Monday, November 29, 2010

Do you know a child in need?

Imagine a world where children grow up learning important things without any fear. Imagine traveling around the world and meeting children whose smiling faces are glowing with health and happiness. This world may still be poor but children are its priority. A big part of every State's expenditure is geared towards appropriate development of children, communities provide safe and enabling environment for them and families grow stronger while enjoying the laughter of their little ones. What a wonderful vision, isn't it? 

And then think of a child in your current environment whose face is neither smiling nor glowing, who may not be going to school, who probably is struggling to get three meals or is living with fear. Perhaps, many children's faces would revolve around your eyes. Try to focus on one, someone that you see very frequently. Maybe it is your own child who has everything but is so fearful that he/she doesn't even express his/her desires, fears, and ambitions openly. It could also be a child who is not related to you but you see that child on the road begging everyday. 

Whoever that child is, please think of ways of helping him/her without pressuring your purse or time too much. Some of the ways to help this child could be to: (a) dedicate half an hour three-five days every week and teach him/her, (b) sponsor his/her education (it doesn't have to be an expensive school), (c) provide a safe space to this child where he/she can talk about things that might be bothering him/her (this may include physical/sexual/mental abuse), (d) make him/her play, laugh and enjoy and (e) if the child doesn't have appropriate adult care, please connect this child to a trusted governmental or non-governmental organization that will meet this child's basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, education and security. 

If all of us were responsible for at least one neglected child, our vision would not be too far away from reality. We all know, our children are our future and the better we are able to bring them up, the better this world would become. If we teach them sharing with our actions, they will not learn to snatch. If we teach them love with our action, they will not learn to hate. 

Let's prepare a better world, a peaceful world!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Take a minute to count your blessings and keep a track of them

'Thanksgiving Day', is a harvest festival, mainly celebrated in the United States, Canada, Greneda, The Netherlands, Liberia, Norfolk Island and now-a-days in countries like Puerto Rico. It is usually celebrated on different days in these countries. In India there are harvest festivals like Onam, Makar Sakranti and Holi and in China it is celebrated as Full Moon.

In today's age, this is a secular occasion when families come together to thank God for all the blessings He bestows all year round. It is a good way to take a break from the fast track of life and stop for a while to acknowledge and be thankful for the goodness that fills our lives.  

Giving thanks is one of the most beautiful act. It not only about acknowledging the doer of a good deed but it also helps us to focus on the good that surround our lives. So many times, we forget to count our blessings and keep worrying about not-so-good things in and around us. 

If all of us could modify our perspective just a little bit and focus on our blessings and share the happiness these blessings give us with others, the world would become a better place to live. Habit of knowing our blessings and recognizing their sources reduces our anger, increases our happiness and fortifies peace in our hearts and environment.  

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.  ~Edward Sandford Martin

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Inspiration!

Today is my husband's birthday, somebody who inspires me everyday. He inspires me to fly on the wings of my dreams, he inspires me to dream of a peaceful world, he is the one who inspired this blog.

He reminds me of Jesus because even when a normal reaction could be of resentment, he manages to forgive people, because when a regular person would raise his/her voice to make a point, he keeps his calm. Humility is his greatest asset, he gives away the credit of his own work so effortlessly.

I have seen him work in villages where elders and children hug him like their own and sit by his side to hear what he has to say. I have seen him motivating thousands of suffering people to stand on their feet. His main message in every community he has worked is of unity and progress.

There are many in this world who can say, like me, that he is their mentor, teacher, guru, guide and a fun loving friend.

Dr. Joe, I am honored to be part of your great journey and looking forward to exploring new destinations together. Thanks for teaching me the way to peace through your humble and quite ways.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

What about you?

Experiences are integral part of life. Everyday we experience a variety of situations and feelings. We have professional and personal experiences which can be further categorized into good and bad experiences. Needless to say, good experiences give a boost to our lives while bad ones discourage us.

Now, please carefully read the last line... 'good experiences give a boost to our lives while bad ones discourage us'. It sounds almost perfect in the first read but this sentence has something fundamentally wrong with it. 

Should experiences be given the right to dictate how we feel? I understand that we can't always resist the physical impact of an experience but we can still protect our psychological state. The question is, if we fall down, we may break our knee but should that also break our determination? 

It is understandable that a rapist deserves arduous punishment but should the person who was raped feel like a victim for the rest of his/her life? For those of us who feel sorry about their lives for being a victim of bad experience/s, I would urge them to focus on lives of those people who have turned bad experiences into foundations of strength and determination. 

Experiences do not dictate how I feel but it is 'I' who decide how I want an experiences to affect my life. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. Violence will not cause me to be violent because I have decided to be peaceful. What about you?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thank you Ricardo, Dr. Ganthimathi and Vikas bhai!

As a result of January 2010 earthquake, around 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless in Haiti. The cholera outbreak in the last month has killed more than 1,000 people in this beautiful country. And in midst of all this suffering, recent riots in Haiti is a heart breaking news. 

These riots were instigated based on rumors that the United Nations peace-keapers from Nepal spread the epidemic in Haiti. According to UN sources riots may be politically motivated. The riots have worsen the situation for the survivors of the earthquake, many of whom are also the victims of the cholera outbreak. Some of the crucial projects have been suspended, delivery of the relief materials is hampered, flights are cancelled. 

It is beyond my understanding how simple people are so quickly mobilized for such purposes. This is a time when the locals must be motivated to come together to facilitate the work of the humanitarian agencies in order to improve the ground conditions. But unfortunately, even in such challenging situations, there are people that are doing just the opposite.

I salute those who are still working for the betterment of Haitians and are risking their lives for a humanitarian cause. These people from around the world including local humanitarian workers have sacrificed their comforts and risking their lives in order to serve their fellow human beings. These humanitarians present a sharp contrast to those who are instigating the riots in such a distressing situation. 

I would like to recognize some of my personal friends who are currently in Haiti and doing their humanitarian duty. Thank you, Ricardo Caivano, Dr. Ganthimathi and Vikas Goyal for keeping our faith in humanity alive!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Embrace Peace to be Victorious!

Being spontaneous is good, it helps building genuine relationships and it adds more fun and humor in the interactions.

However, in certain situations, it is better to prolong the time between the stimulus and the reaction, especially while dealing with provocation. It is very difficult not to react or delay reaction when one is attacked verbally or figuratively but haste can do more harm to one's image, internal and surrounding peace. 

When provoked, practice delay in the reaction. During this delay, try to think of reactions which will reduce the heat in the situation and retain a peaceful environment because this gives a upper hand in the situation. 

Staying calm and peaceful is not a sign of cowardliness but it actually increases the chances to win the conflict. Anger may enhance the energy in the reaction but a composed mind and demeanor increases the effectiveness of it. 

Aggression may lead to a half victory because in the process one looses his/her internal peace and may also sever relationships, while peaceful ways bring true victory without guilt or regrets. Let us all be truly victorious!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi freed!
A ray of hope coming out of dark clouds in Myanmar with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Noble Peace laureate, who has been under house arrest for several years in her own country. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy and Buddhist principles, she has been struggling to bring democracy in her country since 1988. Fearing her influence in the nation and her potential success, military 'Junta' put her under house arrest in 1989.
Her release is the victory of yet another non-violent struggle, yet another living story where peace wins over oppression, yet another reason that brightens the hope of those who are silently struggling for their basic rights and the rights of their fellowmen. 

Let peace prevail!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

US - India's evolving friendship and it's role in global peace

Watching President Obama address the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of India was very thought provoking. The leader of the oldest democracy was talking to the leaders of the biggest democracy in the world. While he met the broad expectations of Indians, he also urged India to be more vocal about human rights issues in the region.  He stressed on the united role of US and India on promoting shared prosperity and preserving peace and security.

It would be interesting to see how soon India can secure its permanent place in the UN Security Council and how India adopts or enhances it's role as human rights advocate in the region. Although, it does not necessarily look like that all the members of the UN Security Council have always respected or advocated for human rights issues within their countries or in the region. With due respect to the current and 'wannabe' members of the UN Security Council, a gentle reminder, 'charity begins at home'. Human rights are still unreachable luxuries  for some in these countries.

Advocating and promoting human rights and peace is critical. US' intentions and efforts in this regard are worth appreciation and it would be great if India does engage more actively in promoting human rights in the country, region and the world. However, only good intentions and engagement are not enough.

In order to ensure that human rights are respected and enjoyed in each context, one needs to explore context specific solutions based on the reality of that place, the culture and local ideas. To begin an intervention, no matter how good the intentions might be, one has to painstakingly understand the context, involve the local population and develop 'peaceful' and sustainable strategies to promote human rights and peace in a respective region. In other words, waging war to promote peace is not an option.

All the very best to the evolving friendship between India and the US and may they together promote justice, equality, basic human rights and peace on this earth and eventually may this friendship may include Pakistan, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Every storm passes!

For the last three days, we have been talking about Tropical Storm Tomas in the Caribbean Sea and how it could impact Puerto Rico. My son watched the TV and shared our concern. He was even told that he might not be able to go out on the streets singing 'tricks o treats' and collect candies because of the rains. I was worried if he would be able to go to school the next day.

Thankfully, it didn't rain a lot in the evening and our son was able to enjoy the 'Halloween Party' (I am not a very big fan of this celebration but kids really seem to have fun on this day). It rained quite a bit during the night. At one point our son got very frightened. He woke up crying and didn't want to go to the school. It was still drizzling in the morning. After a little bit of struggle, he got ready and ate breakfast. By the time, we got in the car, the sun was out!

Our son a bit confused, asked us, "Why didn't you tell me that the storm was going to be over today"? I smile and said, "Shaanu, every storm passes! Wether the storm in the sky or in our lives, it passes and the sun comes out". While Shaan was still trying to understand what mummy is saying, papa explained further, "The best thing God made is minute after the other and life goes on." I am not sure if Shan understood everything but I know that the sunlight brightened with his smile.

Those of us who are experiencing tough times, keep the faith and do not let the hope die. No matter how dark the sky is and how loud the thunder maybe, the storm fades away, the sun comes out and life moves on!


It’s all about the roots! Our roots don’t pull us down, they enable us to grow farther away to explore the unknown skies! #roots #trees ...