Mimi Lenox asked me to write about Peace for sixty days. I've been keeping up on Facebook. However, I know that a lot of people aren't on Facebook.
This is what I've posted in the last week:
How do we make peace when we have so many enemies?
We all want peace. Yet we all have people who bring us grief, which is why I adore this thoughtful, helpful, even joyous interview with Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman at On Being. You can't have peace unless you deal with your enemies.
This is an audio interview which can be downloaded from Sound Cloud. You can find it here.
Make peace with yourself
It's possible that we come in this way. We came from the beyond and know the expanse of the beyond. Then suddenly we are in these fragile bodies with such limited ability to see well, hear clearly, or think easily.
At some point, we must accept our human bodies and human life. We must learn that we are enough.
Practice peace by saying hello
As one of our "cultivate peace practices," the husband and I actively say: "Good morning" to people on our morning walks in the park. Yes, people look at us oddly. Yes, men think I'm trying to pick them up. But over time, people have started to go out of their way to wave or say hello. I'd encourage you to give it a try!
Recently, Oprah challenged people say hello. Here, she explains her reasons why it's awesome.
What you give out, comes back to you.
My sunflower seeds grew this amazing sunflower which is now feeding my bees (they are super yellow which is how I know they're mine) in my neighbors yards. What you give out comes back to you. #60days2peace.
I gave my neighbor these seeds when she had me over for dinner. That's how she got them.
Fighting for peace by prosecuting monsters
In our conversation about peace, we must also talk about war and crimes against humanity. When I was a child, monsters got away with doing monstrous things and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Not so today. The International Crimes Court researches and prosecutes monsters, as does the UN Crimes against Humanity courts.
Most recently, the top Khmer Rouge leaders were found guilty of crimes against humanity - and will spend the rest of their lives in prison. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28670568It's not much considering they are in their 80s. But to me, it's amazing.
What can little ol' me do?
Sometimes, I wonder what little ol' me can do to create peace in the world. I'm just me. What can I do? Then I remember all the "little ol' me's" who have changed the world. One of my favorites is Sojourner Truth. She was named Isabella Baumfree by her Dutch owners. #60days2peace
Here's a little bit about her:
"In 1815, Isabella, a slave girl of about seventeen living in Ulster County, New York, married Thomas, an older man who belonged, as she did, to the Dumont family. Over the next eleven years Isabella bore Thomas five children, in between stints of strenuous labor in the fields. New York had recognized the legality of marriages between slaves in 1809, meaning that now the couple and their children could not be sold apart from each other. Isabella herself had been sold away from her own parents at the age of nine for a hundred dollars, when their master died and his estate went up for auction. Isabella's first owner had been a Dutch American, and the child's first language was Dutch. Her next owner, an English-speaker, beat her for not comprehending his commands; her back bore the scars for the rest of her life. By 1810, she had been sold twice more (each owner realizing a profit on the transaction), ending up with the Dumonts.
"The state of New York had adopted a program of gradual emancipation, decreeing that slaves born after the Fourth of July 1799 should become free at age twenty-eight (for males) or twenty-five (for females). This would allow the owner who bore the cost of rearing the children reimbursement with several of their prime working years. Isabella, having been born before the cutoff date, would remain in slavery for the rest of her life. But in 1817, the New York legislature sped up the emancipation process and decreed that on July 4, 1827, all remaining slaves, whenever born, should become free. Masters would receive no financial compensation from the state but did have one more decade to exploit their chattels' unpaid labor. Shortly before the final emancipation took effect, Isabella's five-year-old son was sold away from her, south to Alabama. This constituted a violation of New York law; the newly free Isabella took the remarkable step of suing for and obtaining the boy's return, an act that set a pattern for her lifetime of resolute opposition to injustice.
"Having developed an active prayer life in childhood under the guidance of her mother, Isabella grew into a fervent 'Holiness' Methodist. Once free, she left her husband (who may have been chosen for her by their owner) and became an itinerant preacher. She warned of the Second Coming of Christ and demanded the abolition of slavery throughout the nation. In 1843, she adopted the name Sojourner Truth, appropriate for a traveling herald of the Divine Word. Although illiterate, she spoke powerfully and dictated a financially successful autobiography. Five feet eleven inches tall, with dark skin and a muscular frame, Sojourner Truth commanded attention from an audience. Her resonant voice had a New York working-class accent that never lost traces of the Dutch." From What Hath God Wrought: The transformation of America
I will try to keep up from here on out! :)