Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Come back to love!

The International Organisation for Migration reported total number of migrants who have come to Europe through land and sea reached over a million in 2015. UN Refugee Agency and International Committee of Red Cross share, amongst others, first hand accounts of the suffering of the refugees. No one wants to leave the comfort of their home to be in the streets with their children in harsh conditions only to be doubted by the host communities unless that seems to be the only option to survive. And yet there are those who are adamant to promote a hateful rhetoric regarding these refugees. And the unfortunate part is the simple people, who usually are the ones ready to help, are following this rhetoric and shying away from their fundamental nature. I think it is time for people to reflect and introspect, without being influenced by others, about who they really are: those who look away from someone’s suffering or those who extend a helpful hand. During this joyous Christmas time, let us remind ourselves of the love that was bestowed on us through Jesus’ birth even when we were not worthy. This is a good time for us to come back to that love!

Come back to love,
If you’re not already here!
Come back to love,
If the hate in the world’s too much to bear! 

Let us resist the rhetoric that separates us,
Let us stand up against the lies,
Let us proclaim what defines us,
And what being human implies!

Because we were born to love,
To uphold each other in tender care,
To embrace the humanity we are all part of,
There’s enough for all to share!

Let love find its way from deep within,
Let it overflow cutting the prejudice,
Oh dear, do not let fear reign,
Let love lead the way for justice!

No one deserves to be abandoned,
All humans are His precious creations,
When anyone suffers, He is saddened,
All came from One, no matter what variations! 

Come back to love, dear ones,
Come back to who we truly are,
Basic human rights are everyone's,
No matter where and who we are!

Let us begin with respect,
If, at this time, it is difficult to love,
And slowly taking baby steps,
We will make our way back to love! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Go Beyond, My Soul!

When you go
beyond one place,
you find another place,
different than what you first knew!

When you go
beyond your fear,
you find courage,
which was always there within you!

When you go
beyond your sadness,
you find laughter,
which infects others too!

When you go
beyond the doubt,
you find certainty,
with confidence, it fills you!

When you go
beyond worthlessness,
you find a purpose,
which begins your journey anew! 

When you go 
beyond rejection,
you find acceptance,
most importantly, in your own view!


When you go
beyond failures,
you find success,
all you need is a change in the purview! 

When you go
beyond the rock,
you find a way to flow
no matter around it, over it or cut it through! 

When you go 
beyond  your mistakes,
you find a new path,
that leads to a beautiful breakthrough!


When you go
beyond your anger,
you find forgiveness,
which genuinely liberates you! 

When you go
beyond excuses,
you find motivations,
to take you all the way through!


The secret is to go
beyond the hinderance,
to conquer your own-self,
with faith, your dreams you pursue! 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Peace and Protection for People and the Planet: Pope Francis

The missionary of mercy is here in the US. People from all religious backgrounds are appreciative of what he says and yet people from all religious backgrounds question what he says! There are people who see God in him and there are people who think he is the holder of 666, which is a sign of satan according to Holy Bible. He does not hesitate in expressing his genuine opinions on the most contentious issues and still challenges everybody to look at the common good among all the disagreements. He urges us to be true to our conscience. He reminds us serving the poor and oppressed is serving God. He requests us to pray for him. His message is simple and if heeded can change the world!

If you're wondering, I am not a catholic but I am a recipient of mercy and so the message of mercy resonates with me. I have fallen in my life a few times and I have been lifted up every single time by the mercy of God and His people. I believe we must show mercy to those who are suffering because we too have received mercy in our lives.

This is a great time for his visit to the US. As the presidential campaign is gearing up, the country seems to be more and more divided based on religious and moral issues. He addressed the joint session of the US Congress, where his words were received with great respect by both sides of the aisle. His presence had a uniting effect on the members of congress, whether or not it will be long-lasting is yet to be seen. Everybody applauded as he reminded them this land was of the free and the brave. Right upfront, he made the case for the immigrants and their role in building of this nation. He invited Americans to have a dialogue. For a change, the conversation was not about the differences but of the common duty to uplift those who are in situations of greater vulnerability.  He talked about just legislation for thousands of men and women who work hard everyday for their families, the elderly, the sick, those in the prison, those who are homeless and those who are marginalised. He talked about conviction of conscience and we saw one impact the very next day in the resignation of the house speaker, John Boehner's. It seems the house speaker was struggling with his next steps but clearly pope's address helped him to be one with his conscience. We all deep down are for peace not for divisiveness but the problem is that many times we are too busy to search our deepest desires.

He talked about a variety of issues that touched upon security, protection and well-being. And then he asked the congressmen, "Is it not what we want for our children?" He said a crisis is not fully understood merely by numbers but by the faces of those who are suffering and by listening to their stories. He emphasised on responding in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. Wow, the most respected leader in the world reminded us of the universality of the human race and that we are all part of one big family. Something that we so often, so conveniently forget! He rightly reminded some of the most influential people in the most powerful country of the golden rule, 'Do unto others as you will have them do unto you'.

This is also the time when the United Nations General Assembly is taking place where world leaders have come together to discuss global issues. A time where millions of people are homeless, many defined as refugees and many as migrants. Migrants leave their homes for better opportunities mostly in terms of work and it is hardly an easy path. Refugees, on the other hand, are forced to leave their homes because of threat to life. You can read some more about refugees in my earlier post by clicking here. So much needs to be done and much needs to be done differently. Differently, in a way where people are treated with dignity no matter what their status is. Differently, in a way where policies are grounded on compassion. Differently, where actions are carried out in a humane way. By the way, the responsibility is not only on the resource rich countries but also on the resource poor countries. Call for action to protect is not only on countries of destination but very much also on the home countries. There is no excuse for any government for not fulling their responsibilities towards their citizens.

During these very difficult times that nations are facing today, he spoke to the largest assembly of world leaders in the history of the UN. This is the platform where his message becomes critical because it is about inclusion, acceptance, sharing with poor, compassion, love and hope. And for none of these invaluable virtuous actions, one needs a lot of money. This message is important for individuals as well as for the States who establish and implement laws and policies. 

He encouraged the UN to take actions so that all countries, without any exception, have access to the decision making process. He also reminded the states of their responsibility of protecting the environment and getting rid of the culture of waste. He said, harm to environment is harm to human beings.  He talked about inclusion of all including the people with disability. He advocated for action against sexual exploitation of boys and girls, slave labor and organised crime. He talked like a true community mobiliser when he instructed the world leaders to allow the poor to become dignified agents for their own development in harmony with other fellow human beings. As a woman, I am thankful, every time he emphasises on educational opportunities for girls around the world. 


http://www.wallpapersground.com/pope-francis-quotes-wallpapers.html
In so many words, he reminded UN of its role in mediation and arbitration in wars. He reminded us that true peace is attained through justice. I so hope that his words give more power to 'Responsibility to Protect' and hopefully it won't be only used when it is convenient to the UN Security Council but it is implemented every time any state, regardless of who is their ally, fails to protect their people from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. This is also a time when the UN adopted 2030 sustainable development goals for people and planet. Unfortunately, the way current trends are, it is almost impossible to achieve any of this goals by 2030. For more information, please read this article (http://devpolicy.org/can-the-sdgs-be-achieved-by-2030-20150924/). Hopefully, his presence at the UN and the energy he brings with him will help the leaders to reflect on where they are leading this world to. 

For me, his message is about self-development in harmony with fellow human beings and the environment. Even though he is the biggest religious authority, he is not about putting boundaries or building walls. He is about inclusion and acceptance. He is a true ambassador of God, who he believes is love. He says, God had so much love in him that he couldn't hold it in him. That is why He created the world so that he could share His overflowing love with others. What a divine thought! If this world was created to be loved, how much it must hurt the creator to witness the moments and places where hatred brings suffering to the people and destruction to the planet. People of this world, let us feel and accept God's immense love for us and let it overflow so that it touches everyone and everything around us! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Will you, President Assad?


Human beings are enduring pain and suffering because of fellow human beings in Syria for over four years. The irony is nobody seems to be winning. My question is what is President Assad winning at the cost of his people loosing their homes, their lives, their dear ones and in many cases their dignity. Mr. President, are you happier, richer, or stronger? My guess is no, right? Whether you share it openly or not, you might be a bit more fearful of loosing power, ashamed of what has become of your country, worried about your legacy, and most of all contemplative of how you're going face Allah at the end of all this. Instead of continuing things the way they are, you have the opportunity to turn them around. Will you, President Assad?

So many, including women and children, of your country are hungry, cold, homeless, and afraid. When they couldn't live under the fear of being bombed, they left. When they couldn't handle the loud sounds of shelling, they left. When they couldn't witness people being killed anymore, they left. When they didn't have any safe place to live in their own country, they left. They left to find a better place. But we all know it is hard to find a better place than your own home. They are travelling from fear to fear! Many children have not seen a school in a long time. Many women have been ripped off their dignity on their way. You can make your country safe for women and children again. You can step up to protect them. Will you, President Assad?

Please think of bringing groups together, sharing power, calling your people back to their motherland, protecting the women, nurturing the children, and rebuilding the country. Your official chair does not bring you honour, your capacity to make your country prosper brings you honour, you know that, right?. There is still time to take back your honour from your ego! Will you, President Assad?

Sir, today is your birthday. Many must be wishing you happy birthday today but are you truly happy? You're fifty today, a good time to reflect on how you want to be remembered, as a leader or a dictator. Your decisions, words and actions continue to define you as Syrian President. Being hard on the rebels was potentially a right decision in the beginning but maybe now showing compassion to your fellow countrymen is the right thing to do. Maybe words of anger towards those who disagreed with you was alright four years ago, maybe now is the time for reconciliation for the good of your country. Taking militaristic actions against the civilians was bad then and is worse now. Think of who you were growing up. You studied to save lives not to order killings of innocent people. Remember, how the world regarded you as the modern leader. You can become who you inspired to be when you were younger. You can become the doctor who will heal the health of your country. You're a trained ophthalmologist, you know how important it is to see things clearly. Open your eyes and do the right thing no matter how difficult it is. No situation is too big for God to resolve. In faith, take actions which will fill your people with hope, make your country great and prepare you to face Allah with courage! Will you, President Assad? 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Miracle of Love

God is certainly too great
to be comprehended,
His mysteries,
Are too splendid.

I know this much though,
He is love,
And His love is limitless,
And it overflows.

Love that brings
A new morning everyday,
Love that carves out,
New doors in our way.

Love that is for all,
No matter who,
No matter how they look,
No matter what they do.

Love that cuts through
all that is superficial,
Love that looks,
rights inside the soul.

Love that waits for us,
to claim it,
Embrace it, live it,
With others share it.

Because it is helpless,
If not put into action,
When we give way to hatred,
It looses its traction.

Let's not waste time,
In pointing fingers,
Because even the multitude of sins
Sincere love covers.

If we genuinely love God,
Let's be the miracle of His love,
Let's heal this suffering world
With lots and lots of love!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Considerations for Humanitarian Psycho-social response to the Nepal earthquakes



By Joseph O. Prewitt Diaz, PhD

Introduction

As the aftershocks continue in Nepal, humanitarian assistance has been steadily on-going. From Nepal Government Reports, UN reports, NGO’s and the Red Cross appeals all posted on internet or circulated through news reports and the social media. Thee reader can surmise two points: (1) The Nepal earthquake and the sequel have had devastating social, psycho-social, medical, and public health consequences. (2) The community mobilization activities among the directly and indirectly affected people have not sufficiently explored the growing needs for getting back to a normal pre-disaster life. We have not heard whether community mobilization, past the immediate response has explored post-disaster redefinition of place in terms of appreciation for life, psycho-social nature of relationships, and the deeper impact in spirituality and religious faith.

Challenges

The nature of the disaster, the loss of place and collective histories , the lack of health care, uncertainty of well-being of family and friends, and  many aftershocks have surely resulted in increased levels of distress and fear. The resulting overt behavior expressed as distrust in the immediate response efforts from government and others, the disorganization of everyday community life, and the lack of information about the future have resulted in feelings of lack of safety and security. Neglect of marginalized groups such as the women, children, elderly, people with disabilities and other social outcasts increases psycho-social confusion and delayed disaster rehabilitation services.  

Accessing the impacted people

After assuring safety and security, developing activities that assure calmness are in order. Usually people feel calmness when they feel in control of their lives, and their place. Usually allowing affected people to share in a group about their historic environment leads to an enhanced awareness of sense of place and calmness. These focused group, community walks, and informal chats would cover three themes: what makes our place unique, what activities or features of our place lead to continuity, and how our place helps us achieve our goals. Finally develop a functional definition of what the community members understand as well-being (resilience). 

The beginning of a feeling of hope and looking at the future comes out of the answer to four questions:

(1)    What do we want? Usual response is to satisfy basic needs, and begin to articulate what the future looks like—reconstruct the school, the health post, and a recreation space. They may want to generate a happy place. No matter what the affected people list looks like, there are going to be some cultural and environmental projects. The affected people will have to identify the social capital available in their place. They identify their situation, and as they look at problem solving, they develop solution focused activities that culminate in well-being i.e. resilience.

(2)    What do we have?  The affected people identify the social capital available in their place, such as the number of people willing to work by skill sets, prior experience or private resources such as land or a water hole. Social capital interaction serves a different role: (1) brings together people with common interests and activities, and (2) identifies human spot where tension exists. Ultimately, social capital activities open a space for psycho-social support in the area of bonding or bridging activities, thus linking social capital with community mobilization.

(3)    How do we reshape our place? The affected people may actively engage in re-establishing their place and mobilizing human capital. How the affected people organize themselves to achieve their objective. Identify external stakeholders, develop a plan, visit with government officials, and engage others, such as faith based groups. Re-establishment of place provides the opportunity for the development of a stronger sense of place. The more people involved in place shaping activities the greater the social capital developed.

(4)    How do we know we have achieved well being-resilience? The affected people develop a set of objective with specific tasks, timeline, and person responsible. They will have a written vision of what the finished product looks like. Usually a trusted elderly person will keep a record of the number of people who worked, how many hours, what resources came from the community and which came from external stakeholders. The leadership of the place will organize information activities usually an evening meal   at intervals to inform people of the completion of task and celebrate their accomplishments, the relationship among the people, and the social mix that these activities have generated.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Let Me Look Within Me!

How much time do we spend on criticizing others or complaining about life, quite a bit right? At least, I often forget to introspect and talk bad about people's back or whine, while I could use that time to do something meaningful and constructive. I wonder how many people waste their time like I do. I believe this is the time to reflect and take compassionate actions to make a difference in lives of our friends, family and  community! First we need to look within ourselves, do we have the capacity to make a difference?

Let me look within me,
Have I received the grace? 
If I have it within me,
Do I have enough to share?

Let me look within me,
Is there a lamp burning?
If the light is shining,
Other's lives is it illuminating?

Let me look within me,
Did I have a questionable past?
With what right then,
Do I condemn others so fast?

Let me look within me,
Was I touched by the love of God?
Why do I live in guilt then,
Isn't it a bit odd?

Let me look within me,
Is there enough compassion?
If there is then,
Why doesn't it reflect in my actions? 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Where is your focus!

It is better to improve ourselves than to put our energy in improving others because most of it might get wasted. This is not only the case with adults but also with children. Children are more likely to be better human beings if they have good role models rather than a bunch of great instructions but no example to follow.

So, how do we improve? There is no one answer for all. One has to reflect and introspect to find answers for their own-self. I can talk about myself. I need to find all the places where I am wrong or need correction. However, just looking at negatives is not helpful. I must also focus on my strengths and positive qualities. Then I need to find ways to reduce the negatives and increase the positives. I can do it through faith, self-determination and with the help of my friends and family. I will only be successful if my focus is on improving myself rather than correcting others otherwise I will miss out on a great opportunity of becoming a better human being!

Photo credit: http://authenticlove.eu/category/personal-development/self-awareness/

Friday, February 6, 2015

Stop and think!

In the middle of the rhetoric from all sides, don't forget to centre yourself and breath in peace! Close your eyes, see the world around you from the bird's eye view. Pull yourself out before the negativity of a situation pulls you in. Be true to yourself. No religion is greater than love and peace. No political party is higher than peace and love. If a job brings in big amounts of money and takes away your peace and robs you of love, it is worthless.

Hold on to peace, love your dear ones while you still can. Inhale peace, exhale love! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Become Love!

Seek love,
Give love,
Share love,
Become love!

Love is essential,
Love is relevant here and now,
Love is refreshing,
Love makes us grow!

Love is divine,
Love is a mission,
Love is everywhere,
Love is real and proven!

Love breaks us free,
Love makes us fly,
To those who are far away,
Love brings us nigh!

Love is that extra mile,
Love is that deep sigh,
Love is that little tear,
Love is the true high!

Love is flavorful,
Love is diverse,
Yet it brings us together,
Like a rainbow transversed!

Let's take the walk of love,
Reach our destinations of love,
Let's guard and hold on to the
beautiful ambience of love!

Seek love,
Give love,
Share love,
Become love!

One God of All!

The more you study various religious books, you find more commonality in the various teachings than differences. I actually wrote an artic...