Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We are spiritual beings.......

I've been scouring the Internet lately for stories about what's really going on the world besides the celebrity crap we're fed on the news. I have to say I am stunned, shocked, saddened, and not just a little sick to my stomach. It is almost to much for me to be with. I had no idea of the horrors, violence, and want in so many parts of the world. The situations in Haiti, Chile, China, The Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are overwhelming--and that's just the pin-tip of the iceberg.

I am also getting very clear that I am among the very wealthy of the world since I don't have to walk for water, I'm educated, own a home, a car, and am safe within my own world. I married of my own choosing and had no children of my own choosing--which also sets me apart. I am simply at a loss as to how we got to this level of dehumanizing each other. Greg Mortenson says that lately, the Taliban has resorted to using mentally challenged individuals as suicide bombers and they sew the explosives to them so there is no escape. The degradation, debasement, and dehumanizing is stunning, to say the least. Where is the love? Where is the basic acknowledgment of someone else's humanity? of their spirituality? We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Where is that celebrated? How?

I pray for more love in this world. I ask that we begin to acknowledge the spirituality of one another and learn to live together in love, acceptance, and peace. I am going to look and each face today and think of the potential of each person and try to remind myself that they are spiritual beings.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So, I'm picking up this blog again because what it stands for is now again in the front of my mind. My trip to Japan got me thinking about the world and its citizens. For various reasons I quit thinking about that and got caught up in the unimportant details of everyday living.

Well, I'm not doing that anymore!!

Over Spring Break, I read Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, both by Greg Mortenson. They are the story of his mission to promote peace by establishing over 130 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. These schools offer a secular education--and they're open to girls. In fact, he has a heart for girls' education and says educating girls is the key to lasting peace and development in these countries. These books are amazing. They have opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart. His non-profit, the Central Asia Institute, is now my charity of choice. There is a way to help his mission and get kids involved--Pennies for Peace. It teaches every child that they can become philanthropists through collecting pennies. Even the most challenged kids can find and contribute a penny--one that will buy a pencil in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm so excited about teaching my kids about helping out and hope to have a P4P campaign when we return to school in September. But the ultimate was getting to meet Greg Mortenson Monday night. I went to UT Tyler to hear him lecture and I attended a small reception where he was gracious enough to sign TCoT and the children's version, Listen to the Wind. I had to concentrate on not being star-struck!! I don't think I did a very good job of that though... :)

Reading this story has awakened in me a desire to become aware of world issues and help when I can. I participated in "One Day Without Shoes" on April 8th to raise awareness of the dangers of living barefoot in developing countries. My kids again surprised me. After I had answered the obvious question of why I was barefoot, they kids wanted to know what they needed to do. I hope to co-ordinate a shoe donation with being barefoot next year. My kids rock!!! I also follow Mr. Mortenson and his son, Khyber, on Twitter. Khyber is leading a campaign to end the use of landmines. I sent an email to the president asking him to sign an accord that up to this point, the US hasn't signed. That doesn't make any sense since we spend the most money on getting rid of landmines and we haven't used or made or exported them in years and years. I also am looking for some student leaders to help with the P4P campaign.

I definitely feel re-energized by these activities. I know have a new desire to show my kids that they really can make a difference even if they think they're doing "small" things. Sometimes, my students are written off because of their low socio-economic status. I'm excited to show them they can help out and can change their world!!!

So, connecting the events over the last few years that brings me to this point--the peace workshop in Tokyo, reading Greg Mortenson's books, learning about world issues--I see that I have an opportunity to join in the global conversations of peace, education, and human rights. I'm very excited about what the months to come will bring.