Archive for the ‘Peacework’ Category

The Holidays Are Here Again

Monday, December 8th, 2014

For many of us, the holiday season has arrived!

For those of us who are Jewish or Christian or American or maybe even a Westerner, no pages on the calendar marks the passing of time like the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  For others, it is the season of celebrating light: Diwali and the Winter Solstice.

Whatever our traditions, we are likely to think, Another year has passed! or So much has happened this past year!  At this time, our days and nights are full of traditions to think about: religious celebrations, special meals, cards and letters, photographs, decorating our homes, shopping for gifts, holiday gatherings. Sometimes we feel like we don’t even have time to think at all, that our list of things-to-do is impossibly long. We know we should be having fun, but we may feel stressed or even inappropriately sad. Others of us are blessed by memories of past holiday seasons, as we remember the beloved people and places that have made those times special for us.

Whether or not you are ready to celebrate Hannukah or Christmas or the Solstice or New Year’s Eve–and despite your mood–the last few days of the year can be a blessing. In the hectic times and the quiet moments, try looking for the most important aspects of this solstice season. Set aside your to-do list and focus on three things that, once embraced, will be holiday gifts to yourself. I am suggesting peace, joy and love! In the Nativity story, the Wise Men might have done well to offer these three, since Jesus certainly embraced them — and the Hannukah story is full of them. Peace, Joy and Love. They are already in your life, waiting for you to find them amidst the bustling crowds, the wrapping paper and bows, the latkes and candy canes, the Yule fires and midnight noisemakers. Close you eyes and feel them — or open your eyes and see them. You will be blessed!

To help in your search, here’s a holiday poem as my gift to you. Happy Holidays!

 

Peace! Joy! Love!

In Candle Glow and Choir Song,

In Places You Know You Belong,

When Frantic Preparations Cease,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Peace!

In Laughter and in Life’s Embrace,

In Smiles that Light Up Every Face,

In the Hopes of Little Girls and Boys,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Joy!

As You Open Gifts and Give Them Too,

As the Season Brings Its Best to You,

Like the Sweet Descent of a Sacred Dove,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Love!

 

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2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love, once you heard their story.”

“Great programs don’t change the world; great people do.”

“Girls are not property. They aren’t pure. They are real, and they are our future.”

“Be present and receive the gift of amazing stories.”

“Once you see what great design can do, you can’t unsee it. It becomes a part of what is possible.”

“People – whatever their circumstances – just want to live.”

“Ten years from now, we will have a powerful story to tell!”

These are just some of the inspiring comments I heard last week, when I had the joy and privilege of attending the 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health at the Aspen Institute campus in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. What an amazing experience!

Each day was a feast of surprising, provocative conversations with world-changing people, all of it aimed at transforming global public health. From young architects building culturally relevant hospitals to robotic engineers creating exoskeletons, from international scientists to local activists, from courageous African men and women working to expand family planning to American politicians working to expand access to healthy food, from musicians who awaken dementia patients to physicians who are alert to new therapies and from young students to retired professors, everyone involved was united in a shared vision of making health, not just healthcare, a reality for all people.

I was reminded over and over that when creative change-makers come together to share ideas and listen to one another, miracles can happen. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the inspiring stories I heard and some of the astounding people I met during my week in Aspen. For now, know that the world is full of heroes — and we are called to be heroes too!

Find more of Anne’s McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at InSpiritry.com!

You can also connect with InSpiritry through Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

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…)

Empathy 101

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

“If there is any great secret to success in life,

 it is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place

and see things from his point of view as well as your own.” Henry Ford 

As I worked on a poetry presentation this week, I realized that the the ideas I am presenting are not limited to writing — they are, in fact, InSpiritry ideas worth sharing! The workshop I have been developing is a lesson for poets about persona poems. For the uninitiated, the persona of a poem is the person speaking to the reader. In some persona poems the writer assumes an identity other than their own.  That persona can be another person, an animal, a place, even something inanimate. In a persona poem, an alternate point of view means using an intentionally different way of speaking, to become that other voice. Enough about literary technique, though; back to my original reason for this post.   

What drew me to widen my considerations about writing persona poems was my assertion that “persona poems compel us to consider how it feels to be someone else.” (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…)

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…)

InSpiritry Question for the Day 6-11-09: Electricity

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

“Poverty, Violence, War, Earthquakes, Floods…all reasons families are forced to live in Third World conditions.”

Last night, a line of dangerous summer thunderstorms raced across North Texas, full of sky-splitting lightning strikes, damaging winds, tornados, heavy rain and hail. As our huge, old trees heaved in the gusts and thunder rattled our windows, we heard a high pitched POP! and then total silence. (more…)

Regard Your Soldiers

Monday, May 25th, 2009

 “Regard your soldiers as your children…

look on them as your own beloved sons

and they will follow you even unto death.” 

                        Sun Tzu

Today is Memorial Day. The day for aging WWII and Vietnam vets to polish their medals, memorialize sargeants, call old friends. A day for men and women who fought in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan to remember their comarades, rub their regrets, wear their honor. Today, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers of amazing young adults lost in battle will dust off portraits of their special heroes, then tell their stories hoping they will never be forgotten. And on military bases around the world, soldiers will enjoy a good meal, shoulder chuck one another in pride, reread love letters, talk to family by phone or online.

The rest of us will mark the day too. (more…)

Question for the Day: May 18, 2009

Monday, May 18th, 2009

“My heart goes out to …” 

Have you heard these words? We say them when we care deeply about a person or are moved by the plight of a group of people in a difficult situation. The wonderful idea created is that we send our heart — that keeper of our spirituality, our emotions, our souls — to be shared with someone else! (more…)