Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance

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Awesome Stories 302

Brad has a way of collecting the most awesome stories. No rubbish here! But I’m jotting about it for Just Jot It January. 🙂 One more impressive reason to give up beef, a powerful video on peace, increased awareness of food waste and how to stop it, and creativity are all topics dear to my heart. Thanks, Brad!

just-jot-january+

Thanks to Wendy at Wendy’s Waffle for today’s prompt: rubbish.  You can read more jots at Linda’s place: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/19/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-19th17/

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you less beef, mothers for peace, food waste, and creativity for kids.

Bailing on Beefenvironmental impact beef, Awesome Stories

I’ve been all over the map on eating meat, from meat lover growing up to vegetarian for 12 years in my 30s, and then in my 40s returning to meat in small quantities. It might be time to completely ditch the beef. From an environmental perspective, growing and eating beef is a disaster, especially modern day methods of feeding them grains instead of natural grasses. Compared to other meats, beef is far worse on land use, water use and emissions from the methane gas they emit. And compared to eating the grains directly instead of feeding them to cattle, the numbers are really bad. Beef uses 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gas. Scientists estimate that giving up beef would have a greater environmental impact than giving…

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Peace in the Stream of Consciousness

Peace.

The Peace that passes all understanding.

Peace that comes with a smile

Or a nod of understanding, or acceptance.

Peace like a river that flows freely

Nourishing life with sparkling waves

Peace of silence in an evening snowfall

When there is no wind – only the sound of snowflakes

Peace Will Come

An old song I loved in my youth.

 

Peace, Please.

flowers-close-up

PS: I’m planning to march in the MLK day parade Monday with a group I just joined: it’s called Grandmother’s for Peace.

Peace was the first thing that popped in to my head when I read Linda’s SoCS prompt to use a word that begins with the letter P. I get bonus points for beginning and ending with a words that starts with the letter P.

Come play in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness persistently provided by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-1417/

SOCS  just-jot-january

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World Peace Day September 21st

In honor of World Peace Day, here’s a post from Annette Rochelle Aben with a sweet poem about growing peace and great quotes. Peace can save us.

Annette Rochelle Aben

Established by the United Nations General Assembly, in 1981 The International Day of Peace or as we now know it, World Peace Day, is celebrated each year on September 21st.  Twenty years later, it was designated as “a period of non-violence and cease fire”

Here in 2016, the theme of World Peace Day is: “The Sustainable Development Goals, Building Blocks for Peace”

I am honored to be part of the Poets for Peace project https://thepoetrychannel.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/poets-for-peace-the-finished-collaboration/

The above link will take you to the finished collaboration and some pretty amazing content!  Also, that collaboration is being published in Praxis Magazine online AND it is being archived at Stanford University in their 100,000 Poets for Change collection!.

Here is my contribution to that collection:

Caretaker

The world’s a garden

Plant seeds you wish to see grow

Only peace, grows peace

(c) 2016 Annette Rochelle Aben 

Many wise people have shared their…

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Awesome Stories 281

My favorite in the batch of “Awesome Stories” is the one about the two women on opposite sides of a conflict in Columbia. Both are in prison for killing people in the conflict. They found common ground in that they are human and demonstrate a “Model of Reconciliation.” Listening to the story of someone we consider our enemy builds a bridge to peace and even friendship.

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you cardboard homes, prison friendship, solar success and precious jewelry.

Amazing Cardboard Homescardboard homes, Awesome Stories

This is a pretty interesting project. Students built homes made from cardboard to demonstrate easier and more sustainable construction possibilities. I wish I could find an article with more info. Here is a nice collection of photos of their amazing cardboard homes.

Prison Friendship

This is a remarkable story of healing and forgiveness. Claudia and Ciliana are two women from opposite sides of the conflict in Columbia. Both are serving time in prison for killing people in the uprisings. After being assigned as cellmates, they began to get to know the person beyond the roles they played and found that they had much in common. Most of all, they didn’t want to cause any more harm. They realized it was time to go beyond the ideologies that create conflict and war, and…

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We Are More Alike Than Different

“The earth is what we all have in common.”   Wendell Berry

Earth, The Blue Marble

We all live on the same planet.

We all need the same mix of air.

Designed to eat from Earth’s garden

And drink from bodies of water

Abundant in all of our bodies,

We all floated in our mother’s wombs

We all cry the same salty tears.

We are more alike than different.

You would think

we could all get along

If not for ourselves, then

For the sake of all children

of the great Mother Earth.

And we can.

This is my offering for #PoetsForPeace which can be found here:

https://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/calling-all-poetscreative-minds-to-a-grand-collaboration-poets-for-peace/


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What I’m Learning about #BlackLivesMatter

It started on my way to the Potluck for Peace hosted by the local YWCA.

Just around the corner from my house, I passed by a black man in a red car who had been pulled over by a police officer and a deputy sheriff. The officers were approaching his car from behind. They appeared to be calm, and I didn’t see any guns. Part of me wanted to turn around and watch from a distance. But I kept going and said a prayer for the man in the car and for the officers. I asked God to keep them all safe.

What struck me in the few seconds as I drove by was the body language of the man sitting in the car. His hands were up on the ceiling, like he was pushing them up as high as he could within the confines of his car. It looked like he was smiling a wide and nervous smile, shaking his head from side to side, and saying something. I imagined that he could be saying: I’m not doing anything wrong. My hands are up, see? I’m not armed. I’m not resisting. God please let them know that.

I remembered the time I was pulled over by the police, many years ago, for going a little too fast. I remembered the sick feeling in my stomach of being in trouble. Then I thought about that feeling being magnified 1000 times. The thought made me shudder.

At the Potluck for Peace, about fifty of us shared a meal. We were a good mix of African American and Caucasian, with one Latina and several police officers.

Our speaker defined racism as prejudice + power.

We’ve all felt prejudice. When you add power, that’s when you get racism that can impede a person’s access to jobs, housing, safety, and justice.

We were invited to write feelings and thoughts about racism on giant sticky notes placed on the walls.

I wish I knew how to tak talk to a racist

Empathy

Then we were asked to discuss the notes nearest our table in small groups. My group focused on this one:

what are the roots

We talked about how fears and prejudices are passed on through generations, and how we need to start teaching children as early as possible to look beyond those fears and prejudices.

One black man shared about the internalized inferiority he felt as a child when he saw how sales people disregarded his mother in stores. As a child, he received the message that people like him and his family didn’t matter.

Black Lives Matter does not mean white lives don’t matter. All lives matter. But black lives have mattered less (sometimes far less) in our system for a long time.

Black lives matter because all lives matter.

We don’t have to pick a side. Black Lives Matter is part of the larger whole that all lives matter. Shouldn’t we give more caring attention to the parts of the whole that are being harmed more, including, not only black lives, but blue lives, and LGBT lives?  Which reminds me of this video of the BLM/police cookout:

https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1111255742297882/?pnref=story

Lately, I’ve heard white people I respect referring to black and brown brothers and sisters. I’m relieved we are finally realizing that talking only in terms of black and white is polarizing.

What if we started to recognize all the colors in between black and white?

Flesh colored crayons

It makes me want to know what people want to be called: black, brown, black and brown, African American….  Maybe I’ll do an informal survey. Feel free to comment!

My friend’s grand daughter recently referred to another little girl as having peach colored skin. Maybe she has the right idea.

 

 

 

 


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Coming Together

After last week’s post about good news deserving equal time, I’ve been searching for good news stories. I found plenty of videos about people saving other people from subway tracks in the nick of time. I guess that’s because they always have those cameras at the subway stops.

I also discovered a brief article about this photo of people surrounding a baby in a stroller in Dallas:

surrounding baby stroller

I looked for the CNN article, but it didn’t turn up in my search.

 

The best story I’ve found, so far, is about two groups with different agendas managing to come together. As reported in The Dallas Morning News, after hours of marching, the  Black Lives Matter protestors had become smaller in number and “stationed themselves across the street from counter-protesters waving American, Texas flags and a black-and-blue version in honor of police.”

I wouldn’t exactly call them “counter-protesters,” but the potential for tension and conflict was there.

You can read how this situation unfolded here: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20160710-lives-matter-we-are-all-americans-dallas-protesters-counterprotesters-come-together-with-police.ece

This moving video from the story holds the keys to hope. Be sure to watch it all the way through:

The two groups came together at the perfect time in their journeys. The Black Lives Matter protesters had been walking for hours by the time they came to a small group of people standing up for police lives. The people who remained in this time and space were dedicated. They were ready. They realized that they did not have to be on opposite sides of the street.

It’s not a story that is likely to be given a lot of attention, but it’s a story that matters.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.    __ Margaret Mead