Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

a beautiful ray of hope

Published under Europe, Global, Loss, Religion Aug 22, 2016

In the wake of a heinous murder of an octogenarian priest in France by radical Muslims, Muslims across Europe attended Catholic Mass and spoke out assertively against extremism within.  I hadn’t seen this courageous act of solidarity in the news till my friend Martin Varsavsky pointed it out. What a powerful and strategically effective response to terrorists – achieving precisely the opposite of what extremists would like the reaction and impact to be.

Every time those that want to divide us act, the overwhelming majority should take an active stance to denounce and condemn them. If we all stand up together, the oxygen that turns gross murder into terror would be removed and their goals extinguished. Of course firm force must also be used against all violent extremists and terrorists, but it is not enough. To defeat the ideology of hatred, you need a movement of inclusion and empathy to counteract it.

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This brief piece in the National Review provides very provocative contrast about the way Trump’s new campaign CEO thinks about building the right wing (“turn on the hate”) and how traditional conservatives do (“love of country”).

We shouldn’t give a pass to those in the ‘Establishment’ that flirted with the racism and hatred that over the last eight years allowed many to delegitimize President Obama – not just to question his policies which is more than fair game, but to question his citizenship and allegiance to America. But this is elevating the source of that aggressive hatred to the leadership of the Republican Presidential campaign and threatening the entire party.

This issue is not just going to impact the conservative movement or Republicans. It will impact America and the world.

Any place in the world where extremism and radicalism are celebrated ends up harming the very society that tolerated and encouraged it, ultimately boomeranging against those that unleashed that intolerance against others.  The ruling house of Saud in Saudi Arabia promulgated Wahabbi teachings across the world, spreading a militantly intolerant version of Islam across the world. This more than anything metastasized into Al Qaeda and ISIS, which now also consider the Saudi rulers as apostates and attack them also.

If we teach our children to disdain those different from them as opposed to teaching them empathy and respect for those different from us, they will grow with hatred as a reflex, which is so destructive to them and to our world. The antidote is to teach them empathy, the strength it requires, and the strength it provides. The same goes for adults, only it is so much harder by the time we’ve developed our habits, our instincts and our way of thinking.

Article below:

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Bee colony collapse is a major issue that society should be concerned about and focused on.

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Chivo’s poetry

Published under Family, Global, Introspection Jan 15, 2016

This video about my cousin Emmanuel’s cinematography literally moved me to tears.  The humanity within every one of his shots, the fragility and beauty these convey about our human condition and the world we inhabit are so humbling, so poetic, so powerful.  Emmanuel, aka “Chivo”, has won two Oscars thus far and just got nominated for a third.  He turns movies into the most emotive art.  His imagery moves and stirs one’s soul as if watching the most beautiful sunset. And he has the ability to turn a banal breath into an enigmatic contemplation of sorrow and pain.

When we were little, I remember noticing him as he contemplated and photographed an army of ants on a wall as my other cousins wrestled  one another.  If you pay attention when you watch the movie, you will capture a shot he took of warring ants that says so much, particularly knowing of Emmanuel’s artistic journey, where everything is captivating and wondrous.I also remember as a kid how he would always show a noble spirit, protecting my sister when others were teasing her, and inviting me to be part of his sports team when I was starting to feel sad because other kids wouldn’t pick me (yes, I was a kind of clumsy soccer player).  It is amazing to see how this little kid grew to be such an epic observer of nature and such a wizard of light.

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A piece by Sri Bhagavan

Published under Global, Life Nov 18, 2015

My sister shared this note with me. It is from an “avatar” that is the founder of the Oneness movement. Often,  I find these things a bit out there, but these words really spoke to me….

“What can we do as individuals in the face of inhuman violence, terrorism?”

“We wake up to another day’s revenge, retribution and rancor . The violence and brutality that surrounds us is the result of the destructive effect of fragmentation – one individual against another, one group against another, religiously, socially, culturally and economically. We are brothers and sisters, children of the same mother, inheritors of the same collective destiny. What we do to another, we do to ourselves. Why then do we behave as though we are inhuman warring tribal factions? How can we hunt or kill another? Is not the experience of pain same for all? Do not all living beings dread fear? How then can we perpetrate violence and pain on another? Will we today take the time to teach our children that division in any name whether sacred or secular is a crime? Will we tell them that we are human beings and not labels that divide us? Will we in this moment of crisis mould their young minds to be citizens of the world and not narrow bigots?

Ideological differences are at the root of the violence that is robbing sanity and endangering survival. When we become concerned with our own individual survival, with the survival of our group, our belief, we are being divisive and threaten the actual survival of the whole.

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We are here for all of us – Alicia Keys

Published under Global, Life Nov 17, 2015

A beautiful song by Alicia Keys.

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By Fareed Zakaria, Thursday, October 8, 2015

Recent setbacks in Afghanistan — from the fall of Kunduz to the errant U.S. bombing of a hospital in that city — again raise a question. Why, after 14 years of American military efforts, is Afghanistan still so fragile? The country has a democratically elected government widely viewed as legitimate. Poll after poll suggests that the Taliban are unpopular. The Afghan army fights fiercely and loyally. And yet, the Taliban always come back.

The answer to this puzzle can be found in a profile of the Taliban’s new leader, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. It turns out that Mansour lives part time in Quetta, the New York Times reports, “in an enclave where he and some other Taliban leaders . . . have built homes.” His predecessor, Mohammad Omar, we now know, died a while ago in Karachi. And of course, we remember that Osama bin Laden lived for many years in a compound in Abbottabad. All three of these cities are in Pakistan.

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