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Posts Tagged ‘B4Peace’

I don’t know if I am typical, but recently more and more posts on social media have been rather dispiriting – posts that ‘other’ people, posts about cruelty, posts that make me feel impotent as a citizen and as a human being.

But it signifies something more than a collective need to gripe – it makes me think we have lost sight of what joins us together.

How can we hope to find peace in our world if we don’t even recognise how interconnected it is? And how, as the species doing the worst damage to the planet, and each other, can we hope to find peace when our collective behaviour is the very thing destroying it?

We know we are made of the same stuff, right? That we all came from the same cosmic source.  So why do we look for difference?  Why do we look to dominate instead of coexist?  I’m not just talking humans either, but our need to dominate all life on earth.

I am always saddened to see pictures of abuse, neglect, despair.  I sometimes feel that it would be better to stop looking.  Stop reading newspapers or watching documentaries.  Stop knowing.

But to do that would mean I stopped thinking about what is wrong, and if I stop thinking about what is wrong, I stop thinking about what I can do to redress the balance.  And if we all did that, we’d never have peace.

I recently posted a Desmond Tutu quote:

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

which is going to be my mantra going forward.  Every little good we do is a chance to redress the balance.

Let’s get some weight behind peace.

EJ

xx

B4Peace Central

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Anyone who has been with me on my writing journey for a while will have seen B4Peace posts, or at least posts tagged with that moniker.

Bloggers For Peace was set up in 2013 by Kozo and Cheri, who is still the active admin on the WordPress site.  Over time, the active input into the B4Peace community has dwindled, although there are still a few posts popping up in my reader that have the B4Peace tag.

Recently, I popped onto the Bloggers for Peace website and saw a post from a while ago asking what people want to do with the site. The idea it might stop was quite sad, and it made me want to do something practical to re-engage.

So, I am hereby committing to a monthly peace post.  It will be one of my Thursday ones, as I can’t fit any more in at the moment, but that’s part of what free posts are about – enabling me to share something from my non-writing mind!

It would be great to get more people back on the peace train.  We need to lift our voices and speak loudly of love, community, friendship, warmth, companionship, respect, trust and all those wonderful things that peace can provide.

We have all seem what hatred and fear can do. B4Peace is a way of countering all the negative voices, and showing there is more than one way to see the world.

Let me know if you want to get involved.  And, in lieu of writing a specific post for January yet, here’s a quote about peace from Desmond Tutu that I found on the Peace alliance website, which is a perfect summary to the B4Peace ideal:

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Be peaceful,

EJ

🙂

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Well, it’s Christmas Eve, and I’ve finished work for a few days.

I’m hoping to have time to post on Sunday when the first tranche of celebrations are over but in the meantime I hope you have a peaceful, happy and healthy few days wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, and whether you are celebrating or not.

Wishing you all joy,
EJ
🙂

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Sometimes things in the world are just beyond my comprehension.  I find myself deeply saddened by decisions made, or feel as though I have no voice, no representative who sees the world as I do.

That’s when I write, of course.  But sometimes I can’t find the words, and have to seek out someone who can say what I want to say.

So I looked for poems that would make me feel less hopeless. and found one called Peace, by George Herbert, in which a man wanders in search of peace.  The third stanza struck me for its imagery:

Then went I to a garden, and did spy

A gallant flower

The crown Imperiall: sure, said I,

Peace at the root must dwell.

But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure

What show’d so well.

I can’t find the words for my own poem at the moment, although I am sure I will over the coming days.

It helps to have a little poetry inspiration to guide me.

Happy writing,

EJ

 

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This week, I’ve been trying to get into the spirit of Christmas; a little early, but it’s due to the fact that I promised to write a poem for the local newsletter, a sort of advert for the writing group, and the deadline was this weekend. Well, I sweet-talked the editor into an extension (easily done, as I’m married to him!) so the deadline is Tuesday.

I know not everyone who reads this will celebrate or even mark Christmas, so saying I feel ‘Christmassy’ might not mean much. That made me think maybe I should write a poem about what being ‘Christmassy’ means to me.

So I did a little word association, and here’s what I came up with:

Butterfly tummy
Family
Friends
Sharing
Joy
Thoughtfulness
Cold noses
Twinkling lights
Charity
Welcoming
Excitement
Decorations
Carols
Traditions

I am sure over time other words will crop up, and people will feel different things, but this is at least a part of it for me.

Looking at this list, I noticed something important.  See those words I have highlighted?  Those words are about peace.

Those words are fundamentally a part of a peaceful worlds: being part of a community with family and friends; sharing what we have so people are safe and secure; being joyful and thankful for the positives in our lives.  Being thoughtful about others and about our own actions and responses.  Being charitable – this doesn’t just mean giving money out but also being kind and caring, giving the benefit of the doubt.  Welcoming others into our lives as new family, new friends.

Put aside the religion for a moment, if you can, and take away the veneer of commercialism that has made Christmas a slick advertisement for all the latest things.

What remains is an opportunity to focus on, and make time for, other people.

That’s the spirit I want to get into, and that’s the message I want my poem to convey.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I am struggling to express my profound sadness at the state of the world this week. Our news in the UK is filled with images from France – but that is just one part of the terrible story.

It feels as though countless people from all different parts of the world are intent on ripping apart any sense of commonality, of community, that one human can have with another.

I have seen news reports of bombs dropped onto Syria, of the dead peace protestors in Turkey, of refugee camps and soldiers and terrorists waving guns in the air. I have watched reports of victims, people fearful for their lives, people who will never be free of the chains bound around them – whether physical or mental.

I wish we could find another way forward, share our sameness and accept differences with respect and tolerance.

In light of the world as it is, writing about my own plans seems vaguely nonsensical. And yet I must live my life in the best way I know how. Part of that is trying to build bonds across the world through shared dreams and experiences, trying to be non-judgemental, fair and respectful.

I am not perfect, and I am not always any of those things, but I am making an effort to be mindful of my own behaviours.

I will collate all my writing news and share it with you in a separate post tomorrow. For now, I will leave you with a thought: peace is worth the effort.

Be peaceful,
EJ

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There’s been a lot of focus of refugees and migrants in the news here in the UK this week, and the political rhetoric is all over the place, so I had to write about it today.

My thoughts are muddled, but I know that it hurts to watch the news reports.  I swing from horrified to terrified to traumatised that this is the world, right now.

There is some information worth thinking about – in respect of Syrian refugees alone – courtesy of World Vision:

  • Nearly 12 million people have been displaced
  • Over 4 million of these are refugees in neighbouring countries
  • About half of the displaced Syrians are children

The population of the country before 2011 was around 22 million people: nearly 18% of the population are now refugees.

Add to this number those fleeing violence, persecution or totalitarianism in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and you can see there’s a vast number of our fellow travellers through life who cannot sleep easy in their beds at night, who cannot build a positive future for themselves, who do not feel safe.  People who no longer have a home, anywhere.

Then consider the people in our own communities, living with illness, poverty, abuse, homelessness.  Those who are afraid of the world they experience, and who have been demonised simply for struggling.

It’s hard to see the good in the world, sometimes.

That is where we come in – those of us who want to take some sort of constructive action, or spread a positive message to counter some of the negatives.  I have seen all sorts of examples – from donations of goods and services, and people taking carloads of essentials to makeshift camps, to practical support such as offering a home to a displaced family or a helping hand to an elderly neighbour.

People have the capacity to be amazing.

Even just a friendly smile and wave can change someone’s day.  In fact a friendship offered may not be the first practical support someone needs, but longer term, it could be the difference between existing and living.

We might not be able to change the world as a whole, but perhaps we can each change one person’s experience of the world for the better. That sounds like a triumph to me.

Just remember…

Humanity: it’s all about us.

Be peaceful,

EJ

x

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