Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Love Thy Neighbor in 2014 & Beyond


Thank you Lord for the blessings in the past year,
Help us to pay attention to you and may we hear,

May we hear your voice and obey your command,
Of loving our neighbors as ourselves, is your loving demand

What does it mean to love my neighbor as myself?
Empathy for others just like one has for oneself. 

And who is my neighbor after all?
Is it someone who looks like me or  it includes one and all?

She is the beggar on the street, he is drunkard in the bar,
Some we know, some are strangers, some close and some afar... 

Lord, help us to be content in what you gave,
And to share with our neighbor from what we have.

Without truly loving our neighbor, there will never be peace,
Without willingness to share, conflicts will never cease. 

Let this new year be of love and sharing,
Let your command on our lives have a lasting bearing. 

What a shame that we turned our neighbors into our foes,
In this new year, your divine love on our relationships you impose.

Lord, as you know, this world needs peace and reconciliation, 
Bless us with the miracle of love, let the human race experience elation!

We human beings give pain to our fellow humans,
To love one another, give us more reasons.

Grant us grace to share and care,
Forgive our inequities and helps us to be fair.

There is a reason for who we have as our neighbor,
Yes, there might be differences but similarities are greater.

Lord, help each one of us to remember, 
That my neighbor and I have the same creator.

Your 'greatest command', let us adhere. 
Let us love our neighbors in this new year!

Happy New Year and lots of love, my neighbors around the world!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Which side do you want to be?



You say the little efforts that I make
will do no good; they will never prevail to tip the hovering scale where Justice hangs in the balance. I don’t think I ever thought they would. 

But I am prejudiced beyond debate in favor of my right to choose which side shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.

- Bonaro Overstreet

Monday, December 9, 2013

Peace Workout

Peace is a beautiful yet pretty complex concept. Some say it is a state of mind, others say it is a path and not a destination. Whatever it is, most want to experience it. This blog has tried to address peace at various levels, individual level, interpersonal level and at global level. All levels are complex and different people have different perspectives. Many people believe that global peace begins at individual level.

Peace Calls: http://anjana-prewitt.blogspot.com/2012/06/levels-of-peace.html

Mahatma Gandhi said, "BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world". So, if I want this world to be peaceful, I must learn to be peaceful first. The principal is simple but operationalizing it is tricky. I have been working on it for years and yet there are times when I give in and loose my peace of mind or in other words derail from the peaceful path by getting into an unnecessary argument. Initially, the derailment would be for longer periods, however, now I am able to get back to track quicker.

Those of us who would like our world to be peaceful, we must learn to be peaceful first. I feel that being peaceful comes from training ourselves. We must practice to look at the bigger picture and the greater good. It doesn't help to just focus on 'what's in it for me here and now' but it is important to reflect on how this situation is benefitting most, if not all, around me. What is the long term benefit of this change, action or situation?

The other thing that may help is to separate the 'issue' from the 'person'. Fight the issue not the person. Always remember every person possesses good and evil including you and I. We may have disagreements with people in certain areas or issues. As you are paying attention to the disagreements, always, always, look at what are the commonalities in terms of needs and vision for future and build on that. If we are human beings, there are always shared ideas, believes and aspirations, it is about searching for them.

There are times where the commonalities may not be enough to keep two people or groups of people together and the greater good may be that people mind their own business without harming each other. In a situation like that, gently find your own path and continue to move forward in a peaceful way.

Whatever the case is, peace is found in kindness, forgiveness and most importantly in training oneself in  maintaining the right perspective. This life is not perfect and never will be. The good news is that peace can be found in the most imperfect circumstances provided we have trained ourselves to keep the right perspective.

Photo from Google
Trust me, my friends, peace is right here. Close your eyes, deep breath, look at the bigger picture, embrace hope, select three positive actions, pursue them and be determined to keep the right perspective. Claim peace and hold it tight! :-) 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

10 Things We Can Do Right Now About Syria Besides Bombing - Chicago Theological Seminary


Posted: September 06th, 2013 (Posted on Chicago Theological Seminary Website) 

By Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite
President Obama is working the phones, pushing Congress to support his plan for missile strikes on Syria.  Secretary Kerry has warned of the risks of not bombing and characterized that option as “doing nothing.”  
Nicolas Kristof, in the New York Times, asks,  “Are the risks greater if we launch missiles, or if we continue to sit on our hands?”

Not bombing is not the same as “doing nothing,” nor is it continuing to “sit on our hands” when a proactive peacemaking plan is in place and consistently followed.

President Obama, in several addresses including his Nobel Peace Prize speech and his May, 2013 address on drones at the National Defense University, has specifically named the practices of the proactive peacemaking strategy called Just Peace as essential to keeping the U.S. secure.  As the president said in May of this year, “force alone cannot make us safe.”

There is a good case to be made, in regard to bombing Syria, in fact, that using force will make us far less safe.  These missile strikes, if authorized and carried out, run the grave risk of setting off greater extremism both within Syria, and among the major players in the Middle East such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.  While the world is focusing on Syria, Iraq is increasingly violent. Using military force in this volatile and complex region could very likely trigger a global conflict.

Instead, here are 10 things we can do right now about Syria besides bombing.

1. Pray and do faith actions for peace:
My own denomination, the United Church of Christ, has explicitly called for prayer and peace advocacy regarding Syria. “As people of faith we call on our leaders to avoid any military intervention now. We call on them to use all diplomatic and humanitarian means at our disposal for a resolution to this crisis.”

Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world on Saturday, September 7th, 2013.
There are many such calls by people of faith today.

Prayer by diverse people of faith around the world is a powerful action being taken to strengthen the global will among citizens for peace.  It is they who will finally push their governments to drastically increase their efforts toward a political solution.

2. President Obama should immediately withdraw his request that Congress support military action, and instead call on that body to support a ceasefire resolution regarding Syria.
This kind of surprising, unilateral and “pre-emptive” peacemaking is one of the most creative of Just Peace practices. It is called “Take Independent Initiatives to Reduce Threat.”
By engaging in this independent initiative, President Obama could literally startle the Congress, the American people, and the world into peacemaking.

In the Just Peacemaking books we write about how effective this work of independent initiatives has been in the world history of successful peacemaking. Social psychologist Charles Osgood first introduced the concept of independent initiatives as a strategy on the level of international relations in 1962.

In situations of conflict and distrust between nations and international actors, this practice seeks to decrease the threat perception of one’s adversary and lower the level of distrust in the relationship. One side takes initiatives that are independent of the slow process of negotiations (although they are designed to elicit comparable initiatives in response from the other side). Independent initiatives need to be publicly announced and verified to show that they are not a ploy but genuine efforts to work toward a peaceful settlement.

If the U.S. suddenly and unexpectedly called for a ceasefire in Syria instead of for military action, it would change the world dynamic on addressing this conflict. It would also set up other actions we could then take.

3. Bring the U.S. Ceasefire Resolution to the G20.
Following the lead of Congress in calling for an immediate ceasefire, the President should follow that with a request to the G20 to support an immediate cease-fire on all sides in the Syrian conflict.  This would completely reverse the dynamic at that summit, where currently world leaders are pressuring President Obama  to decide against launching military strikes in Syria.

4. Work with the United Nations Secretary General in moving a ceasefire resolution through that body.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a solution to the Syrian problem via political means: “Only political settlement, not armed conflict will return peace to the country and to save human lives.”  Throwing U.S. support behind the U.N. Secretary General would again create a dramatic reversal and halt the drive to war.

5. Push for the scheduling of the “Geneva 2″ summit on Syria.
Nations that do not support military action in Syria should push hard for the follow up meeting to the first discussion on “political transition” for Syria  that began in 2012.
The “Geneva 2” meeting would bring together key constituents, including the rebels and the regime. While this process, held under the auspices of the U.N., will surely be far from perfect, it offers the best chance towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

6. Provide more help for refugees in camps.
In her article on “Three big ways the U.S. could help Syrians without using the military,”Lydia DePillis calls for more aid for those in these camps, especially mental health care.  There are Syrians right now who can be helped right now in this humanitarian crisis without using bombs.

7. Accept Syrian refugees as immigrants.
This week, Sweden became the first European Union country to grant asylum to all Syrian Refugees who apply. “All Syrian asylum seekers who apply for asylum in Sweden will get it,” said Annie Hoernblad, the spokesperson for Sweden’s migration agency. “The agency made this decision now because it believes the violence in Syria will not end in the near future.”  The decision, which will give refugees permanent resident status, is valid until further notice it was announced.

If many other countries, including the U.S., followed suit, no one country would be over-burdened with a large number of immigrants who clearly will need lots of help to recover from the violence in their country.

8. Hold Bashar al-Assad personally accountable for his alleged war crimes.
Especially if there is a distinct lack of cooperation from Bashar al-Assad in regard to cooperating with a ceasefire and agreeing to the Geneva meeting, he should be indicted  in the International Criminal Court (ICC).  This would require support from the U.N. Security Council, but that move could be part of the overall ‘carrot and stick’ approach to finding practical alternatives to military action that particularly Russia has so far opposed.

9. Make a Just Peace plan and stick to it.
Peacemaking takes years.  There is a marked inconsistency in American foreign policy in regard to the Middle East in general; in a democracy, over several presidencies, some of this is inevitable.  But it is also the case that many have observed how reactive our policies have become during and after the Arab Spring.

Bombing looks like “doing something,” but as the war in Afghanistan is now America’s second longest war, after the Vietnam war, we might learn something from the fact that military action is not at all quick and effective.

Military action is most often deadly, lengthy, expensive, and creates the resentments that simply set up the conditions that lead to the next war.

10. Pray for peace and act wisely to bring it about.


Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is Professor of Theology and immediate past President of Chicago Theological Seminary.  She is one of the architects of the Just Peace paradigm, and the author and editor of Interfaith Just Peacemaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War.

10 Things We Can Do Right Now About Syria Besides Bombing - Chicago Theological Seminary

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yes for Action in Syria, President Obama!



By: Joseph O. Prewitt Diaz, PhD


We have heard through the media that the only reason that the American people have to attack Syria and President Assad is so that the USA does not loose face in front of the world community.  We acknowledge that something terribly wrong has occurred in the House of Syria that has caused fear, tension and even death. Many people have run away and are currently in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

The American people realize that when you see an injustice committed, if you don’t act, you are as criminal as the person committing the injustice.  The American people are tired of war or scared to act, that is part of the individualistic nature of this society, in part ignorance about international affairs, and even worse, lack of faith in the God that constructed this nation. My dear brethren this is not about whether Obama is right or wrong, or whether is best to stand in the sideline without acting, or even yet to cite the laws, both national and international, so that no action takes place.

We have one way to win. We can pray to God to give us wisdom to develop loving ways whereby we don’t destroy the world ecology through destructive actions. Let us all adhere and commit ourselves to the tenets of “Do no harm”. 

The United States can continue to be the number one nation, and the best neighbor, President Obama will be applauded for his humanitarian initiatives, and the American people will not have a need to be scared.  Let us begin a dialogue about what strategies to move forward that will prevent ecological, psychosocial, and spiritual ecological balance. Let us become the number one humanitarian country and take important initiatives to assist the Syrian brethren.  Some of these initiatives may include:

1.     Instead of missiles, re-route our stocks to provide shelter, food, water and safety to all refugees. According to the news reports, there are over 2 million Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries. Many of them are desperate for appropriate assistance.
2.     Instead of war ships, let us send the Hospital ship, and begin to provide medical care to those that are most in need. Hundreds of sick and wounded are struggling both in country and in refugee camps.
3.     Instead of weapons to the rebels, let us provide subsidies to the receiving nations, and teach the immigrants how to care for themselves through agricultural and educational programs.
4.     Instead of fear among children, let us build schools for boys and girls and turn this diaspora into an experience of learning and a march of hope. We know from experience when children are forced to live in refugee camps, they have lesser educational and developmental opportunities.

These is a simple proposition with just four broad examples, that will make the United States a country of action, care, and an exemplar of hope. It will defuse the anger amongst the population within the United States and the Middle East.  The ultimate goal is to provide a humanitarian action through peaceful actions that will enhance well-being and resilience for the Syrian people.  What is in it for us in the United States? Maybe new, kinder, and peaceful ways, of addressing the internal needs of our country, and a kinder environment for all Americans and foreigners alike.  Less destruction more construction, less percussion, more tolerance.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called the children of God”

Pearls of Wisdom from Mother Teresa


Courtesy Facebook

Monday, September 2, 2013

THERE IS A SILVER LINING to the CLOUD OF UNCERTAINTY LIES OVER SYRIA BETTER DAYS ARE AHEAD


Joseph O. Prewitt Díaz, PhD
September 2, 2013

All the posturing, threats, consultation, and television reports of the last 48 hours may seem that Syria is under a threat of attack, as a result of the inappropriate actions of President Assad and other groups, exposing non-combatant population to sarin gas. Many countries in the world have sat on the sidelines as expectator, amongst them United States, Rusia, and China, while over 100,000 people have been killed and another 1 million forced to exile either in Lebanon, Jordan, or Turkey. President Obama spoke out of anger and those words committed the United States to take action. We suggest that after all the consultation, he decides for peaceful ways to alleviate suffering amongst non-combatants.

This strategies may include providing medical treatment, providing food, water and shelter, and alleviating suffering for women, children and the elderly, through safe spaces outside of the borders of Syria.  Approaching President Assad through the United Nations or through third parties or countries that may include consultation and mentoring, helping President Assad how to get back on the straight and narrow and mend his ways with positive actions (less killing, more reconciliation).

Many people realized that the words in Jeremiah’s prediction were coming to fruition.  The prophet shares his vision: “Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, of a woman in labor.  How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy? Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts.  And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”(Jer 49:23-27).

After bad days when the governors come to their senses and atone for their crimes, there will be days of reconstruction, reconciliation and peace. A gospel of peace will reign in Syria. The times will be different: it will not be necessary to resist the bad, but rather share what little you have left, if someone asks you to walk a mile, walk two miles, who ever asks, to him or her you give of what you have. Love your enemies and oppressors, bless those that curse you, do good deeds even to does that are from different group, pray for those that have raped and pilfered from you (Mat 5:39-45).

Peace requires level headedness, and inner peace. If you are patient you will exude patience. If you are loving you will exude love, If you are calm you will exude calmness. It will be up to the common man and woman that have survived from these times of war to become ambassadors of peace.   “Blessed are the peacemakers because they will be called the children of God” (Mat. 5:9)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

SE NECESITA UN EVANGELIO DE PAZ EN SIRIA

By Joseph O. Prewitt Díaz
1 de septiembre 2013

Todo lo que ocurre sobre la fas de la tierra es parte del gran plan magistral de Nuestro Señor su Hijo Jesucristo, quien con su sangre compro mi salvación y el espíritu Santo. En momentos de confusión e injusticia, el mundo se pone tenso y los gobiernos comienzan a buscar formas de calmar al pueblo. Nosotros sabemos lo que esta ocurriendo, por las noticias que nos provee la Palabra. Es nuestra responsabilidad convertirnos en pacificadores. Ante tan gran cataclismo, orar para mantener la calma, y compartir con todos, no importa su tono o acción: “Sea la paz”.

En estos momentos se desmaya Damasco, todos huyen por la violencia sistemática del Presidente Assad y sus secuaces. Los emigrantes a cruzar la frontera hacia Jordán, Líbano y Turquía tiemblan de horror, la angustia los agobia. Se siente el dolor de los recién llegados, como si fueran los dolores una mujer que esta de parto (Jeremías 50:24).

Damasco cuidad alabada, es testigo de los jóvenes muertos en las plazas, las mujeres los niños y niñas y los ancianos y ancianas victimizados por el gas Sarín, que aparece silenciosamente tronchando la vida de los no-combatientes. Ahí que prestar atención a Jeremías (50: 23-27) cuando advierte a sus gobernantes de la furia de Dios, cuando baje del cielo fuego que queme los muros en derredor a la ciudad y destruya el palacio presidencial.

Ahí que pedirle cuentas al Presidente Assad. Con la esperanza de que traiga el apresto, la Palabra de Cristo en su corazón, donde el Presidente Assad y sus seguidores, sientan espiritualmente una irradiación divina de paz porque lo interno de ellos, que es lo que vale para Cristo, tiene paz. (Efesios 6:15)

Jesucristo se manifiesta ante la situación con un evangelio de paz. Estos días son muy interesantes los países que tradicionalmente son aliados se confrontan con la definición de una manera de ayudar a los no-combatientes en Siria. Cuando se han enfrentado a esta situación con una perspectiva de paz, se comienzan a definir soluciones pacificas, la inquietud se reduce, ahí que tomar tiempo para llegar a una lista de posibles acciones. Porque su no tienen paz en las jornadas de deliberación tampoco tendrán la victoria.

Inglaterra ha decidido no atacar, el Presidente de los Estados Unidos esta reconsiderando su postura y ha comenzado una consulta. Australia se abstiene de atacar a Siria.

En lo que concierne a nosotros, como hijos e hijas de Dios, amantes de la paz debemos siempre estar consientes, que Jesucristo nos instruye a amar a nuestros enemigos, a bendecir a los que nos maldicen, y haced bien a los que nos aborrecen (Mateo 5:44).

Debemos seguir vigilantes y orar por los habitantes de Siria y por sus gobernantes. El espíritu de Jehova el Señor esta sobre la población. Confiamos en que llegara la restauración a las ciudades arruinadas (Isaías 61:4)


Escuchamos sobre los estruendos de los cañones, misiles y propaganda soez a Jesucristo diciendo “Bienaventurado los pacificadores porque ellos serán llamados hijos de Dios”. (Mateo 5:9)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Syria: It Should Be About Saving Lives

Syria has been hurting for over a year. Something that initially looked like Arab uprising, eventually turned into civil war. Many human rights activists have been begging for some concrete intervention from the international community. However, unfortunately the international community that can take any action is usually led by their political agendas.

In conversations for protecting human rights and dignity, I miss active participation and guidance of humanitarian workers. Well respected religious leaders too should be brought in to explore solutions. Yes, they may not bring political power but they may bring humanitarian insights that would lead to more compassionate action.

I understand that behaviors have consequences and one should be ready for them. So, I agree Syrian regime should face consequences for not being able to protect well-being and dignity of its people and conversely, in many cases torturing and killing them. President Assad, I am neutral to your political agenda but I have to say, it was your obligation to protect each of one of those children who were killed ruthlessly. Please assume your responsibility towards your fellow countrymen. Please don't go so far that you can't ever come back!

International community, please take action because enough statements have been made. The reason for your action is to save peoples' lives and so the goal of your actions should be to save peoples lives not to destroy them. In simple words, a war may not protect people. Can we send UN peace forces to stop the violence ground? Can we put substantial resources for increasing numbers of refugees to support the neighboring countries until this conflict is resolved diplomatically? Can we enhance the quality of those in the refugee camps? Let's make it about protecting people not killing more.

Photo: http://www.osundefender.org/?p=55031

Yes, war seems to be a quick and customary answer to stop this barbarism but I am convinced there are compassionate and humanitarian strategies that can be explored and implemented to protect human life and dignity in Syria.

Where are all the humanitarian leaders?
Where are well-wishers of masses?
Where are the religious preachers?
Where are those who represent all classes?

When families are suffering,
When people are ruthlessly killing,
When people are helplessly dying,
When all news sources, the story of injustice, telling

Is war the only answer?
Is love loosing its power?
Can we not stop the 'violence monster'?
Right action is the need of the hour! 

Leaders of the world speak up!
Humanitarian community, speak up!
Against injustice and barbarism, speak up!
Prevent the situation from worsening, speak up!

What if it was your child who was gassed?
What if the oppressor walked into your home?
What if your dignity was harassed?
How would you fight it all alone?

Let lust for power be transformed to sanity!
Support those who are now living as refugees in poverty!
Through novelty, protect human dignity!
Nations of the world, come together in the name of humanity!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Always Choose Love!

Sometimes fear of loosing the one we love overpowers the love we have for them.  That fear hurts the relationship, our loved one and us. Exchange fear with courage. Let me encourage us to love courageously!

Love without fear is love in its purest form!

Photo: Courtesy Facebook,  author unknown

Saturday, June 22, 2013

National Tragedy in India

It is a sad time for India, where over 1000 people are dead and many more are missing. There are about 40,000 people still stranded who went for pilgrimage in the northern India. In addition, there are tens of thousands of family and friends all over the nation that are waiting to hear about the fate of their dear ones. Everyone who sees it, on the ground or on TV,  is affected by it.

This is a national tragedy. My heart goes out for the people who are suffering, displaced and waiting to hear about their dear ones. This is a time when the people of the nation must come together to support those who are affected.


People like Mr. Kukreti, who survived the water surge and witnessed people dying around them may have life long psychological consequences. Here's a glimpse of what he experienced in the temple he was in, it survived the assault, but when the water receded after a cold night of prayer, Mr. Kukreti found himself standing among piles of dead pilgrims. Everywhere he looked he saw dead men, women, and children" (The New York Times). In other channels like Aaj Tak, people are reporting how they witnessed death. These experiences would require long term support specifically from friends and family.  


My salute to Indian military for their heroic efforts to save the lives of these people. Their efforts are commendable. Next big task for the government and NGO community would be to provide psychological and social support to the survivors of this catastrophic event and their dear ones to facilitate their recovery and mitigate negative psychological impact. 


Key resource that can provide technical assistance in this effort is the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). NIMHANS experts have years of experience of providing support to survivors of disasters all over the nation. They do not wait for people to call in to seek assistance but have a community based approach. They build local capacity in simple skills like psychological first aid and promote outreach for those who may require help. Hopefully, they are receiving resources and space to offer help to the needy. 


Indian Red Cross Society is also working very hard to support the recovery efforts and reunite the separated families. When I worked with Red Cross in India, we collaborated with NIMHANS to provide support to survivors of Orissa super-cyclone, Bhuj earthquake, and other disasters. Red Cross Movement also has some simple resources that can be used to provide training to local people. One can download these materials free of cost from the website of the Red Cross' Psychosocial Support Center: http://psp.drk.dk/sw2955.asp 


In addition to the survivors, military personnel and other first responders would also require support to process what they witnessing. Let us pray that peace be upon the affected people and first responders who are working hard to save lives and search for survivors. 


Sources:



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Have a good one!

Hey there, how are you today? So, how was the day for you? Wait, wait, wait… before you start reflecting on your day, please make sure you have the right focus as you reflect on the day.

Please start with the good things you experienced today, things that you are thankful for, people that made you smile today… deep breath and recognize the goodness around you even if it just a little bit... embrace it and smile back to the world!

For example, my day started with chirping of birds and fresh cool morning, saw my dear ones, enjoyed their company over a cup of coffee, just like the way I like it, sweet & milky :-) :-) (I love milk!). I go on and on about what happened with me today but that's not the point. The point is how do we stay positive in the midst of difficult times.

My day too brought stressors but stress couldn't overpower me because I chose to focus on the positive. There are days when that choice becomes very difficult and I can't take my attention away from all that is going wrong but I try nonetheless. I seek help, share my feelings and fear with those I trust. Read jokes on Google, watch inspirational speeches on Youtube, take a stroll, watch the happy birds, smell, touch and feel the wild flowers on the way, take a moment to ponder on the blessings I have, have a conversation with God and I genuinely start feeling positive!

So, my friend, just in case you are feeling negative or low today, just take a deep breath and smile! Recognize, embrace and internalize the positivity all around you... accept the freely flowing grace from above… hold on to hope… and claim victory on your day!!!

As my husband says, 'the best thing God ever made was another day… '

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Right Focus Enhances Resilience

I have been experiencing a difficult time for a couple of months. There were moments when I lost my inner peace but only to claim it back. The path of peace is very interesting, as you walk on it there is no guarantee that you will only encounter peaceful events.  But the good news is that God will always provide you with options, insights, thoughts and sometimes people that will help you protect your peace. All you need is the right focus. 

Yes, the right focus! Focus on your belief system, faith, inner strengths, external resources, the bigger picture and the greater good. Life is not all about the problem you are in right now, it is much bigger than that. It is important to take appropriate action to resolve the situation but the action will be effective only if you can see beyond the problem. It is important to visualize the desired future and focus on it.

It can be hard but it is doable. All it takes is a bit of flexibility, ability to look beyond the problem and a broad vision for success. Develop a strategy to get beyond what troubles you to what will comfort you and your dear ones without harming anybody else and you will be well on your path of peace! Remember, not to loose the focus! :-)

Photo: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225935


The best part is that when you walk on the path of peace, even in middle of difficulties, God sends you his angels. No kidding… I meet them all the time and they come in all packages regardless of their religion, gender, color, race or ethnicity. They just don't wear the white garb or wings but they do have lovely smiles, truth in their eyes and warm hugs! Focus on them rather than complaining about those who do not possess these characteristics… remember, 'right focus'! 

Well, friends, I am walking on my path of peace and looking beyond the challenges. I am thankful to God for this long night because through His grace I am able to see the shining stars that reflect the light of the sun that will soon emerge! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bring Us Together, Lord!

While we were mourning Boston bombings through this morning, news of 7.3 earthquake in Iran-Pakistan border further saddened the mood. Loss of dear ones, injuries, pain, sadness, fear, anger is being experienced on both sides. In midst of the great sorrow, there is a little yet profound lesson that teaches us that we are all equally vulnerable to evil and catastrophes. 

May God's comfort rest on the hearts of those who are grieving regardless of who they are and on what soil their dear ones will be buried.

Lord, let the dew of your grace heal the wounds,
On the burning hearts, send your loving rain,
Lord, please reach out and touch them,
You see them crying, you know their pain

You are impartial, we know today,
Just like the suffering came on both sides,
Send us healing lord, in the US, in Iran/Pakistan
and wherever else the grief slides  

Martin Richard who lost his life in Boston Bombings yesterday (http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/boston-boy-killed/index.html?hpt=us_t2)


Little Martin lost his innocent life here,
Just like the little one who died there,
Thank you for taking them in your arms,
And welcoming them in your comfort up there

Lord, unite the two worlds here,
As you unite our little angels in heaven,
Bring us together in your perfect peace,
Help us to learn this profound lesson

God, Allah, Jesus, Jehovah, Ishwar
Just as You are One,
In this moment of sorrow for humanity, 
Bring us together as one

                       — Amen


Monday, February 18, 2013

Let Me Be Yours, Lord


Let my life project your love, Lord,
Open my eyes to see your love,
Open my heart to receive your love,
Open my mouth to speak your love

Let my life project your love, Lord,
Let me bring warmth to those in cold,
Let me be the breeze to those who sweat,
Let me be your blessing manifold 

Let my life project your love, Lord,
Let me put the soothing balm on pain,
On dry lonely hearts,
Let me be the drops of rain

Let my life project your love, Lord,
Let my actions be actions of love,
Let my words be words of love, 
Let my silence be silence of Love

Photo: Google

Let my life project your love, Lord,
Please, guide me to share,
You become my passion, oh Lord
Make me your instrument of care

                                        - Amen

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hurting? Not a bad thing…

Feeling hurt? Let the sore wound in your heart breath fresh air… let it absorb the light of new learnings that the painful event brings in your soul… notice that you're wiser now… breath in the light that leads you to newness, to tomorrow… trust this light, it takes you closer to home… let go of the rest, just hold on to love!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/97612099/12x16-acrylic-painting-on-canvas-rumi



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Freedom, my Friend!!!

Breaking up with some you love is almost like loosing a dear one to death, sometimes worse. The pain is acute, eyes overflow with tears, and the heart is shattered. Just spoke to a dear friend who is going through a similar situation. A man I really look up to, who is not ashamed to give me a glimpse into his inner world at one of the most difficult times of his life. Let me tell you, his world is an inspiring one, it is full of sadness and yet hopeful.

Courtesy Google
Most of us, men or women, have cried for love  and thankfully, majority of us moved on either from the person or from the situation. Loving someone is beautiful and being sad for them is an inseparable part of loving. Emotions are like waves, they come and hit the coast with great fury, they then calmly retract back to the ocean. Time, and activities are great healing tools!

Love doesn't always mean sticking together. Love means freedom, freedom of togetherness or freedom of separation. Freedom to support or freedom to let go. Freedom to want or freedom to care. Freedom to be present or freedom to  move away when love turns into something negative. Freedom to keep moving on with love. Love doesn't hold you down. If it does, maybe it is not love after all.

Love is not about guilt. Love means doing the right thing. Love is not about pretending, love is about being honest. If togetherness is not the destination of love, don't force it to get stuck in a strange place. Let love take the lead not our fleeting desires.

True love can be silent, hidden and free of any attachment. Sometimes, true love transforms into prayers, thoughts, good wishes, and freedom for both souls. I pray to God that my dear friend enjoys this newfound freedom. Freedom will make the pain bearable and bring his love to the right destination.

Friend, I am so proud of you for loving someone who probably didn't deserve your love, and letting them go when it hurt the very core of your heart, for choosing freedom for yourself and for the other, and most of all, for being hopeful, for looking at tomorrow, for focusing on those who love you, your parents, friends and God. Honored to be your friend today and forever!

This event is the beginning of the rest of your life! It brings you the priceless lessons that you are learning and will become little lights in your path to peace. Please remember, after a stormy night, there is always a quiet morning breeze to sooth you! Big hug :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Born Free and Equal!

We declare that all human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies.  Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and must be rejected along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races - Report of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance of the UN (2001)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Live Love!

Focus on potential in friendships not on bitterness in relationships. Think about things to be thankful for and building on what is good. Choose to smile, choose to help and chose hope. Help 'people' and put your hope on 'God'. 

Breath in courage and dare to love! Love even if it takes forgiveness, silence, hurt, moving on, letting them be… Cleanse your heart from heavy dirt of hatred and refresh it with fragrance of love! 

Photo from Google
Live love, love your creator, love yourself, love the nature, love those who love you, love those around you and if you can, love those who may dislike you. Love is the way to go!

Celebrate those who love you while you still can! Hold hands, hug them, give gifts, make a nice meal, write a poem, look into their eyes, sit next to them, appreciate them, feel their heartbeat, see yourself with their eyes, thank God for them, whisper in their ears how much you appreciate their love, make their day today and everyday! Celebrate Love :-) 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Be in control of your life, not of others…

Courtesy Facebook

Are You Cool?

I have a 13 year old and looks like being cool pretty important. What's important to him is important to me too. However, one is to look cool and the other is to be cool regardless of the looks, age and gender.

Talk about being cool, I think the coolest thing in life is be able to live a life without grudges, hatred, anger. It is totally cool to be able to enjoy life, without the burden of expectations from others. That truly is the feeling of freedom!

If we are open, ready to share, non-judgmental, eager to embrace, then our life will be light and free like breeze, it will flow like the fresh waters of a river going beyond the rocks of challenges, pebbles of false accusations, quenching thirst of many along the way! The breeze with fragrance of forgiveness that comes from river of love that continues to flow and explore its path with hope, faith and determination…

Courtesy Facebook
 I wanna be able to love people around me and be cool and you? :-) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Peace!

Say it and make peace! Holding feelings may avoid a temporary discomfort but might leave a permanent injury to the relationship and to your soul. Say it with an open heart and with the same heart take the feedback in. Fight the issue not the person. Shake hands with the soul not just with the body. Focus on the bigger picture and greater good not on the immediate ego satisfaction. Claim inner peace and share it with the one in front of you. You are the greatest contributor to peace in your own life, take the responsibility and be successfully peaceful!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Smile with your Heart to Embrace Peace

Smile is not a function of only lips and it is incomplete if other critical organs are not involved. Smile with your heart and let your eyes reflect it :-) 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Let Us Defeat Hunger


Recently I was reading 'Night' by Eli Wiesel and his experiences in the concentration camp in Germany. The time of his life when dignity, affection and relations succumbed to hunger.  Suffering snatched away any sense of humanity from him. As I read the text, I was reminded of Victor Frankel's memoirs one more time. Once again, it generated a deep pain and sadness in my heart. I can't even begin to understand what it is to have hunger rule all your instincts, duties and concerns.

Then I thanked God that the holocaust was over! Unfortunately, the feeling of gratitude didn't last too long because an advertisement on CNN shook it. It is not Nazis and it is not one particular race, but this time but it is poverty, conflicts and unequal wealth distribution in different parts of world responsible for death and suffering. 

I couldn't believe it and researched it and this is what I found on USA TODAY's page, 18,000 children die every day of hunger!!! Yes, it is true, as per the United Nations food agency's (World Food Program) report, "Some 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs"

Until when humans will die of hunger? 

I am pretty sure that there are enough resources in this world to feed every human being but we don't have time think about it. Yes, there are individuals and organizations that are working to fight hunger but they need our support to be successful. On one hand, there are people who are falling sick or dying because of overeating and on the other hand people are dying because of lack of food. Where's the balance? 

By the way, if this post reminds you of children in Africa, which it should, let me also share with you that the largest number of malnourished children is in India - more than 100 million and over 40 million in China (USA TODAY website). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life (Feeding America website). Lack of food or lack of access to food is a global issue, a reality in our own backyards!  

While our heads are down looking at these statistics, we might as well look at the fat on our bellies and decide to become fit physically and spiritually by sharing with the less fortunate.    

I am not rich but I can afford to buy a lipstick or a new shirt or eat out once in a while and I know there are many others like me. Can we give up one of those little random expenses just once a month and send it to a reliable organization that can serve as a conduit to feed the starving children and their care-takers? It is ok if you don't believe in helping through an organization, you can feed somebody near you, who is clearly hungry. Would you?

One last thing, share what is needed and where it is needed. Not where it is convenient or makes you look/feel good. Please think it through when you share and do it right! Share, my friends, even if it is in small amount. 

O India, My Motherland!

A plea of a migrant to her motherland:   O India, my motherland, My identity and my pride! My soul seeks nourishment, Only you...