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   

Prejudice Takes Many Forms


Fueled by Superstition, People Are Violently Attacking Albinos in Tanzania

By Samuel Oakford originally posted at Vice.com

 fueled-by-superstition-people-are-violently-attacking-albinos-in-tanzania-1409177333

 

August 27, 2014 | 6:15 pm

In the past month, a spate of violent attacks in Tanzania targeting people with albinism for their body parts has highlighted a morbid practice linked to witchcraft.

People with albinism, also known as albinos, are born with a deficiency of melanin pigmentation. Those with a complete lack of pigmentation have extremely pale skin and hair, and their eyes are typically a light shade of blue. The condition generally results from recessive genes carried by parents. Albinism in Africa brings with it an increased chance of developing fatal skin cancer, and the lack of pigment to protect eyes against the bright sun can cause sight problems.

Africans with the condition can suffer alienating social stigma in communities where their neighbors and relatives believe them to be ghosts, cursed, or intellectually incapacitated. In some regions, they face a near-constant threat of violence.

UN officials and rights groups reported at least five assaults on albinos that occurred in Tanzania in less than two weeks in August.

On August 5, three men armed with machetes hacked a 15-year-old girl’s right arm off below the elbow in the western region of Tabora. Her family was threatened with death and could not scream for help. Later that day, the assailants targeted her uncle, who also has albinism, though he was able to escape.

The three men were eventually arrested, including a local witch doctor who informed authorities that they had amputated her arm because buyers were willing to pay as much as $600 dollars for it.

On August 14, the mutilated body of a young albino man was found lying in a swampy area in the outskirts of Dar es Salam. Pictures of the victim shared on social media showed that a large patch of skin had been excised from his torso and a hole bored into his abdomen.

Two days later, a pair of men attacked a 35-year-old woman with albinism in a small village in Tabora. They killed her husband for attempting to defend her before severing the lower portion of her left arm and fleeing.

‘The stigma and discrimination is mind-boggling.’

Though these acts of mutilation are widely abhorred and spiritual practices in the region vary greatly, in isolated areas with little access to medical information it is still believed that the body parts of people with albinism can impart mystical or magical benefits.

“In sub-Saharan Africa there’s a significant belief in witchcraft, which often involves the use of body parts,” Peter Ash, who heads the albinism-rights group Under the Same Sun, told VICE News. “That’s been the case in the region for a long time, well before colonization. It’s part of a deep-seated cultural, historical, and spiritual practice.”

In parts of the Great Lakes region of eastern Africa, UN officials have seen reports of gold miners using amulets made of the bones of albinos to enhance their luck, and of fishermen weaving their hair into nets to ensure a large catch.

Since 1998, Under the Same Sun has documented 332 attacks on people with albinism in 24 African countries, including 147 in Tanzania alone. Ash said that the reported figures are only a fraction of the assaults actually taking place across the continent. Most incidents occur in rural areas, where they sometimes go unreported and are rarely investigated.

In many parts of Africa, albinism occurs at higher rates than in much of the world. In Tanzania, one in 1,400 people have the disorder — roughly 35,000 people nationwide. Globally, the rate is generally one in 20,000.

With limbs regularly selling for hundreds of dollars and entire bodies reportedly costing up to $75,000 in a country where the median annual income is less than $600, there is a widespread assumption in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa that members of the business and political elite are behind the demand. A rise in attacks has been documented in several countries ahead of elections, when candidates have reportedly employed witch doctors to increase their likelihood of victory.

“Witch doctors have long been influential in many communities, but now they’re trying to make a buck, rather than just being elder and respected practitioners,” Ash said. “Now they’re entrepreneurs.”

‘They are rejected by their families and communities, they don’t have access to health services or education. It’s a vicious cycle of discrimination and poverty.’

Though Tanzania — where 93 percent of Christians and Muslims say they believe in witchcraft, according to a 2010 Pew Research report — is often portrayed as the epicenter of this grisly phenomenon, much of that perception stems from the presence in the country of non-governmental organizations like Under the Same Sun, which has an office with 20 employees who can be dispatched to document crimes.

After a 2008 BBC report on the Tanzanian trade in body parts horrified the international community, activists began paying closer attention to the plight of albinos in the country. But while closer observation has seen a greater reporting of incidents in Tanzania, the same cannot be said of the rest of Africa, where freedom of the press is weak and rates of violence against albinos remains for the most part unknown.

Because neighbors and relatives are often involved in attacks on people with albinism, police face obstacles even when they are willing to investigate. Families often bury deceased albino relatives in unmarked graves out of fear that their body parts will be harvested even in death.

Amid the increase in attacks over recent years, Tanzania’s government has increasingly housed children with albinism in schools created for children with disabilities — an ostensibly protective measure that has lately prompted concerns of segregation.

“When it was proposed, it was an emergency measure, but it has now become a long-term solution,” Alicia Londono, a UN human rights official who recently returned from a visit to the country, told VICE News. “The conditions are very bad. Many of the children already have the early stages of skin cancer, and the staff is not trained to treat this disease.”

More than half of these schools now house albino children. Londono described them as “dumping places” where families leave unwanted progeny, and noted that children in these facilities face a risk of sexual and physical abuse.

“They are rejected by their families and communities, they don’t have access to health services or education,” she said. “It’s a vicious cycle of discrimination and poverty.”

Ikponwosa Ero, a researcher from Nigeria who has albinism and works with Under the Same Sun, told VICE News that everyday life for children with the condition is immensely difficult.

“The stigma and discrimination is mind-boggling,” she said. “Aside from physical attacks, the suffering that happens is beyond comprehension. The ejection from school, rejection from society. I wasn’t allowed to step outside at night without a relative, and I was always aware that attacks by ritualists was a possibility.”

Activists and UN officials believe that efforts to educate the public about albinism will help abate attacks on albinos and ensure that they have greater access to services and support — but Londono noted that it won’t be easy.

“Everyone from authorities who I met to the driver of my taxi referred to beliefs that are attached to the condition, that they are subhuman beings,” she said.

Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter: @samueloakford

 

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The Human Family has degenerated to the point where education  has crumbled, and all over the world superstition and bigotry, meanness and paranoia, are what has replaced a good education for many people.

 

This story is horrifying because these children already have a serious health condition, and it leads them to develop melanoma because they live in Africa and their lack of coloring cannot adequately protect them.  That is the problem these children should have, but because of bigotry and superstition, fueled by ignorance, they are being hunted down and cannot live with their own families.  These children are aware of  other children who have the same physical condition who have been murdered for no other reason than that they are different.

 

All around the world, prejudice is growing and spreading like the deadly disease it is, but it is not spreading through the exchange of fluids or a bug bite — it is spreading because we ae not teaching our children tolerance and understanding.  We are teaching hatred and lies instead.

 

What are you doing to stop the spread?  Are you speaking up against bigotry?  Are you speaking up for education?  Act out and teach the people around you that Hate Is Not The Way.

 

 

Musings on Gratitude and understanding


Understanding promotes peace

Understanding promotes peace

We all know that we need to be grateful for our lives. It is easy when everything is going well. When life gets rough, it can be harder. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the blessings because they arrive without fanfare.

I have begun a Gratitude journal. I write down five things every day to be grateful for. I found that some days it was hard. I looked around and saw nothing to be grateful for. Then I realized that the most important things to be grateful for, are the little things. As I broadened my thinking, I realized my life was full of simple gifts and blessings. I had just simply been overlooking them.

I may not always feel loved or understood. I often have health issues and mobility issues .As I began to pull back and see the entire picture of my life, I saw many small blessings that threaded themselves throughout my life. Coming to understand this concept has enriched me and my life. No matter what is happening in life, I can now always see the blessings that fill my life.

Sometimes it is still something for me to work on. What I find though is that the Divine gives us many tiny yet huge blessings to be grateful for.

As I have gone through this experience, I have realized just how rich I am. I saw how much more understanding I can give to others.That brings more understanding from others to me. The ultimate result is peace. Peace in my heart and mind.

It is important to understand how these mental and spiritual exercises adds to the peace in my life and that peace fills me and I can pass it on to the people in my life. They can pass it on to others in their lives. Peace is a daily quest and we need to work on it every day.

Yes, we all know that peace takes action as well as understanding and gratitude. These actions must never be based on hatred and violence. Dialog between all of us and the blogs we write are ways to work toward peace.

"Action

I am grateful for all of my readers and the people who have become friends. I am very grateful for you allowing me to experience pieces of your lives. I am grateful for all I have learned from you. I wish many blessings for all my readers around the world.

” We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot force.”
—–Marion Wright Edelman

“You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known a Brotherhood (Sisterhood), however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it.”
——-Faith Baldwin

"Costa

Working for Peace and Harmony in Our Time

Working for Peace and Harmony in Our Time