Here in Canada (and other Commonwealth countries) today is Remembrance Day. We wear poppies pinned to our shirts, have a moment of silence at 11 AM and often attend ceremonies to remember. It a solemn day to remember those who lost their lives protecting our freedom. It is also a day to think about peace.
Many people live lives without freedom or peace. There are always terrible things happening in the world. Often it seems as if these things are too big for us to do anything about. We can’t all help in war-torn countries, or be part of international organizations working for peace.
But we can help. You can start in your own home and your own heart. Take some quiet time by yourself or with your family to be still, peaceful. Take this peace and maintain it in your interactions with others. Be less critical, be supportive, brighten someone’s day.
Join groups or organizations in your community to help spread love and peace. Maybe volunteer, donate food, clothing or money. Or just smile at someone who looks like they need it.
Help someone in need in another country. Someone far away who you don’t know and can hardly imagine. Give money to an aid organization to help rebuild in countries hit by natural disasters or war. Buy school supplies for a kid.
Most importantly, educate yourself on what is going on in the world. Check several sources, remember that one newspaper is never the whole story and that bias and skewed information lurks everywhere. Be critical of what you hear and read. Remember what Greg Mortenson says in Three Cups of Tea, “Ignorance breeds hate…”. Don’t feel guilty about living in a rich, free and peaceful country. Instead use what you have to help those who need it. The world is an unbelievably interconnected place. Yet we often feel so far from people. We can help spread peace to all parts of the world through support and compassion. We need to be role models of peace to children and to the world. You need to take that peace in your heart and spread it around the world. Every day.
Please watch this video than think hard about it.
I think we live in a world (or at least a society) where dollars speak and people listen. I think that if more people were doing a job (or whatever) because they loved doing it the world would change. Children would be better adjusted, marriages would be happier, we’d have less heart attacks, obesity and stress, school would be a means to happiness rather than money and success. We’d have less of a consumerism problem because people would be satisfied and not buying to fulfill something they don’t understand. I think more of the world’s problems would be solved since many people have a passion for this, but don’t want to live with not-for-profit salaries.
Because really, shouldn’t we be measuring success by how happy we are, not by how big our houses are, what kind of car
we drive, or what model of i phone we have?
You will say, it’s not that easy. Make it that easy. Do what you love doing. That’s it.
If you havent’ seen this video yet, watch it. Then show it to any kids that you know whether they be bullies, bullied, or standing by’ers. Because trust me, they are one.
This past weekend we went to a concert in the city. It was a band that Kurt had been wanting to see for more than a decade. He grinned through the whole thing. It was great. We didn’t bring a camera, though I think Kurt would have liked a few pictures. Not worrying about getting a great shot really allows you to experience what is going on. You don’t have to worry about anything else, but watching and being present. There were very few people there without cameras. This is becoming increasingly true in every part of life because cell phones take such great pictures now. There were people taking pictures of every second not worrying about quality, there were those taking painstakingly beautiful photos and then there were those who just took video of the whole show.
It may be nice to be able to look back later and watch the whole concert again, but I think in order to do this you affect the experience you get when you are actually there. Not to mention the experience of the person behind you, whose view will be blocked by your camera and who will be forced to distraction by the tiny version of what is going on in front of them. Just try it, leave your camera at home and be present.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Native American Proverb
“I think we have no right to come forward and urge wider changes for good, until we have tried to alter the evils which lie under our own hands.”