Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Forgiveness is complex. Sri Bhagavan on Forgiveness. Silent Apologies.

Forgiveness is complex. It is a process. In the video Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that hurt or pain causes combustion with smoke that at the end produces energy. Forgiveness then occurs. To forgive is not just words. It has to be felt as a result of experiencing the pain and hurt. Words do not describe feeling processes very well. Gestures are better. Kneeling.

Kneeling helps heal genocide.

In 1970 West German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt  before the Warsaw Ghetto monument.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Forgiveness. When is it needed? Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba dies.

Forgiveness. To forgive means you have felt hurt and need to be released, to let go of that hurt. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba died today in India. This god-man with millions of followers means there are beliefs of others the strength of which we do not understand. Some say he was divine. How does this relate to forgiveness? Ask the people of Rwanda, where one million people were murdered in 100 days. We cannot understand the beliefs, be they spiritual or political, of others. Beliefs have power. But the greater power resides in forgiveness.

Entrance to Puttaparthi is the birth place and abode of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Image by Williampfeifer released to wikipedia
Whatever power people give or recognize, the greatest power is the power to forgive. To let go of hate. To let go of anger. To let go of memories. Painful memories freeze you in a trap of self-thinking. When you forgive those who hurt you or you perceived that they hurt you in some way, you release your mind to consider thinking of something other than yourself. If we hold onto hate, perceived wrongs, we limit the energy within us - however, you may define that energy, the spark of the divine, the light that gives us life.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happiness is: Duct Tape? A Hypothesis? A Memory? Your Choice.

Is happiness like duct tape? Easy to tear apart. Never perfectly smooth. Leaves a residue.
photo by Evan-Amos, 8-25-10, wikimedia commons

 Is happiness like a hypothesis, an assumption that must be continually tested?
CASE-IF-THEN-END flowchart from wikimedia commons

 Is happiness an action taken? A reconnecting with pleasant memories. 
Such as the thrill our first steps?
The First Steps by Greek painter, Georgios Jakobidea, from wikimedia commons
Your choice.

If you think happiness is more like duct tape, 
here's the you tube channel where you can make more duct tape happiness:  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three Cups of Tea. Be cautious where you take your cup of tea.

"The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family."

Greg Mortenson  wrote,Three Cups of Tea and his group, Central Asia Institute, has been working for decades to build schools especially for girls in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Initially, Greg promised to build one school to thank the local people who saved his life while he was mountain climbing in the remote region. He had the third cup of tea. His family is also now  many Pakistani and Afghan children. He continues to build schools.

His book and his group was investigated on 60 Minutes.
I did not hear the program but I heard a response which questioned future contributions. This response prompts me to caution against prejudging him and his group. Instead apply proverbs and history. Be cautious where you take your cup of tea.  Remember Henry Fonda's skepticism in the movie, Twelve Angry Men. This skepticism resulted in an innocent verdict, a total opposite of the initial jury vote.

Mr. Mortenson's strategy differs from the United States military strategy of top-down directives. For example, Mortenson consults with local councils about school needs and supports their goals. Perhaps there is a political motive from some dissatisfied individual or group that brought the magnifying glass.

Even President Obama in his firing of Shirley Sherrod, who was later vindicated, made mistakes due to limited information.

I urge you to stand by Mr. Mortenson and his group. Maybe this local bright spot has become a scapegoat for NGO groups.We should be skeptical of media reports just as the spokesman for the Pakistani government was quoted by the Christian Science Monitor:

The Pakistani government conferred the Star of Pakistan, the country's third highest civilian award, on Mortenson and invited him to take tea with President Asif Ali Zardari in 2009. President Zardari’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, told the Monitor the government was treating the allegations with caution. "One has to find out the detail because often a number of media reports turn out to be incorrect," he says. "Until one knows what the story really is, one can't move forward."

I heard Mr. Mortenson speak in person. I saw his eyes and heard the desire to do so much with working with local needs and values with so little resources. His enthusiasm and mission to effect change through building schools may move, Three Cups of Tea, from the non-fiction shelf to the autobiographical memoir genre of Maya Angelou.  

When humanitarians like him are so focused on the solutions they don't believe in explaining every detail to a 60 Minutes reporter. They trust people.

 I, too, will continue to trust in local bright spots like Greg Mortenson.  We need to support local bright spots because that is where change occurs. Locally. If 60 Minutes had focused on the bright spots like Greg's local council engagement two decades ago, how different would be today's 60 Minutes segment be - the contrast between top-down strategies versus community-generated strategies. Local bright spots are change agents. Remember Twelve Angry Men. One person in your face challenging your comfortable auto-response. I trust Greg Mortenson.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Desperate for Spring. Your Flower choices: Wearing, Drawing, Animating or Making?

1. Just go and get some fresh flowers and put them in your hair.
This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b21174., orig by Burr McIntosh Studio, taken 1902

2. Draw flowers.
3. Watch animated flowers
Malene Thyssen, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Malene

4. Or you could make some plastic flowers.

by material boy, Flicker, 19 Feb 2006

What is your flower choice?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Planting red geranium seeds. When life is so sad, plant seeds.

While I plant red geranium seeds, should I be doing/planting something else?

Shouldn't I be writing letters to Congress? Getting informed about issues? Shouldn't I be thinking of how to help others? Natural gas fracturing.  Suicide in the Armed Forces. Monsanto and GM seeds? Birthday presents for young relatives? Brushing my pets? No.

No. I decided the world would not end if I planted red geranium seeds. I am taking a stand for red geraniums and purple dragon carrots. May the dead soldiers forgive my need to get my hands in the dirt. When life is so sad, I need to plant. I need to get back to something that grows and fills my mind with life not worries.

Like the book says all I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten.  For example, take turns. It is my turn-to help something grow from seed and rose geranium oil repels mosquitoes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Want peace for Palestine? Where you shop can pay for war. Boycott styles. Chicago, Quaker or Aussie?

The postage stamp of United Nations, Inalienab...Image via Wikipedia
In September 2011 there will be a UN vote on an independent state for Palestine. Will the United States vote no? How do individuals effect change? Just like the people of the world did in stopping apartheid in South Africa. You can join the Global Campaign through boycott.

Chicago style you tube video says, How your shopping pays for war

Quaker style Israeli settlement products are barriers to peace. Boycott. http://www.quaker.org.uk/settlement-produce

Australian style  Download of the manual on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions from Australians for Palestine  http://australiansforpalestine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/bds-manual.pdf

Global style? United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine of November 29, 1947 has yet to be determined. Your actions can put Palestine on this animation of states added to the United Nations since 1946.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life is a thin thread. Listen for the fibers breaking, The Defense Dept. does.

Due to the sudden illness of a family member's pet, I remember when my son was young he got seriously ill very fast. We were fortunate he got emergency care in time.

We were not so fortunate when another loved one committed suicide. If caring parents can miss concrete physical signs of severe illness in a young child, how many more cases of deep psychological stress that result in suicide are missed? Especially adults. Especially males. Especially in the United States Military.The suicide rate is up in all branches of the United States Armed Forces including the Coast Guard.

The United States Dept of Defense Task Force  issued a 233 page report on Aug. 23, 2010, on the Prevention of Suicide comparing suicide-relating behaviors and the suicide act to only the tip of an iceberg. For their recommendations go to

Just one example of this iceberg is the suicide rate among Army recruiters which is 3 times the overall Army suicide rate.
photo from The Truth has Changed, 4-4-11, Why are Military Recruiters Killing Themselves

The source article for the post about Army recruiters suicide rate by The Truth has Changed is http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1889152,00.html#ixzz1Ic1zZlge