Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Let the Healing Begin

With all that is going on in the world today, it is very challenging to stay focus on peaceful ideas. Peshawar attack was the worst attack on hope for peace in this world. It is so easy for people to distort religious teachings and do whatever they want to do. Those who killed those innocent children in the name of Allah, didn't seem to have fear of Allah. They were just full of what was being taught to them. Unfortunately, those who brainwashed them are still hiding behind strong walls watching the drama play out. In the long run, how will all this benefit them? When they face Allah, are they going to get praise because they ordered and facilitated killing of innocent children? The killers were killed at the scene but these people are still alive and maybe plotting other atrocities. Hope these people find some time to sincerely ponder on what Holy Quran says and can change the motive of their lives. Allah is the most merciful and forgiving and the followers must aspire to be like that too.

An attempt to give words to what many of us are feeling in the aftermath of the brutalities around the world...

All I want my being is to exude love,
Want to fly around the world like His dove,
I try hard to be a blessing
of Him who sits in the heavens above.

But many times, I fail,
The goodness does not seem to prevail,
Wickedness within me or outside
breaks me into pieces and leaves me frail

When the atrocities are rampant,
Religion is confused with killing the innocent,
Hope for peace takes a bashing,
The spirit is crushed by the actions of the ignorant

Then there are times,
when my own selfishness shines,
takes my focus away from what's right,
And my ego 'the greater good' undermines

And yet one has to keep going,
With more rigor, let the vigor flowing,
On the highest peak of human emotions

Let the banner of hope and faith be valiantly flying

When evil injures the humanity, 
Regardless of race, color and nationality
Be that healing touch,
that brings back healing and sanity! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being A Woman

I am a woman,
And I often have to struggle for my rights,
I thought I will get used to it,
But now I am getting tired of it.
I am tired of justifying my needs,
my initiatives and my vision.
I am tired of wondering: 
What are others thinking of me?
How am I being judged by the elderly?
Am I shaming the honor of my family?
How do I get rid of my feelings of insecurity? 
Sometimes I feel I am questioned
just because I am a woman,
not only by the men
but also by my fellow women! 
Then there are also men and women,
who understand me,
But they are tough to find.
There are those 
who are not exactly a man or a woman,
they are somewhere in between the spectrum,
I seek their support too,
because they know what it is to be questioned
what it is to justify who you are
But not all understand me,
and I don't understand some of them.
I wish, hope and pray we could all come together,
At least those who are demeaned
could stand together and
become powerful in unity
Maybe then we will win more fights,
Maybe then we will not be as tired,
Maybe then we will change the world
towards peace and harmony,
Maybe then we will make a world
where our children will not be questioned
just because of who they are
Maybe then we be will able to 
bring out love from the religious books
and share it with more and more human beings
Maybe then our differences will be 
to enhance flavors, to bring on colors,
Maybe then will not be judged 
just because we are different
Maybe then being a woman 
will not be a struggle anymore! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

You Will Always Have The Option!

There will always be someone questioning you,
There will always be someone troubling you,
But there will always be someone to uphold you,
There will always be someone supporting you!

Who you give your attention to,
that choice will always be yours!
Who you want to engage,
that decision will always be yours!

The rose-bush will always have
the thorn and the flower,
There will always be an option
to reach out for what you desire!

You will always have the freedom
to focus on the light.
You will always have the control
to opt for what is right.

You will always be able to hum a tune,
sad or cheerful, you will have to decide.
You will always be able to influence the environment,
you will have to select the direction of your stride.

There will always be a path to peace,
no matter how many roads lead differently,
the path to peace might be small and elevated,
You will always be able to tread on it gently! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Earth Community

Currently, I am taking a course on Peace and Conflict studies where the lecture for this week included the preamble of the Earth Charter, (The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative). Here are the inspiring words in the preamble: 

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.


For the full document, please visit: http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

Who Am I?


I might be a ‘nobody’,
Or maybe I am an ‘ever-changing somebody’,
My identity isn’t static,
I move from place to place,
And when I am in one place,
I want to move to another place.

I might be loyal but
I am not a supporter all the time,
I see mistakes in myself
And in the best…
I can appreciate some bit of goodness
In a branded evil…
I believe in human beings,
I cannot follow them blindly though…

Am I wanderer?
A doubter?
A loose cannon?
A lost cause?

One day I feel accomplished,
A ‘wanna be’ the next day,
I am nervous every morning
‘Coz I feel like a struggler everyday!

I am traditional
In a very liberal way,
Don’t believe in boundaries
But do follow the game rules.

Rest makes me restless,
Challenges keep me going,
Suffering makes me sad,
Suffering without action makes me worse.

I am sensitive like a
‘touch me not’
And resilient like
‘you can break me not!

I love those who go to the church,
I love those who hate the church,
I choose to love,
But cannot dare to judge!

Am I wanderer?
A doubter?
A loose cannon?
A lost cause?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Holy Scriptures: TANAKH

Peace in Action 

Job 22:21 "Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. 

Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. 

Psalm 85:10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 

Proverbs 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. 

Ecclesiastics 3:8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 

Isaiah 54:13 All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. 

Isaiah 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Holy Quran

Peace in Action 

25: 63 And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!";

25: 68 They do not call on any deity other than the one God. They do not kill a person, the taking of whose blood God has forbidden, except for just cause. They do not commit adultery. Those who commit these acts must pay. Their torment on the Judgment Day will be doubled, and they will be consigned to eternal abasement–


25:69 Unless they repent, have faith, and do righteous works. For such as these, God changes their evil deeds into good works. God is forgiving and compassionate.


8: 61 But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that hears and knows (all things). 

2: 256 Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error. 

2:224 And make not Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for Allah is One Who hears and knows all things.

2: 195 And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction.

The Holy Bible

Love in Action


Romans 12: 
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fight for your Rights but fight it Right!

There are times when I am discouraged and loose the motivation to write something inspiring and I know merely words are not sufficient to inspire peace. But then what is enough to inspire peace? And who needs to be inspired? Is it those who are fighting or those who are fueling it or funding it or those who end up making money out of it? Obviously, war is not as simple as groups fighting for their rights with immense emotions but it also includes those handful of people who make money of it and ensure its sustainability.  And those who actually fight the war think they are leading it but unknowingly play the role of passionate puppets whose beliefs have become vague and are confused about what is the greater good! I wish they would stop and reflect and reconsider what would actually help achieve the goal of well-being of those they represent. I hope those who are flourishing on wars would rethink their money-making strategy and have mercy on humanity. While we hope against all hope, there are times when frustration gives birth to several questions: 

Would love for land, power and money ever be replaced by
love, care and compassion?  
Would a child's smile ever become more precious than
the materialistic possession?

Would they ever wake up from
their shallow motivations?
Would they ever stop to look at
the consequences of their actions? 

For how long the humanitarians
will have to beg for resources?
For how long those who fund wars
will be the leading forces?

Will the simple ever
start following their own hearts?
Will the common people ever
take on the leadership parts? 

How many more have to die
empty handed to show
Only souls transition,
not even the bodies go!

Why then the lust for power?
Why the fight, why the war?
Why so much selfishness?
Why collect more and more? 

Stop in God's name,
Stop this bloody game!
When you look at the damage your hands have done,
Aren't you ashamed? 

Which religion teaches to sacrifice the children?
What God commands oppression over well-being?
What distorted book tells you
to interpose pain and suffering? 

No matter who you are,
if you justify the violence,
you are lying about your religion,
and probably have long lost your conscience!

But you still have time,
make it right,
You will win with long lasting benefits,
If with peace and consideration you fight your fight! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ongoing Conflicts: Height of Human Ridiculousness

What a challenging time for humanity! Thousands of people have died, millions are experiencing hell in different parts of the world such as Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and Gaza! Oh, I wish I could blame all this to any one religious or ethnic group; Muslims, Jews or Christians, Russia, Israel or someone else! But the fact is no one group is entirely responsible for this atrocity. Stupidity and irrationality is found across boundaries!

Leaders escalate conflicts in the name of autonomy and well-being of their people and take actions that lead to exactly opposite outcomes. Israel thinks by bombing Gaza, it is making its people safer but common sense says that bombing may not be the best strategy to achieve that goal. Over five hundred people have been killed in Gaza during the latest crisis, most of whom are innocent people that include women and children. Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the current crisis in Gaza and said, "Imagine that 75 percent of the U.S. population is under rocket fire and they have to be in bomb shelters within 60 to 90 seconds.  So, I'm not just talking about New York - New York, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Miami, you name it". This is a really good talking point but what he didn't add was that it would happen to the US if the Americans were starting to settle illegally in Mexico and Canada and were isolating Canada from the rest of the world. By killing innocent people, Israel will not be able to win the trust of Palestinians and reduce tension between the two countries. Prime Minister Netanyahu could be the one who could genuinely broker peace between the two nations and make history but unfortunately, it seems that he is choosing to be just another leader in the region. 

http://cintayati.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/the-4-boys-slaughtered-on-the-gaza-beach-whilst-playing-football/gaza-15-july-death-on-the-beach-boy-3/

On the other hand, Hamas is busy asserting itself as the leader of Gaza but is sacrificing the lives of their women and children again and again! (Update on this conflict can be found by clicking here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28397215). Agreed that the innocent people are dying because of the attacks from across the border but isn't it true that actions of Hamas often provoke those attacks. If Hamas leadership feels that there is injustice then there are other ways to fight it, there are examples of non-violent fights for justice that were won in the end and the benefits were long lasting. Struggles of Mahatma GandhiNelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind where they didn't ask for sacrifices from the children and youth but made sacrifices for them. They fought the fight persistently and yet non-violently till they embraced victory. Their children didn't have to die to facilitate their victory but are now enjoying the freedom because of their leadership! Hamas leaders are letting their valid arguments for equality get all mixed up and diffused by taking refuge in anger and violence. 

Russia is silent on the violence in Ukraine and hoping to expand its span of control. As a result, it is facing sanctions that will hurt its current jurisdiction (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/21/us-ukraine-crisis-sanctions-idUSKBN0FQ11V20140721). It is a powerful nation and can surely have influence in neighboring countries as well as the rest of the world by showing humanitarian leadership. But President Putin is choosing to support the conflict rather than build peace in the region. Syrian dictator is adamant on retaining power but his so called 'subjects' are slipping away from his control everyday whether due to killings or due to migration. I can go on and on about the lack of wisdom and sometimes even common sense in these leaders. What the heck are they thinking? 

Which of these leaders can, in all honesty, say that their governance has brought their people  in a better place? All of these people are in an excellent position to do the right thing and take their nations as well as their neighboring countries to absence of fear, peace and prosperity. They come and reiterate their talking points to the entire world but no body understands the emptiness of their words than their own hearts. It is OK if they want to look down at the religion of the enemy but they must at least pay attention to their own religious books that tell them to forgive and care for the vulnerable. Even if they don't want to hear the shrieks of the women and men that are being raped or the painful cries of dying children but they must pay attention to the voice of their own conscience and wake up to sanity! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

This Memorial Day…

Remembering those who gave their lives for their country with Peter, Paul and Mary - Where Have All the Flowers Gone… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgXNVA9ngx8


This Memorial Day, let us internalize the lessons that wars have taught us:
  • No matter what party wins, the families of the soldiers who die are the ones who loose. 
  • Everyone in the country experiences the negative financial impact of the war. Now with globalization, other countries too experience recession, sometimes for a long time!
  • No war really resolves issues for good, if it did North Korea and South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries that fought wars would be prosperous and at peace. 
  • Even if you fight the war on the foreign land, negative psychological and social impacts creep in your country as well. If not, US would not have the shooting sprees in the military bases, thousands of soldiers on suicide watch and suffering from PTSD. Just think of the impact on their families including their little children. It is not worth it! 
  • The more we kill and fight wars, we create more enemies. When we help educate the ignorant, feed the hungry, we make more friends and establish alliances. 
  • Even if half of the money spent on destruction and deaths could be spend on education and development, thousands of poor and uneducated youth who join militia/terrorists groups in ignorance could be saved. And the rest of the money could be used to educate our own children who join gangs and violence in our neighborhoods. This is not rocket science! 
  • If we really want to lead, we can lead this world to social responsibility, development, prosperity and to peace! 
This Memorial Day, let the sacrifices of the brave teach us the silent lessons that are shed in the tears of their dear ones!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let's Dare to Love!

Language of love is the most popular language this world has ever known. To feel someone's love, we don't need to know their mother tongue. Love cannot be stopped by boundaries or any regulations.  Love touches hearts and lives like nothing else can. Let's feel it, embrace it! Let's fill the empty spaces of our beings with love because the fountain of love is within us. Let us unleash it and let it overflow! Let it reach others and fill them too. Let it flow, let it communicate and give birth to new friendships, new relations…

Let love speak through our eyes,
and through our facial expressions,
Let love reside in our thoughts,
and be communicated through our actions

Let love drive us 
to our conclusions,
Let love guide us
to our destinations

Let love be the foundation
of all relations
Let language of love
be the language of nations

Photo Courtesy Google

As we plan and execute
our actions and reactions
Let love be found
behind our intentions

Let love not hatred
be the reason for all our celebrations,
Let love be the gel
to resolve all our frictions

We sound different,
when love leads our conversations,
We seem different,
when love takes over our motivations

God is love
and we are his creations,
Let His love fill all our
Emotions and sensations

With so many differences
in races and religions,
Let's dare to love,
Regardless of societal complications!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Am Not Afraid Today

As a mother, I cannot remain fearful and teach that to my child. A mother's responsibilities call her to be greater than she is for her children and their children….

I am not afraid anymore 
of what the world will say,
Courageously, I am on my way,
I am not afraid today!

I am not worried about tomorrow,
and not concerned about false accusations,
With my head high,
I will think of affirmations!

I am not afraid of judgements,
I don't need to pay attention,
I will focus on what I need to do,
Ready to ride on a higher dimension.

I am no more afraid of 
someone snatching away my dignity,
Because I will not give them that right,
I will protect my honor with humility. 

I am not afraid of dark nights,
I will light the lamp of confidence,
I am not afraid of  lonely paths,
I will make friends with my conscience.

And I will not pass fear to my future generations,
I will teach them freedom,
Freedom to fly fearlessly,
With God's grace and wisdom! 

What about you? Happy Mother's Day, Y'all!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Me, the Classless!

Today, finally I experienced racism in America! I had heard the stories but I didn't believe it could happen to me in this age and time. It was a very educative yet pretty draining experience. My fault was that I was asked to move to an express line in Walmart at the request of the person at the counter while I had more than 20 items to buy.

Ok, for those who don't know 'Walmart', it is one of the US supermarkets such as Safeway and others where you can buy almost everything that you need for your household at a fairly reasonable price. The 'express line' is where only those customers can go who are buying 20 or less items. Anyways, my husband and I bought more twenty items and had the audacity to go at the express counter when lady at the register called because there was no other customer.

As we were in the middle of the checkout, a person came behind us and started to complain why we were in the express line if we had more than 20 items. I tried to explain how we ended up there and I added, "Ma'am by the time you arrived, there were less than 20 items anyways so it is ok". I thought I was trying to calm her down but that made her furious because she claimed that I was classless, from the ghetto ( a part of city where the minority groups live: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto) and what not…

Just by the color of my skin and my Indian clothing she had figured out that I had no class, didn't have any higher education and didn't make decent salary. This was my first ever encounter with an openly racist person so I told her that she sounded like a racist. That made her more upset and she asked Obama taught you that?

I tried to take her on but she told me that the conversation was finished so I smiled and said, "Madam, God bless you!" I was just amazed that in 2014, things like this still happen, that too, in a diverse place such as Northern Virginia and I was supposed to be branded as worthless, suck it up and move on?

I wish I had a way to sit down with this person and tell her that I may have been from the ghetto, I still deserved a bit more respect than to be humiliated publicly. Although, she probably was right that I am classless because I don't think I fit into anyone class but it was her disrespect for minority people that made me sad.

The worst part impact was on my husband who is a Puerto Rican American. All his memories of when he first moved to the US came alive when more than few people treated him with contempt because of his hispanic accent. He was more hurt than I was… I am sorry for him, for myself and for all those whose dignity is ripped off because of their race. However, I am very sorry for those who are disrespectful to people based on race, skin color because they are sick and sad from within.

I have forgiven this person and I pray that she realizes that she has a potential friend in me regardless of my class or color. I hope she has a restful night tonight and wakes up with a desire to be angel of peace for herself and for others around her. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Make me Worthy, Lord!

The more I am getting to know about God, I feel He has a beautiful plan for everyone. A plan through which He can bring peace, joy, love and justice for His people. However, not all of us are willing to make ourselves available to let that plan be implemented in and through our lives. We are too busy in trivia and our day-to-day worries. For me, in addition to all that, another biggest obstacle is that I know I am not worthy to do God's work. I see my inequities very clearly.

It might be the same for others too. We hear the encouragement and feel God's calling but also see our limitations. Same thing happened to me yesterday in the church when our pastor was preaching. Between his motivational speech and my awareness of how small and unworthy I am, this prayer emerged:

God, make me worthy of your calling,
I need your divine cleansing,
I ask you for your forgiveness,
Let my sinful heart receive divine healing

Make me worthy of your calling,
I pray with fear and trembling,
I am the least of your creation,
Seeing your people is so humbling

Prepare me to endure suffering,
Help me to be forgiving,
Give me grace to walk on the path you designed,
And to share about the life everlasting

I know for a task you're asking,
And you know, I am willing,
Make me more like you, my Lord,
With all my being, I am praying

Not one but everyone, you're calling,
To your grace and caring,
Regardless of background and appearance,
Every request for forgiveness you're embracing


Make me worthy of your calling,
Your continued intervention, I am seeking,
Let me be a testimony of your great love,
Your glory through my life, I am dreaming
                                              

                                                          - Amen



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Power to Heal

By Kim Scheurer  

After the battles I have fought
My journey led me to Peer Support
At self-help groups, I became an "ear"
Motivated to give back to my peers
I have learned about trauma
And unresolved drama
While respecting many paths
And injecting many laughs

I learned how to be direct
But always with respect
Play-learning—this was lots of fun
I learned as we grew
That we truly are ALL ONE

Those who are wounded have
The power to heal
When you have "been there" you can "be real"
With these skills we can continue to cope
While always holding the Light
For each other of Hope

The Colour Of My Skin

The colour of my skin, Didn’t matter to me, ‘Coz when I was born, I was colour free!  Then eventually, The colour of my skin, ...