I Hide My Chocolate

Midlife observations

Tag: World Peace

Praying for Peace, Again and Again and Again


Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

We’ve been praying for peace for a long time. Since the beginning of time. Over and over again.

When I was a freshman in high school, I struggled with World Civ (and got my worst grade ever, thanks a lot Ms. B.). I just couldn’t wrap my head around the dates and the names and the significant facts. It was dry, boring, irrelevant, to me. I remember my mother exclaiming, “Really? But it’s so interesting! Just think of it. People like you and me living thousands of years ago. Isn’t that amazing?” Yep, mom, as usual, you were right. It just took me a while to get there. You were the age I am now when you said that. It IS amazing. Truly awesome. People like you and me. Living thousands of years ago. Praying for peace.

Elusive peace.

This weekend, I dragged myself to yoga. Exhausted. Sad. It’s the place where I feel peace. I had to go.  As we joined our energy, our breath, our sadness, our hope, our yoga teacher offered her tears and this prayer, from Vedic texts, ancient sacred texts, probably from 1,000 BC or older. I cried at our collective sadness and hope. We’ve been doing this a long time. Praying for peace. May it be.


May there be always joy and happiness for everyone.

May the earth be ruled by righteous rulers and in a right way.

May there be welfare for animals and the men and women of wisdom.

May the entire Universe be Love and Peace.

May the rains fall in proper times.

May the earth bear healthy grains.

May this land never know any agitation.

May the men and women of wisdom be always fearless, in their thoughts, in their words, in their actions.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Peace Peace Peace

Image: Abstract Peace Sign 2 by David G. Paul

If Mothers Led the World


Whither Hope?

Remember the Nigerian girls? The 200+ girls that went to school to take their exams and were abducted by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram (“Western Education is Sin”)? The story that took weeks to hit the front page until outrage took the form of a brief-but-intense social media frenzy with #BringBackOurGirls? Three months have passed since the kidnapping and the girls are still not rescued. What are those mothers going through? Good God! Those poor mothers.

Since the kidnapping of the girls, the next event that transfixed me with horror was the death of the three missing Jewish teens that led to the eye-for-an-eye death of the Palestinian teen, escalating the latest violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Can you imagine saying good-bye to your child in the morning and them not coming home? Ever? Good God! Those poor mothers.

The thing is, I can imagine. I do imagine. It’s my biggest fear. Bringing home my newborn and hovering over her several times every night — every night for months! — to make sure she’s still breathing. Checking in with my son the first time he is home alone without a babysitter and then the first time he IS the babysitter. Putting my daughter on an airplane for her first international trip on her own. I pray he is safe. I pray she comes home. I worry that the world will see ever more conflict and that my children will be called upon to fight as soldiers. Good God! Whither peace? Don’t THEY love their children too?

Don’t you think there would be less conflict if mothers were the leaders of the world? I guess we are too smart or too busy or too subjugated. I know, I know. I know that mothers don’t have a lock on compassion and wisdom and I know many non-parents who are compassionate and wise. But Good God! Imagine if the leaders in power filtered their decision-making through the lens of having children. Because then the overriding question governing all decision-making would be: “What is best for our children? How will this action improve their future?” Ego would diminish. The differences between us would diminish. We would lead with our hearts, with compassion and tolerance and empathy. And wisdom.

It seems a lofty but unattainable goal. Even the pacifist Caesar in the latest blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes to a pragmatic and tragic understanding that the fear of what is different and the desire for power will lead to distrust and war. Spoiler alert, there is no hope at the end of that movie. Well, I take that back. There are the sons, both human and ape.  (Where are the daughters?)

Whither hope? It is in our children. We nurture them. We teach them. We love them. We hope. We hope they will be able to create a peaceful future where girls can go to school and boys of different religions can appreciate what is holy in all beings as they set aside their differences to save our Earth.

Photo:  The New Yorker


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