Archive for the ‘Greater Good’ Category

World Peace Day 2010

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Let Peace begin with me – let this be the moment now!

A line from the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tomorrow is World Peace Day!

Also known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21 is celebrated around the world as a time dedicated to global peace with prayer services, concerts, candlelight vigils, festivals, community events and conferences. (more…)

Wisdom – In Politics of All Places

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”

Jeff Daly 

 

There were two notable events in American politics this week. As with most things, if we are mindful, there is wisdom to be gained in each. The first news item was President Obama’s much anticipated State of the Union Address. In it, the President affirmed America’s strengths and issued a call to our best intentions.  With calm resolve, he reminded us of how progressive economic policies have avoided the second Great Depression imminent just a year and a half ago; he also encouraged us to have the courage and conviction to continue our progress. Most commentators agree: it was a good speech with a timely and encouraging message. Those of us who deeply believe Barak Obama is uniquely-suited to lead America forward were re-inspired; for their part, the President’s detractors also seem to feel positively about his intentions, if still somewhat skeptical about his ideas.

The second newsworthy political event of the week, though much less publicized and prognosticated, was just as significant. It was the invitation of the President to –and his appearance at — a meeting of the Republican caucus. While fewer Americans watched this drama unfold, those who did witnessed a powerful example of peace in action. With humor and candor, the President framed the current political crisis as a bitter squabble between old friends.  He disdained name-calling, suggested dialogue and promised an open ear. Republicans responded by speaking their concerns and asking tough questions. Even from the distance of a television screen, the lessening of tensions was discernable. People began to remember we all want things to be better. (more…)

2010 – Happy New Year

Friday, January 1st, 2010

2010 – Happy New Year! 

Well, here we are. Ten years into the New Millenium. Post 9/11. Post Economic meltdown. Post Bush-Cheney. Several degrees into Global Warming. Several setbacks into Global Cooperation. The backside of the Great Recession. The end of a decade of decadence. Folks, straighten your chair backs, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for landing; somehow or another, we made it!

So – as we come to the end of this bumpy ride—what’s next for us?

I have no crystal ball to foretell the future, but my hunch is that, like so many generations of God’s people on planet Earth, we are about discover the consequences of having to collectively learn things the hard way!

Here are just a few of the tough lessons in store for us: (more…)

Celebrate December

Monday, December 21st, 2009

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving,

make every day a holiday and celebrate just living. “

 Amanda Bradley

On this clear cold day with the sun’s glow waking my winter world, December is a perfect time to enjoy a spiritual lift. The cloudless sky seems to open to heaven itself, and outside my wind chimes are ching-chinging a cheerful song. With sunshine glossing the frost, the trees and birds and rocks and water are rejoicing along with me!

I think about how the month of December is a gift for the spirit, full of holiday cheer and family gatherings. Around the world, it is a time of spiritual celebration: Jewish Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, the Muslim New Year, and the African American days of Kwanzaa, among others.  I like to think about how, in places far and near, the world is affirming that God is good, people are worth loving and life is a gift. (more…)

Autumn

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every purpose under heaven.
 Ecclesiastes 3:1

 It is time for another changing of the season here in Texas. This weekend, the trees are lofting their colorful leaves onto each breath of breeze.  This is the time of year that always gives me pause for reflection. Spring has its sense of urgency. Summer is full of activity. Even Winter brings holiday festivities. But Autumn? As Nature’s growth slows and we gather with family for Thanksgiving, Autumn seems to be the time of slowing down, of thinking things over and of assessing our lives and loves. (more…)

Sacred Sounds

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Jazz is the sound of God laughing.” Colleen Shadox

With a week of drenching rain finally over and an autumn chill in the sunny air, I decided to open all the windows this morning to celebrate the changing seasons. At my laptop, as I write this post, a gentle wind is dancing through the turning leaves and rustling the limbs. It is just enough to set singing our several sets of windchimes. Each one is tuned to a different pitch, and we have hung them in various spots around our yard. The result is that, on days like today, the air carries a veritable symphony of music: round-toned moans, cheerful harmonies, bright staccatos. Listening with my eyes closed for a minute, I feel moved to tears then to laughter then to peace.

A believer in prayer and worship as a constant condition, I realize that if the sound of my windchimes stirs my spirit, I am hearing sacred music! That idea sets me thinking about the many kinds of sacred sounds in the world we experience as holy, and every culture has its own beautiful traditions. (more…)

The Best Way

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

He was a Mahatma (Great Soul) and India’s Bapu (Father of the Nation).

October 2 is the birthday of Mohandras Gandhi, political leader, spiritual advisor, social activist and wise elder. Educated and of means, but having experienced the sting of racism while in South Africa, the domination of India by Britain and the brutal violence between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi turned his life to what he called non-cooperation – just saying “no” to injustice. A student of Jesus’s teaching as well as other world religions, he practiced kindness and forgiveness in a sacred endeavor towards the Greater Good. Because of his leadership, people around the world were inspired. In tribute to Gandhi, the date of his birth was designated several years ago as the annual International Day of Non-violence. (more…)

The Art of Peace

Friday, September 18th, 2009

“Better than a thousand hollow words

is one word that brings peace.”

Buddha

Monday marks the 2009 United Nations International Day of Peace. Observed each year on September 21st, the International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. In many places, it will the first time in months that a pause in fighting will allow humanitarian aid to get to people without food or medical care. In other safer locations, people committed to non-violence will gather to celebrate and learn about peacemaking. This year’s theme is WMD: We Must Disarm, a reminder that the letters “WMD” can be transformed from their poisonous connotation to a message of hope!

Here in Texas on Sunday, September 20, the eve of the International Day of Peace, I will be participating in a brand new event called the Art of Peace Festival. (more…)

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

You Lie!    

Representative Joe Wilson to President Obama

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about free speech. I have also been reeling from our abuse of it.

In 2007, long before the current controversies over the economy recovery and healthcare reform, a friend of mine, Donna Bowling, co-authored an insightful book called, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 101 Rules that Work. While I have often recommended it to those I know in leadership, I must admit that in the past two weeks I have been tempted to send it out en masse. (more…)

Social Networking – Modern Day Moai

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

       “Value your relationships.”  Barbara Bush

Lately, I have been thinking about relationships and the strength they bring to our lives.

With that on my mind, this week I read an insightful article  about “the power of many” in an investment newsletter. As evidence of how personal relationships empower us in the midst of these unsettled economic times, the article noted an interesting custom I read about several years ago in Dan Buettner’s eye-opening book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest .

The custom comes from the island of Okinawa, where for years people have formed social cooperatives called moai. Essentially, moai are informal groups formed by people who want to count on and cooperate with each other. (more…)