at the end of the year. As expected, we did not witness the end of the world. We are at the top of the fiscal cliff. We have survived another holiday season. I, for one, have enjoyed the time with family and with myself. Meditation to see where I stand at the end of this eventful year has brought me new insights.

I don’t believe in regrets. At every moment, I do the very best I can at that moment. Not all do, but that is their work if they choose to tackle the issue. I do believe in looking forward to issues that I want to change. Nothing ever stays stagnant. I realize some people don’t like change. It is not my favorite thing, however, it is a constant in every human life.

Change takes work, determination and courage. Deciding to change requires action; the first step. News media often takes a look back at the year. I like to do the same with the vision of hindsight. I can look at the small things and then pull back to see the big picture. Was I perfect, no. Were there times I could have made different choices, possibly. Would I do things the same way, I believe I would. Not that I did anything perfect. I didn’t, but I am today, who I am because of the love, time, kindness, prayer that I gave to others. Could I have done more? Yes. Will I change. Yeah! Why, because I believe we are on this journey because the Divine experiences life through us.

I believe in magic and harmony and peace. It is magic that I am here in this life, walking the path of my journey. The magic continues every morning I awaken and see the birds, the trees, my friends, and remember my annoyances. These are the items that make up each of our lives. The good, the bad, and the miraculous.

The magic in life

The magic in life

I realize that this past year wasn’t perfect for any of us, but we were blessed. How much depends upon your outlook really. An event could happen to me and I will find it awkward. The same event can happen to someone else and they will be thrilled. It is the way of our life.

We are also at a point in time where we can choose how to live with what has happened in the year. For me, I need only to look around me and if I missed blessings during the year, I am reminded of them now. If my heart wasn’t in the right place, and it isn’t always, I have to look that in the eye and own it. Often, we do not accept responsibility for our actions. We have to own them. Good or bad. We are responsible. So I suggest you take a few minutes and look inside. Own what is there and change what you don’t like to see. The year is ending but there is still time to tie up those loose ends. Then you won’t need to make New Year’s resolutions. You will have already begun the changes and will happily embrace what the New Year is bringing.

Year end inventory

Year end inventory