Category Archives: Peace

Religion and Terrorism: The of Self-Deception

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From Mark Chironna

Psychologist Tori DeAngelis asserts, “the psychology of terrorism is marked more by theory and opinion than by good science”. Nevertheless, there are researchers in the field of psychology as well as psychology and religious studies that have offered insights worthy of consideration. James Jones, Professor of Religion at Rutgers is also a Senior Research Fellow at John Jay’s College Center On Terrorism. Jones notes that “religiously driven terrorism” has its roots in “shame and humiliation” which leads to extremely violent acts. Forensic psychologist James Gilligan in work done with prisoners asserts that there is a correlative condition that is established with violent acts when shame and humiliation are present. Yet shame and humiliation, while valid in terms of reasons for violence and terrorism do not tell the entire story. Continue reading

I Have A Dream: The MLK Speech That Almost Wasn’t

He volunteered to speak last.
He promised to keep his words to 4 minutes.
He had no plans on talking about his dreams.
Martin Luther King Jr still managed to change history that August day in 1963 as more than 250,000 protesters gathered for the March on Washington.

Today we celebrate all he did and continues to do through the power of words, courage and presence. The History Channel shared this amazing video about the man and the dream:

A Holiday Wish for You from Your Intent Family

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Our holiday wish for you this year? That you would…

INCUBATE. Give yourself the time to sit and be still. Listen and wait to hear.

NOTICE the intents and dreams that have been residing in your heart and mind. Give them honest consideration rather than rush to disregard.

TRUST yourself.  Trust the words of encouragement and wisdom from the important people in your life.

EXPRESS those hopes and dreams. Be brave enough to write them down, share them, speak life into them.

NURTURE those hopes and dreams. It’s going to require time. It’s going to mean saying no to other good things to make space and time for something great. A little sunshine. A little water. A lot of time.

TAKE ACTION when it’s time to move. You have to be watching and you have to be ready for when that moment arrives and maybe that moment is right now. What is more worthwhile than taking a risk on something important to you?

So take a moment to sit.
Don’t worry about the whole process at once.
Start with time to incubate.
Wishing you all the best and a season of growth in the new year!

Something Called Peace: The Gift of Prayer from a Syrian Refugee

This article is from the January/February 2016 issue of Unity Magazine®.

“There is something called peace.”

Sometimes you hear someone speak and their words ingrain themselves into the creases on your palms and the blood in your veins. They settle into your bones and stay there, rattling around in your thoughts and refusing to let you hear anything else.

“There is something called peace,” the man before me promised, and in that moment, I knew these words would become a part of me—present in the mist of my breath on cold mornings and the salt of my tears when I cried—for the rest of my life.

Miles from the Syrian/Jordanian border on a chilly evening in the fall of 2014, my study abroad classmates and I were huddled together in a dusty patch of dirt between expansive crop fields and a small farmhouse, speaking with a Syrian woman, a Jordanian farmer who was allowing her and her daughters to stay on his land, and a translator who interpreted their words from rapid, tearful Arabic for us. The woman had recently fled war-torn Syria with her two daughters after the Islamic State (ISIS) had taken control  of her neighborhood. The threats had become too stifling, too real, to ignore.

Continue reading

A Response to Terrorism: 5 Ways to Bring About Change

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By Michael Bianco-Splann

Once again the world is infused with a sense of horror and shock by the heinous attacks on innocent Parisians enjoying a Friday night in the City of Lights. And our collective response sensationalized by the media leads us where? The facts leading up to this attack should in no way be received as a surprise, for the endless stream of human barbarism and war has not receded in millennia. Our contemporary world order looks strikingly similar to many civilizations of the past.

What is an alternative response to terrorism? Merriam Webster defines terrorism as, “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.” The heart of terrorism is to get under your skin, churning a sense of dis-ease and fear.

Any response powered by fear demonstrates low frequency, low vibration and has an internal destructive nature that ripples across the collective unconscious. Let us find a better solution than more killing, more savagery and attending to the lowest human frequency.

Here are 5 ways to address terrorism to bring about change. Continue reading

The Flowers and the Candles Are Here Protect Us: A Child’s Thoughts on the Paris Attacks

Much has been said about the attacks on Paris over the weekend.
Who is responsible? Are more attacks around the corner? Are those attacks likely in places beyond Paris? How does Syria tie into this? Should we be mad or sad or scared?
Conversations include so much conjecture, much sympathy and some ugliness but without a doubt, the world is in shock at yet another senseless act of violence claiming so many innocent people.

In the wake of all those voices, one we have appreciated hearing was that of a father teaching his son why he didn’t have to be afraid at the site of Bataclan attacks:

French father and son have the most precious conversation in i…A father and son have the most precious conversation during an interview by french media at the scene of the Bataclan attacks. I saw that it hadn’t been subtitled in english yet, so I made a quick edit to show the rest of the world how freakin awesome some of our citizens are. They’re my heros. I feel better too now! (Courtesy of Le Petit Journal) #paris #bataclan #parisattacks

Original Segment: http://bit.ly/1Lix9L2
Original Video (without subtitles): https://www.facebook.com/PetitJournalYannBarthes/videos/1013093998733798/

Posted by Jerome Isaac Rousseau on Monday, November 16, 2015

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From Intent.com: Battling A Scarcity Mentality with Gratitude

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One day this week I was sitting on an LA subway (translate: no internet) without emails or text messages to distract me from the growing anxiety and worry over to-do lists and conquering of constantly looming life questions.

“Am I making enough money?”
“Am I wasting time/my life?”
“Should I go home for Christmas or would it be wiser to stay in town?”
“Did I email so-and-so about the time change for the coffee meeting in two weeks?”
“Is marriage in the cards for me?”
“Do I already have a padded envelope to do that mailing or do I need to pick one up?”

Questions were coming at me like I was sitting at the base of a waterfall.
All mixed together. No theme or particular problem to unite them.
My whole life was starting to suffocate me at the Pershing Square station and that part that felt most suffocating was that it was so easy to answer every question with negativity.

“No, there’s not enough time/money/energy/happiness in my day.” Continue reading

The Intent to Connect: One Widow’s Journey to Healing

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A few weeks ago I had the honor of being a panelist at The Parliament of World Religions conference in Salt Lake City. The Parliament of World Religions held its first conference in 1893, and since this date has attracted such remarkable speakers including: His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former president Jimmy Carter, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Vandana Shiva, and Dr. Eboo Patel.

In September, I was in New York City when a professor asked me in person if I would be willing to join a Parliament panel and talk about my book, A Widow’s Guide to Healing, and immediately my heart was in my throat. It was not one of my finer professional moments as I couldn’t even muster up the words, “Thank you.” I didn’t answer “yes”. I said I had to think about it and this was partly true. I would need to make travel and work arrangements to get coverage at my day job, where I am a clinical social worker. The other part that I did not share was that I was scared. I was intimidated by the nature of such a large conference, attracting 10k people from 80 different nations and 50 different faiths, and the other panelists I knew had doctoral degrees from fancy ivy- league schools. I flew home and thought long and hard about this amazing opportunity and why I was so reluctant to accept it. Deep down I knew that it was my own insecurity because I had never have spoken in a panel format and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially since I realized that the professor was taking a risk in even asking me to participate.

And a few days later, it occurred to me that I needed to revisit my original intent in writing my book. The intent was to be able to share the narratives of other widows so that a widow would be able to find herself in one of these stories and feel less alone.  Before writing my book, the words that C.S. Lewis wrote “We read to know that we are not alone” rang true to me.  And I know first- hand how lonely and scared grief can leave a person. I was 33 in 2007 when my husband, Roy, died from advanced adrenal cancer nearly eight weeks after being diagnosed with bronchitis at his family doctor’s office. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton: Life Lessons from the Benghazi Testimony

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Yesterday, when my daughters and I came home after school, I put on the live stream of Hillary Clinton testifying before the Benghazi hearings.

I’m not sure if they were 6, 7 or 8 hours into grilling Hillary Clinton yet, but at that particular moment, a Republican congressman was shouting at her. My girls watched, first with horror and then laughing – who is that man? (Actually, my 11 year old daughter asked “Who is that crazy man?”) As he continued to give his own theory on Hillary Clinton’s actions around Benghazi, my 8th grader, who has done mock trials in Elementary and Middle School, asked if that is how a hearing is supposed to go – are you supposed to make up someone else’s story? Or, are you supposed to ask questions, listen, and gather information, facts?

But it was Hillary’s demeanor – calm, collected, in control – that made the most dramatic impression on my daughters and me.

She listened. She reviewed her notes. She didn’t attack.

She smiled as a panel in front of her berated her with nonsensical questions. She acted like a seasoned world leader.

Here are a few life lessons that my girls and I talked about after the debate: Continue reading

15 Million Girls Getting Married Before 18: Ending Child Marriage Now

“Every two seconds around the world another girl is forced into marriage.”

Upworthy shared this post about child marriage across the globe. Girls as young as 8 years old are being forced into arranged marriages as a result of issues like poverty, culture, and religious pressures. Continue reading

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