Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller
Showing posts with label Dona Nobis Pacem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dona Nobis Pacem. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem - 2011

Took a while to post this, had to get rid of the cobwebs...

So... Here's how it works. Every year, I write a post for Queen Mimi's BlogBlast For Peace. Every year, the initial spark of inspiration comes from a song I hear. A few notes, some lyrics, a feeling... and off I go.

Imagine my surprise when this year the lyrics that jumpstarted my post were:

"Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes.
Maybe, it's not too late
to learn how to love
and forget how to hate..."
- Ozzy Osbourne, Crazy Train

That's right, people. ... I went to my peaceful place because of Ozzy. On the Crazy Train. That's way outside the box for most people. I know. But then, just goes to show... Peace is everywhere, even where some might not expect it. I imagine past visitors have come to expect a kumbaya feel good song from me, the peace hippie bee. And I come up with Ozzy. Stop looking at me like that, I don't control it.

But here's the thing: he goes on to say "You have to listen to my words"

*insert rocking guitar riff HERE (headbanging optional - air guitar twang compulsory - and I'm watching so go on, do it... you know you want to, besides you already think I've lost my mind, do you really want to upset me?!)*

We've been saying this all along... Words matter. It's why we believe that blogging, tweeting, facebooking for Peace makes sense.

Because words matter...

And then I see this video and I get it. Change... the music changed, my words (well my quote) changed... because "crazy" has been defined by some wise people as "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result". Guess my muse planned this all along.

Now go forth, and try something different, in the spirit of Peace. If we want Peace, something is going to have to change... *wink*

Remember to be mindful of the words you use.

Anndi's Peace "Jukebox" 

I had to... this song started this post after all!

My more traditional peace hippie bee kumbaya most perfect peace song... with Arlo

One Love

Trying something different...

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.
~Robert Fulghum

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dona Nobis Pacem

As I type this, it’s “BlogBlast For Peace” Eve. I sat down wondering if I’d remember how to blog. You see, it’s been a very long time and I had pretty much given it up, not really feeling the urge or inspiration to write anything. But Mimi has a way of asking without asking and I am a Peace Bee after all.

When I was a kid, the future Peace Hippie that I was, loved the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing… in perfect harmony” (heh! Caught you singing it to yourself, didn’t I? *snort* It’s ok, as cheesy as it is, it’s darn catchy)… Well, it dawned on me tonight that my beloved Queen Mimi has been doing just that. She’s been gathering us together, giving each voice a forum and she manages to make us all sound and look awesome. Fitting for a Maestra, no? She takes voices from all over the world, all unique, and she brings us together for a common purpose and dream: Peace. Mimi knows how to conduct the choir and put on quite the show with costumes and everything!

So I sat down and read last year’s post once again. That left me wondering… is there really anything else I can say? I still feel the words I wrote last year. I still long for understanding. I still believe it’s essential.

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

And then it hit me (don’t worry, I’m fine…. it was a warm tingly kind of feeling *smile* - nothing actually fell on me or smacked me). You see, this is how these posts happen. I goof around looking for songs that give me the “A-ha!” feeling (not to be confused with the musical group A-ha, although I’m sure they give some people the tingles) and those songs then inspire the post. I turned to Arlo Guthrie once more. He served me well last year and he always makes me smile, a good thing to be doing when trying to save the world and bring about World Peace (that last bit sounds really awesome if you say it in a booming superhero voice, by the way).

And there it was, my Peace song. (You have to wait a little to hear it, okay? Because I have something I have to say first, thanks. No cheating and scrolling down allowed. *wink*).

“Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.”
- John Hume

In the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing the stories of LGBT youths who have committed suicide because of bullying, because of small mindedness and fear and misunderstanding… and because they despaired, feeling things would never get better. Some really awesome people have been stepping up to remind the young ones out there who are struggling with who they are and who feel that diversity will never be embraced that it will get better.

"Civilizations should be measured by the degree of diversity attained and the degree of unity retained." 
-W.H. Auden

Last year, my question was: why? Why aren’t we there yet? Now, my question is, why not? When people say it’ll never happen, we’ll never have Peace, I say: why not?!

"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not."
- Robert Kennedy

Even in days like these, where diversity brings strife and sorrow, we must remember… things will get better and we will live in a culture of Peace, Understanding, Acceptance and Love. Why? Because we dream of Peace… and we act on those dreams.

"We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race."
- Kofi Annan

Okay… NOW you can listen to the song *giggle*.

“I know the storm will soon be over
The howling winds will cease to be.
I walk with friends from every nation
On freedom's highway in times like these.”
-Arlo Guthrie

Peace! Don't forget to go visit Mimi and the other BlogBlast for Peace contributors HERE

I’ve also included last year’s song… because it’s just perfect for a day like today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem

“Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow.”
– Woody Guthrie

BlogBlast for Peace is finally here. Yay!

I’ve been struggling with this post (yes, me too Mimi). I’ve started about 5 different versions. This is because for one, I’m a procrastinator and when a procrastinator tries to go against her character and starts something too early… well, it gets complicated. The other reason is that a lot has happened in my life since the last BlogBlast of November 2008. I joined the ranks of the unemployed, I’ve had my share of illness, I lost my Dad… and through all this, I’ve been trying to find a new path to my Peace in this challenging year.

This BlogBlast finds me asking myself about My Peace… Where does it reside? There’s the obvious “All you need is Love” and “Peace begins with Me”, and they are both true. By loving those around me, by showing kindness to strangers, by offering a friend a comforting hug, by giving of my time at my Chicklet’s school, I send out a ripple into the world. Letting people know they matter. That someone cares.

Love and Understanding…

The losses I’ve lived through, struggled with in the past couple of years, prepared me for the past few weeks… That’s what life is, isn’t it? Woody was right. We change and grow.

I’m one of many, a bee, a part of The Hive.

The understanding reached and the beliefs that were forged during those challenges life threw at me prepared me to sit vigil with the woman who inspired this day. It allowed me to fulfill my part in her journey. Each bee in her hive had something to do, a specific task. Some bees, who had lost a parent or sat vigil themselves with a family member, shared their insight. Some bees, kept collecting the pollen and scouring the earth for new and undiscovered fields. The Hive hummed and buzzed. Friends came together.

So… My Peace…

“I'd rather have friends who care than friends who agree with me.”
– Arlo Guthrie

Arlo (Woody’s son and a fine troubadour in his own right) once said that accepting someone else’s opinion brings with it a “challenge to your own understanding”.

I like that… a challenge to your understanding. I’ve long held in my heart that if you can’t be bothered with finding out why people hold to certain beliefs, you’ll never achieve understanding… and you’ll never achieve Peace.

I recently read this quote:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
– Aristotle

It’s a statement that governs my life. Not that I tout myself as an “educated mind”... But this is why I have to pick things apart. So I can understand where people come from, what their reality is. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember.

I can’t walk away from differences… I need to understand. It’s the only path I know to acceptance, to Love and Understanding… to Peace.

“It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.”
- Harry S. Truman

In all these days I’ve been posting about Peace, I have never asked the question.

I mean, from what I see, with Peace Globes being crafted all throughout the Bloggosphere, and people marching for peace worldwide… and groups popping up everywhere on Facebook and iPeace and BloggerUnite…

Why is it that with what feels like the whole world asking for Peace, why are we not there yet?
How is this possible?
How can we look into a child’s eyes and not want Peace? And not FEEL Peace?!
What is keeping us from achieving what the clear majority of human beings on Earth seem to want?

I just don’t get it.

It would help if we knew why. I mean really… Because when you know what the obstacle is, you can overcome it. Understanding.

Recently, I accompanied my Chicklet as she embarks on her journey towards High School *sigh* HIGH SCHOOL!!! (um, excuse me, I need to take a moment and regroup… hug each other in the mean time… I’ll be right back…)

Ok… So, Chicklet goes off to do her thing while I sit in the same auditorium I used to sit in as a teenager, watching the plays the theatre group had put on, watching movies the school felt they wanted us young minds to experience… I sat there listening to the vice-principal tell us about the program we were, as families, considering for our precious children.

She talked about the values the program was based on.

One in particular stood out. Because lately, Peace is everywhere I look... like spooooooky… but in the best possible way.

It was about diversity, and about being able to come together and challenge our ideas and views and opinions.

She talked about how the children were encouraged to put on debates, to take positions, to listen to other people’s points of view… but that just walking away after each opinion was stated wasn’t where it would stop at the school.

As she said (or something like it - in French): “when you discuss, have multiple exchanges back and forth,… each time clarifying each position… at some point you just might find that both parties meet in the middle and come to a unified and slightly different point of view than each of them held in the very beginning. Sometimes, one person learns something knew, or gets a different angle about something and it affects their position. But even if nothing changes, at least they know each other a little more.”

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”
- Mark Twain

I participate in BlogBlast, because I believe in Peace. I participate because, like Mimi and my fellow Peace Bees, I believe in the power of words…. I believe that we might reach people through them. It’s not enough to preach to the choir. We need to reach the people who are skeptical about the feasibility of achieving Peace. We’re after a culture of Peace…
This means getting through to people who are pessimistic about Peace, who may have hatred and fear in their hearts, who are just cynical and refuse to join a movement that’s about Hope. We must get through to the people who have wrapped themselves in the “woobies” that are their opinions… because you don’t grow if you don’t challenge yourself and your beliefs. You end up stuck trying to milk a dead cow.

If we stop just because someone crosses their arms, we’ll have let Peace down… We’ll have let each other down.
Walking away is not an option. It just isn’t… Not if you care.
I can only imagine how many wars were sparked by someone leaving the discussion too early. To achieve Love and Understanding, we must be willing to stay and talk, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if we don’t agree.

When someone walks away, stay… wait for them to come back. Sometimes the wait is long… we are now taking up what was started by those who came before us.

Words matter. The words to this song were written by Woody Guthrie. He was one of the first artists to realize that music could be an agent for change. I was born on the anniversary of Woody’s passing.
As Arlo tells us in this video, his father never wrote down the music that went with the words and took it with him when he passed… it was up to Arlo to set his father’s words to music. Much like it was up to Mimi to take her Papa's marbles and start the BlogBlast for Peace.
I know you’ve already spent some time here reading my ramblings and I appreciate it (maybe you’re a masochist), and there are many Peace Bloggers and Bees to visit… but listening to Arlo is one of those gifts of Love and Understanding. I hope you’ll listen. If not now, maybe soon… we’ll wait.

Like Arlo says.. it’s about the little peace that’s in you that makes people happy to see you, the one that makes the dogs lick you and the babies smile…

I've included the lyrics, should you be in a kumbaya state of mind and feel the urge to sing along. *smile*

My Peace

My peace, my peace is all I’ve got that I can give to you
My peace is all I ever had, that’s all I ever knew
I give my peace to green and black and red and white and blue
My peace, my peace is all I’ve got that I can give to you.

My peace, my peace is all I’ve got and all I've ever known
My peace is worth a thousand times more than anything I own
I pass my peace around and about ‘cross hands of every hue;
My peace, my peace is all I've got that I can give to you.

Words by Woody Guthrie
Music by Arlo Guthrie

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

music soothes the soul... words

Yesterday was Paul Simon's 68th birthday. I love Paul Simon's music.

After my uncle Paul died many, many years ago (the name thing has not escaped me), the family gathered at his apartment to pack up his things, figure out what to do with them. His sisters (my mom and my aunts) told us nieces (yes, we were a family of women with the exception of Uncle Paul) to look if there was anything we wanted to keep.

I went through his books (yes, I'm a book geek) and his record collection.

And there it was. That was it. That was all I wanted.

That record.

The songs, poetry really, on this record always make me feel better.

What I love about this song in particular is that it reminds us that if we don't talk to one another, we'll never achieve anything great. We'll lose our humanity.

The Sound Of Silence

If we remain silent, there will be no Peace. For as much as words can fuel conflict, only words and compassion will ever end it. Silence is a Cancer.

No guns or bombs or chains will bring lasting Peace. The beauty is that they can't do anything without human beings. Put them down. Let them go.

"Dream always of a peaceful, warless, disarmed world."
- Robert Muller

Do we not tell our children to use their words when conflicts arise? And when we add a comforting touch, words become even more powerful.

"Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace."
- Buddha

What is your word? Mine is Love.

So I ask you, again (I know... I know... it's like my vinyl needs cleaning and keeps slipping.. but it's important):

Break the silence. Use your words. Join us during the Blogblast for Peace. Put a Peace Globe on your blog (get one HERE) on November, 5th. If you need help in making one, just ask either via e-mail (on my profile) or in the comment section... a Peace Globe Worker Bee will help. I promise.

"If we do not speak for Earth, who will? If we are not committed to our own survival, who will be?"
- Carl Sagan


If you want to be a little Worker Bee for Peace, join us (like, Travis, and Vinny who made the cute little Bee) in actively promoting the event. Post a little reminder, or insert the logo or a clickity link in every post... We all have a different way of doing it - diversity is a good thing. You don't have to badger quite as much as I do... but I rather like finding a way to tie Peace into everything I write - challenges are fun and it's a good cause.

November 5, 2009

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem - Change and Love

When this blog was started some months ago, I was making a fresh start. Leaving pain behind and carrying love and peace with me in my heart.

Over the past months, I've continued old friendships and made new ones.

I continue my journey towards love and home.

In that spirit, I repost my globe from this past June... my path is clear and remains the same.

Over the last few days we have seen some impressive rejoicing from people of all races and creeds, from all over the world as Americans have made a choice... a choice in the hopes that a change would come.

"I'd like to say, that people, people can change anything they want to.
And that means everything in the world.
Show me any country and there'll be people in it.
It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for time. You know, think on that...
Without people ..... we are nothing."
-Joe Strummer

"The Future is Unwritten."
- Joe Strummer

While pregnant with my Sunshine, I listened to Bob Marley and The Wailers... a lot. And I remember dancing the belly around to this song.

One Love.


So as you go about your day, love your brothers and sisters, smile... A random act of kindness is enough to set off a chain reaction.

Now go on and visit other Peace Bloggers and say an extra special Thank You to Mimi who keeps giving us a forum to rise up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

My dear friend and kindred spirit Mimi has invested so much of her heart and soul in this day, in these globes she has been collecting. And I love her dearly. I must be worthy of my Queen and such a noble cause.

I thought long and hard about today. I thought: "I should post something profound and inspired and wordy". Thoughts that are torture to someone like me, the non-writer. Thoughts that cause anxiety. What if... I mean... There's the distinct possibility that I'll fall short of such a monumental task. We ARE talking about bringing peace to the world, people. THE WORLD! PEACE! MOI! With a POST! *whimper* Some words I write and send out into cyberspace are meant to reach others, set off a chain reaction and inspire PEACE. -This is the point at which I start to hyperventilate and desperately look for something to keep me busy that will give me an excuse to step away from the blinking cursor (curse... how appropriate...) and my total and utter brain freeze (I have brain freeze, writers have writers' block, I have brain freeze and I didn't even get to eat some ice cream - how unfair!).

How? How do I pull this off? Me!

Think Anndi...


What it all comes down to is...


Her love for her Papa and his love for her, that's how this started. A love she then shared with us all, so very eloquently and generously.

Such small gestures can make a difference... and no one is too small to impact the world. Even a few words sent out into cyberspace. Setting off a chain of events. One small marble touching another after it is cast... Like in a child's game.

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room."
- Anita Koddick

So... I thought I'd bring you someone else's words. These are WAY better than anything I could have come up with.

Mother Theresa said it best...

"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."

That's exactly it.

Home... Love... Family...


Thank you, Mims... for everything.

Love you my friend!