Showing posts from April, 2012

Flexibility and Peace

Flexibility has a deep-rooted relationship with peace. It is the cheapest way to comfort! If we can adapt to new situations, we are usually more peaceful. Adapting does not mean submitting or bowing down to others but it means adjusting to a situation in a way that reduces the hurt and increases the comfort for us and for others around us.

It takes a broader perspective to life to be able to adapt. Just like we have to change our clothing according to the climate, we must be able to modify our lives as per the demand of a situation. Imagine wearing two sweaters and a jacket in a hot afternoon, maybe not a good idea.

Sometimes we mistake stubbornness to strength. In urdu, there is a saying, 'Jhookega wahi jisme kuch jaan hai, akad khas murde ki pehchaan hai', which means that the one that has life will bend but rigidness is the sign of a dead body.

A certain level of flexibility is required for any successful relationship and so this is something that all of us are capable …

Time to Teach Peace

Recent violence in Afghanistan, continued killing and arrests of civilians in Syria, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, killings in Northern Nigeria, shooting of a teenager, Traven Martin, in the US are just some very sad examples of how human beings behave to gain control over a situation.

Let us take a minute and go back in time, into the childhood of the aggressors in these events. I wonder how many of them received formal or informal peace education growing up? If they heard conversations at home around the importance of peace and its impact on their well-being? If they had the opportunity to go to school, they had peace education as part of the curriculum?

When we learn certain values in our childhood, we are very likely to retain them all our lives. Our personality is mostly shaped in our early years. Therefore, we, as States, schools, parents, must find ways to integrate peace education in our homes, classrooms, and in our society at large.

Little jingles and poems with s…



The Economy Says, No More Wars!

When as adults, we see our child in a fist fight with another child over something, we intervene and help them understand that probably fist-fighting was the not the most appropriate solution to whatever the situation was. At the same time, when we look at our mutual problems, which are more complex, we tend to forget to practice what we preach. From time to time we, intelligent and mature adults, fail to handle problems, disagreements and conflicts in the most appropriate way. And like the two fighting kids, we too get focused on winning without thinking of the consequences of that victory. Sometimes, that victory or efforts towards it, ruin a relationship. At a macro level, it escalates into wars. Can we as honestly say that nothing could have prevented the bloodshed of our fellow human beings? There are always peace options but desire for quick conquest overpowers the efforts for a meaningful collective victory. Let us build a case for eliminating or substantially reducing wars fro…

US in Afghanistan?

Recently I read Joe Klein's article in the Time magazine regarding the length of US mission in Afghanistan and its impact on the troops. According to the article there are many veterans who are looking for clarity for the current mission in Afghanistan. Being a veteran's wife, I too find myself in midst of those conversations and truly there no satisfying answers for having 89,000 (figure from February 2012) soldiers on ground, especially after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. 

No war is ever good, even if it is fought in the name of peace. However, I recognize that in complex state of affairs in Afghanistan, merely peaceful negotiations and restoration activities may not present a comprehensive answer and other military and political tactics might be needed for a long-term solution. I wonder if we can re-evaluate our mission, strategies and resources required to carry them out. Seriously, putting 89,000 precious lives in harms way does not sound like the most appropriate strate…

Good Friday: Foundation of Victory!

Today is Good Friday, a day to remember that Jesus Christ son of God was crucified so that by His sacrifice our sins would be forgiven. If you believe this story then the forgiveness and grace that flowed  with His blood from the cross is still able to give you a new life.

I wonder what must be going on in Jesus' mind when He was carrying the cross… Fear? Nervousness? Trust in God that He will be resurrected the third day? Or in addition to all that, 'focus' on the mission. Focus on the greater cause than the humiliations hurled at Him. Focus on the hope for future than the painful present. Focus on the spiritual gain than the physical suffering. Focus on His capacity to love others than other's capacity to hate Him.
On the cross He personified of forgiveness, tolerance, love, acceptance, and perseverance. He gave His greatest teaching not through any parable but by executing it. Not sure if He wanted beautiful Church buildings all over the world but I am pretty sure …

Red Cross Needs You

I wrote this poem while I was working with the American Red Cross, Puerto Rico chapter during hurricane Irene ( August, 2011), which affected several States in the US, caused significant anxiety amongst the emergency managers/disaster responders and happened to be one of the most expensive hurricane in the country. This hurricane did not claim too many lives but every single death affects the whole family and the entire community.
During the response, I met with hundreds of survivors and many of whom were very poor. Their roofs dripped, their beds were wet, and food was damaged. Thankfully, at the same time, I witnessed how Red Cross volunteers were making a difference in their lives. Just as one death can affect a community, one volunteer’s life can benefit many people.
More and more people in the communities need to be prepared to assist their families and neighbours post disaster. Organizations such as Red Cross provide trainings around the world to prepare local citizens to be …
I see Him beyond the rituals… I meet Him more on the streets than in the church… He talks to me more through lives and events than through books, He teaches me more freedom than limitations… He tells me to embrace not to reject… He comes across as a father and a friend not as a judge… Forgiveness is His trademark not punishment, inclusion He preached not isolation… He doesn't seek too many words but expects solid actions…