“In modern society, despite sophisticated policing systems with advanced technology, acts of terrorism still take place. Although one side has many sophisticated techniques for keeping track of the other side, that other side is becoming more creative in carrying out their crimes. The only true guardian of peace lies within a sense of concern and responsibility for your own future and an altruistic concern for the well-being of others.”
From: “Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: The Essential Life and Teachings” p. 155.
As we are beginning a new year, we often set goals and think about improving ourselves and our lives. The following credo from Al-Anon offers excellent guidelines
“JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do—just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice, low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.”
Let’s work on ourselves first as a way to improve our lives and our world.
Happy 2019! Many blessings to you and your family – and your community.
My wise sister has noticed that although such food as lettuce and chicken have been recalled recently because of issues over food safety, there have been no issues with chocolate or bacon.
I’d argue that bacon isn’t good for your arteries and is really bad for the pig.
However, chocolate seems very safe and will do no harm (as long as it is a Fair Trade product).
So I’m wishing you lots of dark chocolate as part of your holiday celebrations.
Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours in 2019.
Banner photo: Jennifer Pallin https://unsplash.com/photos/dcPNZeSY3yk
“The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. supported his philosophy of nonviolence with six
fundamental principles in his book Stride for Freedom, but even he had this to say about the important influence of outrage:
You can use Charity Navigator to help focus your fury. As the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator, CN provides free charity ratings and other resources to help you find a trustworthy charity that is fighting for the cause you believe in.” – Danielle Cheeseman
Doing the Most Good®
A less well-known charity evaluator is Give Well – <https://www.givewell.org/>
Give Well rates organizations mainly on how effective their projects actually are. The organizations that Give Well recommends are evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, and underfunded. Often the focus is on how many lives a project saves.
Instead of giving another dust collector to each of your relatives this holiday, give a gift to a charity to help others &/or to promote positive changes in the world.
Happy Holidays. Aloha, Renee
Banner photo: http://Photo by erin walker on Unsplash
In his book, Grist for the Mill, Ram Dass – American spiritual figure and bestselling author of Be Here Now and Be Love Now, quotes his Guru Mahara-ji, who said,
Ram Dass says, “These days I try to simply love everything that comes my way, whether animate or inanimate, pleasant or painful. I hope you too can learn to absorb life’s ecstasies and distresses into your spiritual practice so they are just more grist for the mill” (Introduction 2).
Enjoy it all!
Banner photo: Maui sunflower fields – Kelly King
Overheard on Jalan Raya, the mainstreet, in Ubud, Bali:
“Why go back to Adelaide* and live an ordinary life?”
It’s something to consider.
- Or whatever hometown you can name.
Photos by Barry
“In a conversation, keep in mind that you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is”
– from The Bali Advertiser, Oct. 10-23, 2018, p. 18
Remember to listen as well as talk. Aloha, Renee
“[I]n 1860 only around ‘5 percent of the Southern population owned even one slave, and a significantly smaller percentage owned more than twenty.’ . . .
Millions of human beings were held in bondage. It’s mind-boggling to me [says author Camille T. Dungy] that such a small number of people controlled so much of the wealth back then — and much of that wealth was accrued through the bodies of other human beings. A black human being was a commodity, an object, not particularly different in value from a piece of jewelry, a few head of livestock, or several bolts of fabric. My point is that most white people didn’t have the kind of wealth that the institution of slavery was protecting, just like most people today don’t have the kind of wealth protected by tax codes that allow a billionaire to write off a private jet but don’t allow schoolteachers to write off $250 worth of school supplies. . . .
America would not be the wealthy country it is without slave labor. We would not have our power or wealth if we had not, for a very long time, depended on the unpaid labor of millions of human beings . . . Cotton wasn’t king just in the South. Many of the most productive cotton mills were in the North, as were the insurance companies and other industries that profited off those mills. Without a lot of unpaid labor, those profits would have been significantly less. And we are still depending on the unpaid or underpaid labor of millions of human beings — from prison workers to immigrants to foreign labor. The question of slavery is still with us [my emphasis]. America has a legacy of harming other human beings and justifying that harm by glorifying the wealth it brings to a few. Thankfully America also has a legacy of resisting that impulse. . . .
It’s sometimes difficult to accept the fact that whole portions of our society were built up–are still built up– to support the wealth of just a few. Why don’t more people object to that? Perhaps because so many Americans think maybe one day they will be the billionaire with access to the unchecked power to acquire wealth at the expense of other human beings. When the focus is on the glorification of wealth rather than on an honest examination of how that wealth might have been accrued, we routinely ignore brutalities visited upon our fellow human beings (7). . . .
“Racism – and resistance to racism – is part of the fabric of this country. When our twenty-dollar bill celebrates a man who is connected to the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of black people, I can’t see how I can say, ‘Let’s just focus on this one area.’ We are part of an ecosystem. We can’t just worry about the whales, so to speak. We need to address what’s happening to our oceans.
But, as individuals, I know we sometimes have to choose the battles that matter most to us” (9).
There is much to do to make our world more just and equitable for all. Let’s get working.
From: “Poetic Justice: Camille T. Dungy on Racism, Writing, and Radical Empathy” by Airica Parker – The Sun, June 2018, p. 4-12.
Banner photo: Andrew Jackson – Popular General in the United States Army and from 1829 to 1837, seventh President of the United States.
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light. ”
– Dr. Albert Schweitzer
Thank you my Friends, wherever you are, Renée