Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Carol Bellamy on Leadership and Peace

Carol Bellamy, former head of UNICEF,

was a graduate of Gettysburg College.

So was I. We just went at different times.

In recent interviews on campus she spoke
on some really big global issues.

Most essential to my comments on
peace-making are
those regarding foreign study.

(A luxury I have never had in person,
but I knew it was important and
went out of my way to learn more a
bout many cultures with an open mind.)

A few of her remarks are shared here for your peace journey.

"...the globalized world we live in demands new competencies and techonology..."

Celebrity status sends stardom to developing countries.

Yet, Carol Bellamy adds,

"...people who carry both a first name and a last name can make a difference.
It's about choices,not celebrity DNA"

I like that.
I believe each one of us makes a difference everyday.
The choice is ours whether it is a good difference or not.

Carol continues:

..."people need to learn to listen, to learn to care,
to be tolerant of human views and to be intolerant of human suffering."

"Everybody has to make whatever their contribution is,
but I think we have to continue to try
to create an environment in which more attention
is paid to the quality of leadership --
government leadership, private-sector leadership, civil society leadership."

Carol reminds us that going global does not mean ignoring your immediate neighborhood.

"In the US, 1 of 4 kids is born below the poverty line."

She speaks of environmental issues with a different focus. And calls us to recognize that :

"Environmental issues are not just the prerogative of environmental agencies."

When natural disasters occur, the environmental degradation
is greater in countries with fewer protections.
The poorest people of our world live in some of the most fragile areas.

The fact that children of this world continue to die
from diseases or conditions that are preventable is deplorable.

And so in the shadow of Martin Luther King Day, I beseech you


Pay Attention to what your leaders are doing at all levels of government and society.

Pay Attention to more than celebrities and their pets or babies' names.

Pay Attention to what the presidential candidates have
done that MERITS more leadership responsibilities.

Pay Attention to what these candidates say they ARE doing
and WILL do to promote world peace and sustainability.

Pay Attention to their plans for reducing Global Climate Change.
If they have not told you yet, ASK.

In those everyday ways we can act for justice and make a difference.
A difference that will last beyond our lives.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Great Man of Peace and Justice - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today
"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major.
Say that I was a drum major for justice.
Say that I was a drum major for peace.
Say that I was a drum major for righteousness.
And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
I won't have any money to leave behind.
I won't have the fine and luxurious things in life to leave behind.
But I just want to leave a committed life behind.
And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
if I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong,
then my living will not be in vain."

Excerpted from "The Drum Major Instinct", a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968.
Available on CD and print in
A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Indeed it is our lives and actions today that continue to MAKE a Difference.

===Let Peace Begin On Earth===
===And Let it Begin with Me. ===
I first heard this song in Wilmington Delaware in 1970 at Gray Elementary School
and it touched my heart and changed my life.

It was this experience with inner-city schools and the children who live there
that planted the seeds of non-violence firmly in my heart.

This many years later.

I see some changes. I some improvements. I see some losses.

And yet... the hope for the future has not failed...

it simply requires more people working for peace

by living with hearts of justice and compassion.

One day at a time.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bottle Houses in Bolivia

Go ahead and make a house of sand that will work as low income housing and reduce plastic waste disposal problems.

These people did. Peace on earth begins with each person and when one thinks outside the box to solve a problem it helps all of us.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year and New thinking

Michael Dowd's book is an exceptional leap to link science and religion at a time when the world continues to debate the issues of global warming and religious wars.

I agree with him when he says

"A sacred evolutionary worldview offers a way for people to make peace with
themselves, each other, and the planet, and no gift could be greater than that
right now.

If this book doesn't end the science and religion war, it's certainly a MAJOR step in the right direction! "

If you don't read it, at least watch the fantastic video trailer for the book! It is a short story of the universe. A very short story.

One path to peace is recognition of our oneness. This story expresses that well.

So, live well. Take action for peace and justice in your part of the world today.