See this site: http://www.dailygood.org/
What do you get when you stick a Bosnian and a Serb together between the front lines? Plus one Bosnian stuck on a mine? Absurdity and allegory abound in No Man’s Land, set in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Consider watching this very funny and very moving Oscar-winning, debut film from director Danis Tanovic. BTW, it beat Amelie (2001) for the best foreign film Oscar–which is saying something.
If only every day were a holiday! The Syrian Army has announced a truce for the most important Muslim holiday of the year. This reminds me of WWI’s “Christmas truce,” though the happenings in Syria are less heartwarming. Here are some details about the Christmas Truce:
It began in most places with nighttime singing from the trenches, was followed by shouted overtures and then forays between the lines by a few brave men. There followed, in daylight, a burying of the dead that had lain for weeks on the denuded ground called no man’s land. After that, large numbers of soldiers poured over the front lip of the trench.
Throughout the day they exchanged food, tobacco and, in a few places, alcohol. Some chatted, usually in English, a language enough German enlistees spoke to make small talk possible. In several places, they kicked around a soccer ball, or a stuffed bag functioning as one, although contrary to legend there appears to have been no official, scored matches.
Mostly, the soldiers survived, which is what they wanted from the day. They did not shoot each other.
Make eye contact with people, often.
Remember people’s names.
Ask lots of questions.
These are basic but sometimes forgettable motions of daily life. They are good. Do them more.
Cami Walker launched 29gifts.org on Day 29 of a month of giving. She documented her giving in the bestseller 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. Here is the website description:
29 Gifts is a global giving movement with more than 16,300 members in 43 countries. Our collective mission at 29 Gifts is to revive the giving spirit in the world. We change our lives—and change the world—one gift at a time. Learn how our 29-Day Giving Challenge works and sign up now.
YOUR GIFTS DO GOOD. A portion of 29 Gifts Boutique profits are donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 29 Gifts Founder and Author, Cami Walker, and two million others worldwide live with MS. Create a world free of MS by shopping in the 29 Gifts Boutique.
See the full CNN article for details and definitely watch the movie clip! This is a wonderful approach to rehabilitation.
“Who would you rather have as your neighbor? Someone who’s set free after years behind bars–or a prisoner who for such a long time has had the chance to be part of a community?”
“This is what we call ‘human ecology’…It has to do with human relationships and the awareness that you’re part of a greater whole.”
–Arne Kvernik Nilsen, governor of Bastoy prison
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.
NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.
People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.
The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe. Find out more about how NVC is changing the world and how you can get involved.
“People living in disenfranchised and traumatized communities often became totally silenced and invisible to the world.”
“Awakening creativity in people in general, especially in traumatized situations, empowers and heals. It gives them space to express themselves and share their grief, despair and dreams for the future.”
“Art is a powerful took in building community and social change. Artists can be at the center of that change.”
–Lily Yeh, who began Barefoot Artists, a non-profit that works with the poor communities to creates social change
We are social beings. Solitary confinement takes a part of our being. Here is an article on a hearing that took place Tuesday on solitary confinement.
Anthony Graves: In response to people who claim it has no psychological effects, “I say, ‘Go live there for 30 days, and then tell me that.’…Solitary confinement makes our criminal justice criminal…It dehumanizes us all.”
An inspired strategy, hopefully one that won’t backfire and trivialize the issue…? Here is a nice tidbit nestled at the bottom:
“It may seem ironic that the hyper-focused Loorz is one of the more than five million youth diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In this case, however, Loorz contends that it’s the grownups who are suffering from disabling distraction. He argues that US politicians are so preoccupied by the lingering economic crisis and this year’s presidential campaign that they’re ignoring an environmental threat that could ultimately bring about devastating consequences.”
Here is a quote from the editorial:
These are no Florence Nightingale-minded do-gooders. These women are locked up to learn. They are among the first in Canada to participate in a remarkable program that brings university students and prison inmates together to study in a post-secondary class.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program allows those in prison who never dreamed of going beyond high school to achieve that seeming impossibility. It is rehabilitative, character-changing and confidence-building. It has been shown to reduce crime and violence.
Funny but endearing songwriting:
“I have dreamt of a place and time where nobody gets annoyed…”
“…All at once the palace of peace will fill my eyes, how nice…”
Also definitely agree with a commenter who wrote “i think Yusuf Islam is a symbol for peace.”
I love the idea of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, who dedicated $1 million for 100 Projects for Peace. I also love that the word “peace” is not defined, and left to the individual(s) to creatively interpret. There are so many projects created by so many creative young people, and the best part is that the proposals and reports are accessible by clicking on the title of the project. Here is one college president’s opinion:
“…if the 100 Projects for Peace stimulated as much initiative across other campuses as it did here, it can be declared a success already – it is a wonderfully conceived catalyst for public service in the best sense of the word.”
Here is another more informative article on the situation in Sudan. An excerpt:
On Sunday, after decades of war and more than two million lives lost, southern Sudan will get the moment it has been yearning for, a referendum on independence. All signs point to the people here voting overwhelmingly for secession, and the largest country on the continent will then begin the delicate process of splitting in two.
The United States government has played a pivotal role in bringing this moment to fruition, pushing the northern and southern Sudanese to sign a peace treaty in 2005 that set the referendum in motion. A proud, new African country is about to be born, but it will step onto the world stage with shaky legs. As it stands now, southern Sudan is one of the poorest places on earth.
Can “the moment” really translate into all that is hoped for?