Where Has the Peace Gone?


 

 

 

My friends, let us give thanks for Wonder.

Let us give thanks for the Wonder of Life

that infuses all things now and forever.

 

Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being

the wellspring of goodness, compassion and Kindness

from which we draw to make for justice and peace.

From the creative power of Life we derive food and harvest,

from the bounty of the earth and the yields of the heavens

we are sustained and are able to sustain others.

All Life is holy, sacred,

worthy of respect and dignity.

Let us give thanks for the power of heart

to sense the holy in the midst of the simple.

 

We eat not simply to satisfy our own appetites,

we eat to sustain ourselves in the task we have been given.

Each of us is unique,

coming into world with a gift no other can offer: ourselves.

We eat to nourish the vehicle of giving,

we eat to sustain our task of world, repair,

our quest for harmony, peace and justice.

 

We eat and we are revived, and we give thanks

to the lives that were ended to nourish our own.

May we merit their sacrifice, and honor their sparks of holiness

through our deeds of loving kindness.

 

We give thanks to the Power that makes for Meeting,

for our table has been a place of dialogue and friendship.

 

We give thanks to Life.

May we never lose touch with the simple joy and wonder

of sharing life.   —Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

Leave the world a better place.

Leave the world a better place.

Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.   —Dalai Lama

 

The only true guardian of peace lies within: a sense of concern and responsibility for your own future and an altruistic concern for the well-being of others.

—-Dalai Lama

 

As we are together, praying for peace, let us be truly with each other.

Let us pay attention to our breathing.

Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.

Let us be at peace with our bodies and our minds.

Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves. Let us maintain a half-smile of our faces.

Let us be aware of the source of being common to us all and to all living things.

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion—–towards ourselves and towards all living beings.

Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all brothers and sisters, all nourished from the same source of life.

Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.

Let us plead with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive

other beings of air, water, food, shelter,or the chance to live.

With humility, with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth. Amen                                          —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?

How We Learn From Each Other


 

Yesterday, I  told you all the story of Ms. G. a teacher in the Freshman and Sophomore classes at Long Beach California. She was one of those people who came along and wanted to make a difference. She was officially an English teacher. She worried if they would like her or if she would seem too preppy to the kids. Last night I began wondering if there was a book the movie was based upon. Well, there is. Please be patient as there is a point to all of this.

 

She decided they were going to read the Diary of Anne Frank. After an incident in class, she asked who knew what the Holocaust was. Not one hand raised, not one child knew. That was when she made her decision that they would read Anne Frank. As she began to read to them, they heard familiar words, war, shooting, dying. This is when she made the suggestion that they keep a journal. She bought, out of her own money, one for each student. They could share what they wrote with her, or not. No one else would see or read them. At the end of every day she locked the cupboard that they kept the journals in. They decided, after finishing reading Anne Frank that they wanted to meet the woman, Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust.

 

So their teacher Ms. G helped them do fund raisers until they had earned enough money to bring Miep Gies to California. She was a very old lady. She told them all about the Nazi’s and the horrors she had seen. She told them of the night the Gestapo came and took the hidden Jews away. How a gun was held to her head. Hiding Jews meant you were to be shot. A high price for being a compassionate, caring human being. For this reason, she was very surprised when the Gestapo left and she was still alive.

 

The kids told Miep Gies she was their hero but this gentle, kind woman looked at this classroom of Asian, African-American and Latino kids and told them they were the heroes. Thier teacher Ms. G. had told her about their journals and some of their stories. Miep Gies didn’t see a class of mixed colored kids, she saw them as brave because they knew so much of what Anne Frank had suffered and yet they went to school everyday, they learned to open their hearts to Ms. G. and the other kids. They even were beginning to trust each other. So damaged kids from every race, color and creed were beginning to understand each other and accept each other. They chose to break the cycle and make their positive experiences  a lesson for generations to come.

 

Now, the story becomes amazing. In the 1990’s, there was another little girl, named Zlata and she wrote a story. Now I own the diary and have read it. Zlata was in Kosovo and there was a war going on. Our students in Long Beach California read about a girl who wrote out her heart to survive the two years she was in the war. Her diary, quite like Anne Frank’s diary was full of the horrors of war. What human beings are capable to doing to each other. Zlata wrote to save her sanity and cope with the terrible war conditions. She feels there is a parallel between herself and the Freedom Writers because they had all been subjected to being felt that they were victims. They all understood that life brings good things and bad things. Zlata feels that it is easy to  become a victim of your circumstances and to continue to feel sad or angry. She continued to say that someone could continue  to stay angry and scared or that people could  choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies. She told the Freedom Writers that writing helps you look objectively at what is happening around us.

 

Zlata left the former Yugoslavia knowing what a bomb sounds like,what it’s like to hide from bombs in a cellar and what the absence of water feels like. She wants American kids to rise above what they have had to live through and not let the hate, violence and sadness become the focus of their lives, so they can make rich lives for themselves.

 

The Freedom Writers kept Ms. G. for their Junior and Senior years. Then they all went on to college. What they overcame and accomplished is very important and must be respected. They escaped the damage of the anger and hate that surrounded them in their neighborhoods. The seeds of hatred and fear that was beginning to grow. They stopped history from repeating itself.  Ms. G. is still teaching on the college level toda;, though divorced she has had many children and these children will never forget her. They would have remained “underachievers” if she hadn’t walked into their classroom on her first day of teaching. I encourage you all to remember this true story and the two girls who inspired a classroom of American kids to save their lives and make the world a better place for everyone to live.

 

 

A book tree, wouldn't it be wonderful!

A book tree, Wouldn’t it be wonderful!

 

The Essential Wisdom of the Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama is a very special person. He is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet which was taken from the Tibetan people by the Chinese. They say that having at one time owned Tibet, they do now also. I think it is kind of like Russia saying they own the Ukraine. Greed for land and minerals and egos are behind these actions. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese back in the fifties and a teenaged Dalai Lama was secreted out of the country and took refuge in India. Many Tibetan people left with the Dalai Lama and in the weeks and months thereafter. The Dalai Lama was the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. The temples were invaded and monks and nuns were tortured, raped and murdered. The world stood by and watched it happen. They really had nothing to make them valuable to the rest of the world, so the country was devastated.

 

 

I have met him back in the eighties and I found him to be a wonderful spirit with a good sense of humor, and a sincere and peaceful energy. It would be so easy for him to be angry, resentful or to have turned away from his faith. Instead, I found a man of peace, a man who worries about his people, and a man who has never held any grudges against the countries who didn’t come to the aid of his people. His teachings are wise, peaceful and full of compassion. We are so lucky to have him and his wonderful spirit here in the world. I believe he is the source of much positive energy that fights the darkness that is also here.

 

It amazes me that a country at the top of the world would have been worth stealing from its people. To seal the immoral bargain, the Chinese people were moved into Tihet and encouraged to marry Tibetans. People who didn’t always have a choice. It is a form of genocide because  there will be fewer and fewer people who can claim they are of Tibetan ancestry.

 

The Dalai Lama has taught and spread his message all over the world and he is seldom still, except in meditation. I thought I would share some of his teachings with all of you. No matter what path you follow, you can add these teachings. They do not contradict any other teachings.

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

“Love, compassion, and concern for others are real sources of happiness. With these in abundance, you will not be disturbed by even the most uncomfortable circumstances. If you nurse hatred, however, you will not be happy even in the lap of luxury. Thus, if we really want happiness. we must widen the sphere of love. This is both religious thinking and basic common sense.”

 

” Unless our minds are stable and calm, no matter how comfortable our physical condition may be, they will give is no pleasure. Therefore, the key to a happy life, now and in the future, is to develop a happy mind.”

 

“If the basic human nature was aggressive, we would have been born with animal claws and huge teeth—but our are very short, very pretty, very weak! That means we are not well equipped to be aggressive beings. Even the size  of our mouth is very small. So I think the basic nature of human beings should be gentle.”

 

“Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite—love, compassion, tolerance, and patience—then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others also will gradually diminish.”

 

“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it. “

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

“Tibet is distinguished by its extraordinary geography, the unique race and language of its people, and the rich culture they have developed over 2,100 years of recorded history. approximately six million Tibetans populate our country, which covers around 2.5 million square Kilometers, an area the size of Western Europe. In the Tibetan culture, our relations with nature, including animals, were very peaceful. We lived in great harmony with nature. At its foundation and thereafter, after the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet, Tibetan society in general was characterized by compassion and openness. It was a society where people felt at ease. For those reasons I believe it might serve as an example.”

 

“Fundamentally, the issue of Tibet is political. It is an issue of colonial rule: the oppression of Tibet by the  People’s Republic of China and resistance to that rule by the people of Tibet. This issue can be resolved only through negotiations and not, as China would have it, through force, intimidation and population transfer.”

 

” Violations of human rights in Tibet have a distinct character. Such abuses are aimed at Tibetian as a people from asserting their own identity and their wish to preserve it. Thus, human rights violations in Tibet are often the result of institutionalized racial and cultural discrimination.”

 

 

             This is a short prayer written by the Dalai Lama

 

For as long as space endures,

And for as long as living beings remain.

Until then may I, too, abide

To dispel the misery of the world.

 

 

buddhawatergarden

 The Buddha

 

 

The Dalhai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

The Dalai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

 

 

What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?  

Vacation and Children


IMG_0300

 

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

 

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

I have returned from the best type of vacation. It included days of  laughing  and playing with my four youngest grandchildren and going to some new places.  I ate piggies and played peek a boo, I painted a canvas and read a story. I listened to their excited stories and laughed at their antics. Though physically tired, I am relaxed and happy inside.

I can close my eyes and still hear cries of “Nana! Nana!” There was almost sixty degree weather and sun. Let me repeat that:  Sun!  I know this may not sound like a good vacation to many but the children lifted up my heart and soul. It is why we do all we do. We write and speak out for a better world for the young ones. We extend kindness, compassion and forgiveness to make the world a better place now but also to make it a better place for the young ones in the future.

Very little of the pain and the heart ache that happens in this world, happens for any reason except humans hurting other humans for greed, power, hatred and a lack of compassion for our fellow human beings.  It always comes back to our teaching positive traits and respect for others to the little ones.  Then they teach their little ones some day.

That is the plan. It is a good plan with only one flaw:  we teach more hatred than love. We live by violent means not kind, compassionate ones. Human beings provide a hell here on earth and then wonder why our children and grandchildren look at life with skepticism and disdain. We teach them of our disappointments and  our short comings. Then we wonder why the world is not what it was supposed to be.

Humans must evolve into a higher being, a being that we are meant to be. A being who lives in awareness of the Divine within. A being who would never bring harm to another for any reason. We are meant to soar. We are meant to fly with the angels. The song that fills the heart is meant to last for this entire life on this plane of existence. I think that we must care more, do more and spread more love and positive energy into the world. We need to act more and give lip service less…a lot less. Every one of us has a story. The story of our lives. Some are rich with love and compassion. Some of us have stories of struggle and survival. Some beings have stories  of despair, pain, darkness and yet they come through some way surrounded by light that they refused to give up.

What I am trying to say is that no one promised us a life of ease or monetary richness. We can and must take what we have found around us and we must fight the darkness and pain. We must use every available chance to heal ourselves…sometimes with a little help from our friends. We need to take the inner fear and pain and shake it off. Lift up your faces to the sun and be thankful for everything we have been given and pass all the blessings down to the next generation. Teach our children to triumph and to keep their hearts full of love and their determination to improve the world something that they just work to do every day.

 

 

This is a remote control helium filled Nemo.

This is a remote control helium filled Nemo.

DSC_0328                                                                              The joy of childhood. Being in motion with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.

 

 

one world, many hearts beating as one. Love to all.

One world, Many hearts beating as one. Love to all.

The Dalai Lama


buddhawatergarden

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. Tibet is a very mountainous country without resources like oil. One night, in the dark, lit only by the night sky, the Chinese invaded Tibet.  Tibetian monks took the young Lama secretly out of Tibet and the Dalai Lama has since lived in exile in India. Many Tibetans have also fled the invasion. Tibetan monks and nuns were murdered and raped. The Buddhist temples were plundered. Why? The Chinese at one point in history had control of Tibet. They decided all these years later that they were  going to take it back from the Tibetans. They brought in Chinese citizens live in Tibet, taking over the villages and government of the Tibetians. The world sat back and watched.  Tibet had nothing to really bargain with and no natural resources to make them worth fighting for. So without an economic incentive to intervene, the rest of the world simply sat back and allowed this to happen.

The Dalai Lama is an amazing man. I met him twenty plus years ago. His spirituality is a part of his essence. He shook my hand and I felt as if electricity ran up my arm. My late husband was with me at the time. The Dalai Lama looked me directly in the eyes and I knew this man was a man of God. I have never forgotten being in his presence and I read much of what he writes. This man is a man of God, it doesn’t matter what you call God. He is getting older no;, he was fifteen when he fled for his life and he has been in exile ever since. I wanted to share  some of his wisdom with my readers. He is not the only spiritual teacher or leader I have met or studied with. When you dissect what I have learned it is all similar: There is one god and he/she is everywhere and within all of us.

The Dalai Lama speaks with compassion for everyone in the world. His kindness is something that he shows to everyone, He believes that these attributes are what will lead us to happiness and to peace. He has set aside the turmoil surrounding his flight through the mountains of Tibet to India,  and has forgiven the Chinese conquerors. This is a huge act that most world leaders would never even think of doing. Forgiveness for another country taking your country away from you and killing many of your people. He has attempted to use diplomacy to have the Communists leave his country, but over and over, they would not leave. So he forgave them. This man walks his talk and is a role model for all of us on this planet.

BJWordPressDivider

I am going to give you some excerpts from some of his teaching and writings and speeches. These excerpts will be in quotes. Other comments will be mine.

“In essence, all beings are united by the desire to gain happiness and to avoid suffering. We are also the same in that it is possible to remove suffering and attain happiness, to which we all have an equal right.”

“No matter what part of the world we live in, essentially we are all the same human beings. We have the same basic needs and concerns. Furthermore, all of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals. That is human nature.”

“Little children do not bother about religion and nationality, rich or poor; they just want to play together. At a young age the sense of oneness of humanity is much more fresh. As we grow older, we make a lot of distinctions; a lot of artificial creations that are actually secondary become more important, and basic human concern diminishes. That is a problem. Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great family. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, belonging to one nation, religion, ideology, or another, ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else. We all desire happiness and do not want suffering. When you recognize that all human beings are equal in this respect, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Out of this, in turn, comes a genuine sense of universal responsibility; the wish to actively help others overcome their problems.”

“To those who believe in God or in a creator, I ask them to put more emphasis on the equality of all human beings. Forget about other galaxies and concentrate on this globe, this planet. If one creator created all earthly beings, discrimination has no place. There can be no differences on the basis of color, social background, or, particularly in this country [India], of caste.”

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

” The common factor among all religions is that, whatever the philosophical differences between them, they are primarily concerned with helping their followers become better human beings. Consequently, all religions encourage the practice of kindness, generosity, and concern for others.”

” All of the different religious faiths, despite their philosophical differences, have a similar objective. Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines every religion has more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”

“We must try to promote harmony among various religious traditions. It is important for followers of each tradition to  practice sincerely and seriously. Suppose we are Buddhists.  In order to promote human values, we must, first, make every effort to improve ourselves. In this way, we will prove to be a good example to others. Instead of thinking of conversion, we would think about how much we can contribute through our tradition.”

” Without accepting a religion, but simply developing a realization of the importance of compassion and love, and with more concern and respect for others, a kind of spiritual development is very possible for those persons who are outside of religion.”

“All religious traditions talk about methods of compassion and forgiveness. If we accept religion, we should take the religious methods seriously and sincerely and use them in our daily lives. Then, a meaningful life can develop.”

“Anger and hatred are our real enemies. They are the forces we most need to confront and defeat, not the temporary ‘enemies’ who appear intermittently throughout our life. And unless we train our minds to reduce their negative force, they will continue to disturb us and disrupt our attempts to develop a calm mind.”

bluebuddhacompassion

Everyone likes to talk about being calm. You see those new slogans Keep Calm and….. We also always talk about peace, whether within families,  national or international context, but without inner peace how can we make real peace?

BJWordPressDivider

Compassion


The goddess Kuan Yin

The goddess Kuan Yin

Goddesses have always represented the feminine aspect of God. The Buddhist goddess Kuan Yin is the goddess of compassion. Compassion is the ability to relate to  others emotions.  It is having the empathy to care about what is happening in the lives for other people. In the twenty first century, we have a very noticeable lack of compassion. Compassion is part of the path to peace. So while we are talking and advocating for peace, we must also all practice compassion.

” You sit down on a hill top, or anywhere high-enough for you

to see nothing, but the sky, in front of your eyes.

With your  mind you make everything empty.

There’s nothing there, you say.

And you see it like that—-nothing

Emptiness.

Then you say, AH,

But there is something.

Look, there’s the sea,

and the MOON has risen—

full, round, white.

And you see it like that—

Sea, silver in the moon light,

With little white, topped waves. And in the

Blue Black sky above

Hangs a great moon Bright,

But not dazzling,

A soft brightness you might say.

You stare at the moon a long,

Long time, feeling calm, happy.

Then the moon gets smaller,

But brighter and brighter and brighter till you see it as a

Pearl, or a seed, but so bright

You can only just bear to look at it. The Pearl

starts to grow. And before you know what’s happened it’s

Kuan Yin herself, standing up against the sky

All dressed in gleaming white

And with her feet resting on a lotus

That floats in the waves.

You see her

Once you know how to do it

As clearly as I see you,

Her Robes

Are shining

And there’s a halo

Round her head

She smiles at you

Such a lovely smile. She’s so glad

To see you that tears of happiness sparkle

In her eyes.

If you keep your mind calm,

By just whispering her name

and not trying too hard

She will stay a long

Long time

When she does go

It’s by getting smaller.

She doesn’t go back to being a pearl

But just gets so small

That at last you can’t see her. Then you notice

That the sky and sea

Have vanished too

Just Space is left.

Lovely, Lovely, Space. going on forever.

That Space stays long

If you can do without you. Not you and space, you see

Just Space.

No you.

—-by a Cantonese Woman

Kuan Yin in her white robes.

Kuan Yin in her white robes.

 

The moon over the ocean. Kuan Yin is there too. Photograph taken by and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

The moon over the ocean. Kuan Yin is there too. Photograph taken by and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

The Path of Peace


Wear peace, it is all you know.

Wear peace, it is all you own

Have you noticed that despite all of the discourse about the Affordable Healthcare Act and the typhoon, the Middle East is still simmering like a kettle of homemade soup? The area is very unstable and I think it won’t take much for it to explode. If it does, Israel and the United States will be receiving collateral damage. I am sure our military is looking at this and know much more than we could ever guess.

The only option we have to being drawn into another war, is the path of peace. We all talk a lot about peace, but each of us needs to do actions that are peaceful. I realize that I am probably preaching to the choir, but do each of us every day perform an act of peace? Peaceful acts to me means acts of kindness, acts of gentleness, reaching out a helping hand to someone in need.

The other day most of us saw the photo of the Pope kissing a terribly deformed person. I have seen it several times now and each time I come close to tears. Why? Because you don’t see that kind of compassion often. Usually that severe of a disfigurement will keepus all a couple of feet away. Yet this Pope walked his truth and kissed this man and blessed him.

It made me think of the Buddhist religion and their Goddess, Kuan Yin. She is the goddess of compassion. Think of peace as a recipe. We need equal amounts of compassion, love, acceptance, compromise and selflessness to make peace.

Path to peace

Path to peace

What the world needs now is love, acceptance, compassion, acceptance and each one of us must produce some every day. Are you ready to hold the door for someone with a cane?Would it occur to you to invite someone with no family to join  you for the holidays? If a neighbor asks if you could take them to the doctor, would you willingly do it? There are so many things that we can do as an act of peace.

There are killings, people suffering with severe mental illness, anger is found everywhere, paranoia, dissatisfaction every where we look. People trying to protect themselves  act without thinking. The Stand Your Ground Law  was to be used in an emergency situation. It was designed to save your life or the lives of those with you. Now it seems to be a legal way to take the life of minority people.

When the colonies were founded, most people had guns. There were the Indians who were upset that we were stealing their land, there were bears, and mountain lions and other wild animals who could kill you or you could kill them and eat the meat. All kinds of people came to America for a hundred reasons and some of them could have been mentally ill or could be carrying a grudge. People had real reasons to feel fear. After the revolution, we were forming a new country based on new thinking and an experiment as how to form our government. Laws and people to enforce those laws were not on every corner. I can see where people felt they needed a gun.This just isn’t true in the twenty first century.

Despite the danger the early colonists lived in, they were hospitable, kind, compassionate. Today we see anger, a disconnect from reality, we see selfishness, and greed. Now people barely talk, if they bump into you they give you a dirty look, drivers wear faces filled with hate and irritation. Why? Why is our world so filled with anger and hatred?  I have not lived a golden blessed life but I have had many blessings in it. 

I do feel that stress fits in here as well as the ability to earn a livable wage. I think we have become very materialistic and as technology increases, there is a race to keep up with the newest gadget. We have to pay for them and we have to learn how to use them. There is no privacy in our lives anymore. With the advent of social media, nothing is personal and private. I admit that when people post on their status, I am eating breakfast or something as inane it makes me a little crazy. Yeah, ok, so eat. The world is worrying about mass shootings, strange viruses, how to save their home, or how will they pay for college for their three children. Another thing we have to face is the fact that we are acquainted with many people but there isn’t the time to really know people and to make friends.

So the path of peace is something we need to work on every day on our journey. You don’t have to write a book, you don’t  have to win a Grammy. You just need to do something compassionate, ethical or kind every day. We’ll link them together and we will have our peace. And maybe we will have sacrificed the last of our children to the god of War.

Acheive peace; Albert Einstein

Achieve peace; Albert Einstein

Do We Heal or do We Listen to the Dollars Spread Around by the Gun Lobby


babymemories

As a nation, there is unbearable pain and shock. Babies killed purposely by a troubled child. A troubled child who shot his Mother four times in the head and killed 20 little angels. Each day, while doing normal activities of life, suddenly I remember the tragedy. I have nine grandchildren and I want to throw up.

I think it is important to honor every hero. The teachers and other staff members. Whoever turned the PA system on to warn the other teachers and children. The first responders who will carry such horror within their hearts for the rest of their lives. Each one of these is a hero/heroine. I know that there are heroes we aren’t aware of but the Divinity in the Universe knows of your kind and compassionate behavior.

The violence and anger and hatred that is filling our society will not win. Those of us who are spiritual will not let that happen. We will continue to put light and love into the world. We will pray and meditate for peace and love and acceptance. We will not judge those who are different.

Our country needs to control violent video games and guns. Assault guns and huge magazines are insane. Who needs 30 rounds to kill a deer? What mother needs six guns in the house to feel safe? Therapy is a much better choice, a very necessary choice. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the cries and weeping of the people of Newton, Conn.

If you watch the memorials taking place in Newton, you will see the raw emotion of people whose lives have been touched by violence and guns. I don’t understand how the NRA can say anything. They will though and we need to use all of our emotional strength and every ounce of love in our hearts to turn away from them and think about our country’s loss and pain.

I pray, I honor the people of Newton, the victims, angels all. I pray for the parents who can’t tuck them into bed at night anymore. I pray for the first responders who are having nightmares. I pray for the children who went back to school today. Can you imagine who frightened these babies must have felt this morning? I pray that sanity and love will fill our society and we will put children in the priority they deserve.

Rest In Peace, sweet angels. You will never be forgotten.

Grief is often solitary and always full of pain. May the loving Beloved heal all hearts that are grieving and in pain.

Grief is often solitary and always full of pain. May the loving Beloved heal all hearts that are grieving and in pain.

The rainbow is a promise to Noah and to all of us.

The rainbow is a promise to all of us.

The Reason for Peace


Children deserve to live in a world where they are cherished, educated, loved and live in peace. We have the responsibility to give that world to them.

We have a world where some children will never even walk into a school. We have a world where some children will die of hunger in their Mother’s arms. We have a world where some children have no shoes or clothes. We have a world where some children die of smallpox, whooping cough, and malaria. They die because there is no medicine for them.

We live in a world where they live and die and no one knows or cares.

We live in a world where some kids go to posh prep schools, and some kids are bullied for being dressed differently. We live in a world where many bright kids can’t go to college.   We live in a world where no one really cares. 

We live in a world where we look for peace to protect our children and grandchildren. I look for a world where a grown angry man full of hate, with an automatic gun is his hand, isn’t the last thing that a child sees. I look for a world where we love the poor and hungry and homeless as much as we love our comfortable neighbors.

I pray for a world full of peace, not greed for money,oil, land, power and a world where people don’t die because they believe in a God/Goddess that is different than someone else’s.

I pray for a world where we put our arms around children and tell them how good and precious they are. I pray for a world where is doesn’t matter what color their skin is. I pray for a world where they will know only kindness and compassion. I pray for a world where we give love without restraint because we know we can never run out of love and it will only come back to us. I pray for a world where we can all hold hands and it is important that everyone on our planet has food and clean water. And that we will work to find solutions to make that possible. I pray for a world where everyone cares.

Beach 4; Presque Isle, Pa.;Photo by Barbara Mattio

Power of Peace in the World

.

We Are the World


Hurricane Sandy has now come, destroyed and gone. We, as citizens of our country need to come together regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status and turn around and see the millions of people who are injured, scared, in pain, overwhelmed and homeless.

Yes, FEMA will help, and the states will help, but people need more. They need each other. They need the rest of the country to care and to pull together with donations and volunteers. People are still in shelters. Children have lost their favorite stuffed toy. Some people have not one material thing left in this world. Nothing left to show that they were ever there or ever cared about anything.

Material things are not the most important things, but warm clothes, a roof over your children’s heads, and food and water are necessary to maintain life. So please donate to the American Red Cross tell them your donation is for Hurricane Sandy. Take time out to be grateful for what you have and share with the millions who have had their lives devastated.

For those who live in communities not as hard hit as New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Rhode Island and elsewhere you can help on a more personal level. If neighbors are without power, invite them to have a warm shower and a meal. Help to put up tarps on roofs and perhaps drive children to school. Share a hug and let someone know you care that they are suffering and feeling alone and helpless. Take them to church, temple, or mosque so they may have relief and support there also.

This is the time for the 99% to show that we are strong and love our fellow Americans. We have open hearts and will lovingly and compassionately reach out and help those in need. We are Americans and will help each other and anyone who is in need. So, to the food banks, to your churches, to your local shelters give what you can and give it with love.

Satelite picture of America after Hurricane Sandy