Don’t Tell Me to Be Sad

I don’t watch the news, but I hear enough through social media and work colleagues about what is going on in the world, particularly when a “tragic” event happens, to stay well informed. (If you want to read more about why I choose to cut out daily news from my life, check out this post.) So I read about the events in Boston soon after they occurred and I felt the rush of sadness from everyone around me: my son’s teacher, a stranger at the grocery store, my manager who is from Boston and even friends from outside the U.S. sharing their sympathies. Each and everyone of them said things like: “Isn’t it so sad?”¬† or “How tragic!” or “Don’t you feel sorry for those people?”

My immediate response was to point out the helpers, as Fred Rogers’ brilliant mother said:

But that didn’t feel authentic enough.

What I really wanted to say is: your request for me to be sad with you isn’t serving those people or our collective ability to avoid these types of situations, so don’t ask me to be sad.

Check the video below for my complete response.

Addicted to War

this is really powerful.

I spent the first hour at work glued to reading Addicted to War. I’m left with now what? Wanting to send it to all the military supporters I know, but even if they knew, how would that empower them to change, quit their jobs? leave military service? What is the action step for us to encourage stepping away from this addiction and creating a new way?

I wish there was an option in the tax code to allow one to preference where their tax money was spent. Its so frustrating to know that of the couple thousand dollars I pay in taxes every year, over half will go to defense (which is really offense) and we don’t have a choice about it. Its not a very empowering space to be!

At the same time, I’m left with all the anger the book described. Widows and orphans angry at the US, US military/politicians angry at foreigners who don’t live according to their dictates, anti-war protester angry at the deaths of friends and family. There is so much anger. I don’t want to add to that, b/c I know it is part of the problem of why we can’t figure out another way, b/c we’re so focused on retaliation and violence. Peaceful co-existence can’t exist in that consciousness.

So how can we move to a place of forgiveness, real peace, compassion and love? Yes I know the internal is the place to start. I guess that is what our lives our meant for. To encourage the development of internal peace practices that can inform a new social policy, foreign policy and collective, sustainable society without war. I see that it is possible when I stand in this space. I see that many are shifting and that 200 years of war has brought this country to its overdose point. We are shifting and that is good. I trust enough of us will be there to catch the others and provide direction when the curtain falls on this addiction.

Let’s just begin

Have you ever felt that inner tug to follow a dream that you’ve had for a long time, and have run out of excuses to not do anything to begin? The last few months I feel I have been running circles around the idea of why I’m not sharing my ideas about peace and I’ve finally decided to stop, be still and speak out.

That’s the reason for creating this blog. For the last three years I have been developing a book idea on the relationship between individual and international peace and the responsibility for each of us to re-imagine our beliefs about peace in order to create the world we say we want to live in. After a two year masters program and the birth of my first child, I’ve had ample opportunity to research, examine and PRACTICE many of these ideas. This process has been more challenging than I expected, with many sleepless nights, cyclical conversations and moments of doubt in the receptivity of this message. But with an increase of conflict around the world showing up as stress-induced diseases within individual bodies and stress-induced wars within individual states, I realize that this is the perfect time to suggest that we need to reexamine our ideas around peace.

I hope that this blog can be a digital space not only for me to share my perspective, but to hear yours as well. I welcome alternative views and questions, requesting only that this conversation remain one with a dialogical nature instead of a debate. There are plenty of online forums where you can argue with everyone else to prove you righteousness. Dialogue on the other hand, is about sharing opinions without attempting to convert others to think the same way. My book, in essence, was written with this principal of sharing an alternative view with the world and hoping that with personal application, it will prove to be an effective change mechanism to further establish sustainable peace on the planet.

Here’s to our collective transformation!