What if…

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Kinshasa, RD Congo

What if…all the soldiers in the world were to have dinner with those they were fighting against, on December 25th.  A dinner where they would share food, pictures of their families and tell stories about the places they lived.  If they could eat together and laugh together, would they still be able to kill each other the next day?

War is about killing strangers.  If soldiers became friends would war be possible?

 

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by hitandrun1964

On My Soapbox

With countries taking polarized stances and tension escalating around the world I don’t think that any news outlet can be trusted to provide the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Now you might think that this is self-evident but have you done anything about it?  I would suggest reading news from more than one country to get some sort of balance.  It’s not particularly easy, given the language barriers, but there are quite a few news outlets that have output that is not in their native language. I’m thinking in particular of the Russian RT News outlet which I have found to be a great balance against Western media.  They often give prominent attention to events that the Western media have tried to downplay or ignore.  They also, obviously, have quite a different perspective on events in Syria, and so on.

If we don’t allow our media to stir us up into hatred then we are closer to finding solutions to world peace.  What do you think?  Do you have any links to non-western news outlets that you can share in the Comments section?

chainsmall

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Sarah

What a beautiful world it could be…

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Picture from:  Pinterest

 

Isn’t it amazing how beautiful livings beings are?  We could concentrate on that, on how we are surrounded by amazing things.  We could make sure that all living things are cared for and protected.  Make sure they have what they need.  We can stop taking their habitats, poisoning their food and water.  We can be be careful and polite.  Gorgeous landscapes, birds, animals, all sorts of beings are everywhere (everywhere we haven’t destroyed).  But instead, we barely see the things around us, more so than ever with our eyes locked onto one screen or another.  And as the beauty of our world passes ever farther into the background, as it disappears forever, we hardly notice. I think there’s something really wrong with that.  I think there’s something really wrong with us.

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by hitandrun1964

Whisper to Me

tell me about the quiet people
the good deeds gone unnoticed
I’m drowning in political hubris
smothered in bloodshed
tell me about the do-gooders
the selfless, help me shed
this perpetual bombardment
of negativity and hate
jealousy and rage
tell me about kindness
about gentle spirits
help me dig out from under
this pile of sensationalism
so I can see that beauty survives
tell me about the workers,
creators, inventors
I’m torn down by destruction
worn down by erosion
show me the sun and moon
the stars twinkling hope
whisper to me of love

 

He swore he never hurt his child…

He swore he never hurt his child

though his wife did drive him to drink

to cope with her inadequacies

and lying ways

He swore he never hurt his child

when he threw the dinner dishes in her face

after another ruined meal

he made sure the kid wasn’t hit

He swore he never hurt his child

he was too young to understand

couldn’t know the meaning

when he called his mom a lying whore

He swore he never hurt his child

it wasn’t his fault his wife was no good

and couldn’t be trusted

she brought it on herself

He swore he never hurt his child

he never saw the things he forced her to do at night

though he may of heard

his mother’s cries and screams

He swore he never hurt his child

the bruises, broken bones and cigarette burns

were what she had coming to her

she forced his hand

He swore he never hurt his child

he only made frequent ER visits

with his good for nothing mother

she wasn’t hurt that bad anyway

He swore he never hurt his child

though he confessed

to teaching his wife a lesson, a time or two

he never meant to kill her

He swore he never hurt his child

and while he never laid a hand on him

scars were left, just the same

and his child’s life is forever changed

~Melanie Thomason

*October is National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.   While the above is not based on my life it is most assuredly not fiction.   Women are not the only victims of their abusers, their children also suffer.

Wordifull Melanie

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Think about it…

we
have
to
make
room
in
our
hearts
for
everything
that
lives
on
this
planet

 

humans
do
not
own
the
earth

 

the
species
who
SHARE
this
planet
with
us
do
NOT
belong
to
us
they
are
not
ours
to
do
with
as
we
please

 

is
this
what
we
are
or
simply
what
we
have
become

 

is
this
what
we
were
programmed
to
be

 

the
killers
and
destroyers
of
all
life
and
beauty

 

the
wars
never
end

 

wars
against
each
other
against
nature
against
ourselves

 

why

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by hitandrun1964

Blood Red

beauty

they
were
in
love
but
war
called
his
name
she
told
him
that
love
was
life
and
war
was
not
she
asked
him
to
stay

he
said
that
he
had
to
go

they
fell
into
each
others
arms
for
the
last
time

a
bloody
death
on
the
battle field
was
waiting

when
she
went
back
to
the
spot
where
they
had
said
their
final
goodbye
a
rose
of
love
was
blooming

she
reached
out
and
touched
the
soft
petals

her
heart
broken
but
still
committed
to
peace

 

This post is a collaboration:

gorgeous picture by Paul Militaru

and moving  poem by Gigi 

A wonderful world.

Flowers abound,

a wilderness of different colors,

and all the textures,

and the sounds,

of the insects and birds,

as all go on with

their position in the universe:

It is only man

that does not fit into

the picture:

How many have

never walked or studied nature,

with all its inter-relatedness,

which we try so hard to destroy,

often without thought

or even realizing

what we are doing.

Everyday plants and animals

are going extinct in

their natural environment,

causing our earth to become

at greater risk of destruction.

We, for all our knowledge,

have learned how to waste,

how to destroy,

how to kill,

and spend huge

amounts of money

on armies, weapons, war

and the destruction

and confusion that

these bring on the people.

If we spent more on

helping each other,

education and the realignment

of the world, and a lot less on armies and defense,

how much of a better safer world we would have.

People could fit back into the natural world,

could learn to love, honor and understand each other,

and together with the birds, bees, beasts and plants

could create a wonderful world for all.

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Okay so…why we don’t have peace…a theory

In Ireland, a beautiful country with lovely cows, sheep, people, green grass and pubs, or so I’m told, there is a war going on between the Catholics and Protestants, right?  I’ve read stories where a person from each religion fell in love (because our hearts don’t know anything about religion but they do know a lot about chemistry).  The couple was caught, their heads shaved and they were tarred and feathered.   See, hate is okay, love is not.  Years ago, I also heard about, a program that brought kids from Ireland to the US, so that they could live with a family where one parent was Catholic and the other parent was Protestant.  They lived with them for a couple of months because some people wanted to teach the children that people were okay, no matter what religion they followed, and that no one had to die because of what they believed.  I believe the program was a success and that the children were amazed to see that things could be so different.  The kids were changed by their experiences.

We look at that internal war and wonder how people can kill each other over something that.  But the thing is…they look at us and wonder how we can believe and do the things we believe and do.  It’s like this, if  people aren’t taught to hate Catholics or Protestants…they won’t hate them.  Hate is taught.    We don’t go to  war over religion, in the US because no one taught us that we should, it’s that simple.   The people in Ireland, who are fighting the war, were taught different things.  If you had been born in Belfast, a person’s religion may matter to you and you may be wearing a uniform and carrying an automatic weapon, ready to kill because someone doesn’t think/believe the same thing you do.  Wars are usually fought for two reasons, either someone has something someone else wants, or someone believes something  that someone else doesn’t like/believe.

If you had been born in a different country you would believe what people in that country  believe. This shows us that the things we currently believe are relative to where we were born and what we were taught.  We don’t believe things because they are true, we believe things because we are told that they are true by people in a place where those things are believed to be true.

We aren’t born BELIEVING anything.  We are all born free of prejudice, violence and hatred.  We are open books and the people, institutions and society we grow up in,  fill in the blank pages. Wherever a baby is born, America, England, India, Ireland…well, that’s what the kid will turn into.  A child can be born in one country and raised in another and the baby will believe what ever it’s taught by the people who raise him or her, regardless of nationality or place of origin.

Beliefs are FLUID.  They CHANGE ALL THE TIME.  We need to reevaluate what we believe because we can clearly see that we would NOT believe the things we believe if we were raised somewhere else.

Debbie and I are vegetarians. She raised the kids as vegetarians from the start.  The kids think it’s wrong to eat, wear, or abuse animals in any way.  They were taught to protect and love animals, so that’s what they do.  They choose to do it, now that they are older,  because they were taught to do it from birth.  So among the carnivores, the kids remain animal lovers.  When Justin (youngest grandson) had do draw something in art class he drew a two cell cartoon.  In the first cell a rat is huddled in the corner of a lab and a man, in a white coat, holding a giant syringe, is looking at the rat.  In the second cell, their positions are reversed.  We were all very proud of him which, of course, reinforced our belief that it’s wrong to harm animals in any way.   No one told him to draw what he drew, he drew it because of the things he was taught about animal experimentation.  Everything we do and think  started with people telling us what was true and what was not, what was right and what was wrong.

When we move to new places, we learn new things.  We start to believe different things, when we live in different countries.  We change.  We can change our beliefs and the way we look at things anytime we like.  We can do that because nothing is really TRUE, we prove that all the time.  Things that are true one year are not true the next.  And yet, generation after generation we pass down ugly things without even thinking about what we’re doing.  We create our world by the things we make up and choose to believe.  We create our world by the things we teach our innocent children to believe.  It’s always up to us. Always.  Everything that’s happening everywhere is because of what people choose to believe and teach.  The things we believe often make people afraid of each other.  We pass along our fear to each generation, no matter how misguided or unfounded.   If we taught our children about love and peace…well, I can’t imagine what the world would be like.  Not really. I also don’t think we know how to teach peace, because none of us truly knows what it is.  We are way too full of the ideas of others to even think about what we want or what we believe.

Prejudice, hatred, fear are all taught.  We could have peace and an end to violence in one second, if we just thought about each other differently.  We could end violence against women, children and animals, if we just stopped doing it.  Committees and organizations can’t stop prejudice, hatred or violence and fear because they are mindsets that have been   taught to us from birth and reinforced through actions.  As long as we don’t examine our own beliefs and our behavior, as long as we don’t see that each of us is responsible for our own beliefs and behavior, nothing will ever change.  As long as society accepts and fosters prejudice, hatred, fear and violence, that’s the world we will continue to inhabit.  But just know, that we are being fed a diet of lies and negative beliefs by the media and powerful people because there is no money in peace, but there’s plenty of it in war.

I think we might try to be different, to help ourselves.  But some of the hatred goes too deep, for some people.  I don’t see how we can stop the violence or the prejudice.  I just wanted to point out why it exists.   We TEACH it.  We ALLOW it.  We celebrate the ugliness through film, our schools, institutions, lies and our legal system.  This is our fault.  No one can change it but us.

 

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by hitandrun1964

Artists For Peace

Hello Creative People!

I do hope the New Year is treating you very well thus far. I came across a post on the https://artists4peace.wordpress.com/ blog and felt inspired to tie it in with my own post today.

If you feel your beliefs are in alignment with their blog, be sure and jump in and contribute to their posts to spread the message of Peace versus War in our world.

An art print from an original painting by Itaya  titled 'My Best Friend'.

My painting titled ‘Best Friends’ was meant to capture the sentiment of embracing others and being friends even when it is a very unlikely pairing. This seems to be a theme throughout my entire life with my having unlikely friendships with others. Don’t you agree that our whole world would be a much more positive place to live in if we just accepted others and their way of being and believing?

I don’t feel the need to change anyone’s beliefs and I expect others to afford me the same courtesy. It has not always been easy to accept another’s beliefs when it so profoundly differs from my own, but it has gotten much easier as I’ve gotten older.

My son chose to join the military and ended up doing two tours of Iraq. It was quite challenging for me to accept his beliefs and accept his decision to serve our country in the manner he chose. Ultimately, I had no choice. I love my son and respect his choices and beliefs. I’m very proud of him and appreciate his bravery and courage. I may not agree with him at all times, but I definitely accept his choices such as that one.

Is there someone in your life that you have had to work at accepting their beliefs and choices when they are very different from your own? Do you agree that we need more focus on peace versus war as the Artists for Peace blog states?

  Itaya Art:

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