Who are the True Americans?

credit Hormel Foods

This is a followup to my previous article about Charlottesville….

The white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 were there to spew hate. The people who gathered to protest their rally were there to let them know there is no place in America for this kind of hate. Both groups stood ready to fight for their beliefs.

Two forces, believing in the First Amendment, our right to speak, then took it to a different level. With blood. Force. Violence. Murder.

What the world witnessed was violence. Hate. Intolerance. Death.

Then Hurricane Harvey hit with the force that only nature can conjure. People’s homes and lives were swept away. People from around the U.S. immediately went into action to see how they could help through donations and volunteering to save lives.

What the world witnessed was hope. Kindness. Heroism. Faith.

People came together to help from this large melting pot of people from all races, religions, cultures, we call America. Some say we have never have been more polarized. Some people only see the worst in others.

Yet I believe the majority of people in America are the ones who pray or give of their time and money to help others. Of course, the media does not focus on these actions. Why should they?

It seems as though the media only thinks the news is “newsworthy” when there is violence and hatred.

Yet we are seeing amazing feats of heroism from ordinary people posted by ordinary people. People who capture the images of those who may not be trained in saving lives, but who are there doing just that.

Across America, people who are struggling financially are donating what they can to help the victims. People who believe in the goodness of others look beyond the color of someone’s skin, their religious and cultural beliefs, and know we are sisters and brothers.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in this world.” Let each person who embraces a world of peace … a world of inclusion …a world of tolerance raise their voice to be heard and continue to help those who need help so desperately. These are true Americans.

 

 

 

Replace Bigotry with Tolerance. Replace Violence with Peace..

The white supremacists and the neo-Nazis which gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 were there to spread hate. The people who gathered to protest their rally were there to let them know there is no place in America for this kind of hate. Both groups stood ready to fight for their beliefs.

Two forces, believing in the First Amendment, our right to speak, then took it to a different level. With blood. Force. Violence. Murder.

What the world witnessed was the tip of the iceberg. All you had to do was look at the faces of both groups.

Instead of people coming together in this large melting pot of people from all races, religions, cultures, we call America, we have never been more polarized. Emotions have never been so raw after surfacing from years of repression, and it has turned ugly.

Why do people hate? Scientists, psychologists, theologians – no one knows for sure. However, they have shown people are not born racist; it is a learned emotion, slowly and carefully taught by people who are supposed to nurture them and keep them safe – parents and family members.

The seeds of racism begin when family members teach their children the color of their skin, religion, and culture is better than other people’s. They are told to spread the word by using force in many cases. They are told they are superior and entitled. They are above the law.

What can one individual do against this growing tidal wave of aggression, hate, and heinous actions?

Mother Teresa said, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

The more we resist their words, the more they persist in speaking them louder.

Instead, as Mother Teresa and many other people of peace have said, we each can stand and loudly speak, write, and profess the way to conquer this is by words and actions of love. It may sound trite to many, but being a role model of love, tolerance, and understanding of another’s opinion we can achieve world peace. A world of inclusion. A world of tolerance.

 

 

 

Inequality Hurts Everyone

Today will begin a new series of articles on the above topic. As I conduct research and interviews for my latest book, Breaking Adam’s Rib: Healing the Fracture Between Woman and Man, I am discovering reasons why men have become advocates for women’s rights and many have created organizations to educate men about the benefits of this choice.

I also determined why the Women’s Rights Movement, prevalent from the 1960s to 1970s failed. Women were fed up with less pay for working the same job, sexual harassment in the workplace, sexist jokes, jeering and leering while walking down the street. They began using their voice to demand the end of these actions once and for all.

Unfortunately, many women turned into “men bashers” and became aggressive. The stereotype of a feminist became one of a hardened woman who hated men. For most of the women, this stereotype was false, but for those who yelled the loudest, this label was firmly attached.

The writing on this book has opened my eyes to what will work now and in the future. I have found many men who are working together with women, believing this is the time for true equality, for true partnerships, one sex walking next to the other, equally.

Going forward, I will share my observations and parts of interviews with women and men who are finally “getting it.” The way to true equality is through cooperation.

A House Divided Against Itself …

While in Ireland recently, I witnessed the divide which still remains since the last conflict in 1969 between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which was once the country of Ireland.

While there, many tour guides tried to impress on us tourists the fight was not between Catholics and Protestants, but rather between the Unionists (who wanted to remain under the United Kingdom’s rule and happened to be mostly Protestants) and Nationalists (who wanted to keep Ireland whole and happened to be mostly Catholics).

It made me wonder what our country would be like if the South had won and seceded from the rest of the states. Imagine having to have a passport to travel from Illinois to Florida.

Lincoln said it so well:Our country continues to be divided – severely. Political parties. Economic classes. Religions. Gender. Age. Cultures. Races.

I don’t have any answers. God, I wish I did. However, I do know as long as people think only of their agendas or feel superior to others, we will not have peace in this country – or the world.

Perhaps what the younger generation is doing in Ireland might be a start. Instead of sending their children to either Catholic or Protestant schools, they have created schools where children of both religions can learn together … not only their lessons, but also how to get along with each other. To embrace their differences. To not fear each other. To work together for a common goal.

My heart is breaking for what recent elections have shown the world. Our people used to be proud to be one – Americans. It has fractured into African Americans, Mexican Americans, Polish Americans, etc. Robust debates between political parties have become mud slinging, digging up the worst in their opponents.

At the end of the second debate, a gentleman in the gallery challenged Trump and Clinton to “name one thing you admire about the other candidate.” It was amazing.

Is the divide so large we can never return to oneness?

Only the future will tell.

 

 

 

Sept. 21 – International Day of Peace

International Day of PeaceThe International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed every year on this day. It reminds us that peace begins within each of our hearts. It is up to every individual. Peace cannot be forced upon us like war can be.

With the recent terrorist attacks, never is it more important to stay focused on positive thoughts which will manifest into positive actions.

At noon today, the United Nations Peace Bell was rung at UN Headquarters in NYC. The bell was cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa and was a gift of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war.” The inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace.”

Please, keep peace in your heart. I promise to do the same.

Never Give Up!

It’s easy to stay on course when the ocean is calm and no obstacles stand in our way. However, when the waters become turbulent and the boat begins to rock, we may panic if we’re not prepared to face challenges which appear larger than life.

But, do you know every obstacle you face has an underlying reason for appearing within your reality?

The purpose of every obstacle we face is to teach life lessons which allow us greater clarity as we proceed towards the attainment of our goals.

Instead of giving up, ask yourself the following solution-focused questions:

  • How can I make this work?
  • How can I turn this situation around?
  • How can I strengthen my resolve?
  • How can I turn this into an opportunity to move me forward?

If you want to succeed, develop or improve the following traits which research shows successful people have:

  • High Desire to Succeed
  • Wholehearted Commitment
  • Unstoppable Determination
  • Self-Reliance
  • Cultivation of Curiosity
  • Unwavering Optimism
  • Patience through Thought and Action

Study the following chart to learn “how to never give up!”

Never Give Up!Remember, life is not about what happens to us, but rather how we perceive and what we do with what happens.

 

A new beginning …

It’s official. I have my first paid presentation under my belt. My book is published. I am being trained to become a domestic violence advocate and an holistic alternative psychologist. I am taking my career to a new level.