culture

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DAY 4 Feb. 2: The thought for today is CARING. According to Peter McWilliams "Nonviolence toward the self is caring for oneself. Self love is a crowning sense of self worth; it is what the Greeks call reverence for the self."

When I regard my life as a trust, I realize that the first resource I have to take care of is my own body. This can be startling! Even my body is not really my own - it belongs to life, and it is my responsibility to take care of it. Taking care of it is a demonstration of nonviolence. read more »

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As the author, Sally Kohn, states ("An Agenda for the Democrats' Second Hundred Hours", By Sally Kohn, AlterNet. Posted January 7, 2007), after Congress moves on the "First 100 Hours" legislation (and stopping the war in Iraq so that we can help them via the U.N. as noted below), then the next Congressional steps should include removing private (mostly corporate) money from U.S. election campaigns, and real national health care and real improvements to education. Peace and Freedom can only exist in a world (yes, world) where the basic needs of all people are provided. Period. And we should set the example here in the U.S. and then help others in this effort. This world is only as strong as its weakest government and people. read more »

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I agree with Chris. Greed IS the worst trait in humanity today and throughout known history. I would add that fear is a huge negative trait standing in the way of needed positive change, too.
Can we imagine a world without greed and fear? It is time to try; let's bring ourselves to a world of nurturing harmony!

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The Sacred Cows for January have to do with our survival motivations and the either/or syndrome, i.e. "either you're for us or against us," "either you win or you lose," and the infamous "either you're right or you're wrong."

Thinking in absolutes is the basis of most survival issues and provides the fodder for war - "Either we stay in Iraq until we win or we cut and run." This kind of polarized thinking is collective and filters down into our families and businesses to pollute our motivations and decision-making processes. In the end, either/or thinking makes it very difficult for us to cooperate with each other and build positive consensus in our projects. read more »

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Other than an extremely small number of borderline insane, I would wager very few human beings would chose armed combat. So why does War exist? I believe the answer is so politically incorrect that probably most "pacifists" or pro peace people will cringe at the answers. In part because these answers call into question EVERYTHING!! Yes, maybe I'm being simplistic, but here they are, the two primary ones: overpopulation and exploitative economics. The population issue,I think, brings the "whole family as center" into question. And exploitive economics, while cleverly hidden in our "free" enterprise system, is indeed imbedded deeply into how our economy works. And I'm not talking about the whole living wage thing, which is my opinion completely dodges the real exploitation issue which involves owning more than one uses and then charging for its use... or buying low and selling high. As long as human beings engage in usury i.e. charge rent, loan for profit and probably even own land at all, I suspect there will be wars. I am aware of the argument about "the commons". To that I would say people would also have to restrain their procreation and refuse to do business with those who exploite others or the earth I.E. do agriculture in any other way besides organically. read more »

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I just saw the movie "Bobby" and if you have not yet had the opportunity, please go see it.

It is not so much about Kennedy as it is about the era and the ideas he had about how to make the world a better place. There are many stories in the film, each one poignant and a lesson in its own way.

The one that touched me the most was a scene where two Latino men were discussing their situation and their place in the world. One was very angry, and saw himself as a victim, but he couldn't see how this attitude affected how others treated him. The other, in the midst of chaos and upset, found a way to be at peace with himself, and to do a simple act of kindness that was uplifting to a co-worker. read more »

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An important part of working towards a culture of peace is learning to connect compassionately with our relatives, human and non.

Juan Mann started the Free Hugs Campaign in Sydney, Australia, and it grew to a worldwide phenomenon. Coming home from London, he was standing in the airport feeling alone and needing a hug, and decided to stand on the busiest corner in town with a huge sign that said "FREE HUGS". He continued to do this, persistently, and started connecting with many people. The movement gained fame and momentum, and was consequently banned by the government. Not to be discouraged, Juan started a petition to un-ban it, and got the required 10,000 signatures. read more »

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Stress and violence go together. I've been thinking a lot lately about the amount of violence we take for granted in our culture. Especially on TV - mainstream, network TV, that is, the only kind I can justly comment on, not being a cable or satellite subscriber.

I like crime and action shows just like the next person. I've followed all the seasons of "24," and I'm dying to find out how Jack Bauer gets out of the mess he was left in when the series ended last May. " NCIS" is another favorite, not so much for its ho-hum plots, but for its interesting and well- delineated characters. There are a couple more that aren't bad either, and of course there's the violent world of pro football. . . read more »

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Once upon the time of ole
folks gathered at the village pub.
It wasn't just a watering hole,
but listen - here's the rub -

Families came and children played
"˜Twas the place for dating, too.
Dinners eaten, then folks stayed
to listen to a song or two.

Story-tellers would regale
as fiddles and the harps kept time.
All would dance; a babe might wail.
Singers kept a pleasant rhyme. read more »

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Countdown: 1 Day remaining of 30 Days to Creating a Change in Direction

Tonight brings the completion of our collective experiment in tipping Sacred Cows. I am grateful to everyone who joined the project and contributed their wondeful, creative energy. Whether you tipped one cow or all thirty, you have helped to create a more liberal and flexible atmosphere where greater things can be accomplished. read more »

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