Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Words Can Bring Peace

As you can see, I recently updated the blog.  In doing so, I also reviewed my settings.  One of the things I realized was that the opening statement on the blog, what everyone sees first, says, "Words can bring...Peace."

This got me to contemplating, something I do quite a bit in my old age.  I asked myself: Have my words brought peace to others?  Have the words of others brought me peace? How do words bring peace?

The answers I found are, yes, yes, and in many ways.

Words bring Peace when they touch something deep within a soul; when they enlighten the dark corners of the mind; and when they inspire action that creates a wave of love through the Universe.

For me, Peace means that body, mind and spirit are in balance and filled with contentment.  There is no need. There is no lack. 

We have yet to sustain the state of Peace for longer than a few minutes or hours at a time, which is why the work of Peacemaking is so vital at this time.  It is the reason why I strive in my teaching and writing to promote Peace.

The words of various Peacemakers have touched, inspired and enlightened me.  Some of my favorites are:

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know Peace."  Jimi Hendrix
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."  Martin Luther King, Jr.

"When you find Peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at Peace with others." The Peace Pilgrim 

"Peace is costly, but it is worth the expense." An African Proverb

"Peace is its own reward." Mahatma Gandhi

"There is no way to Peace, Peace is the way."  A.J. Muste

"If you wish to experience Peace, provide Peace for another." Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

"We know a Peaceful world cannot long exist one-third rich and two-thirds hungry." President Jimmy Carter

What has inspired, enlightened or challenged you to be a Peacemaker? Who are your models for Peacemaking?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Puppet Tears

Accents have a way of getting in the way of our understanding of words at times.  I realized this the other day while taking pictures of my granddaughter and her aunt as they put on a puppet show.  They had made an impromptu stage out of the little one's bed and a blanket.  They used two Wild Things puppets for their little play.

I took pictures to document the moment.  At the end of the play, I said in my Boston accent, "OK, show me the puppeteers."
Without a pause, my three-year old granddaughter raised her puppet, saying, "Waaa, Waaa."  
It wasn't until she peeked over the sheet, holding up her puppet and said, "Puppets don't cry...they smile...see!" that I realize that what she heard me ask to see was "puppet tears."  Needless to say, it cracked us all up.

The point of all this is that often we run into problems in life because one person hears something completely different from what another person has said.  It isn't necessarily a problem with actual hearing as it is a problem with how we process what we hear. Not only do accents wreak havoc with language, but also the regional definitions of words or phrases.  As an ESL teacher, I try to be acutely aware of this, but sometimes, we can't help the confusion.

Several years ago, I remember hearing about a case where two women, neighbors, were fighting.  They had been very close up to the time when one woman's daughter was getting married.  

The women had agreed to meet with a mediator.  Each was given time to recount what had happened.  It turned out that each woman was from a different country of origin, yet spoke the same language.  However, in the region of the world where the mother of the bride lived, the word used by her neighbor to describe the beauty of her daughter was actually a word that was derogatory.  Once the mediator was able to show the women the mistake, all was forgiven; peace reigned once more in the neighborhood.

All this reminds us that language is not static.  It morphs and changes. How we say a word can change from one area of a neighborhood as well as from one country to another. 

Sometimes, it takes a three-year old to remind you that puppets don't have tears, which is why I love language so much!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Grand Mothering

It's 20 till 11 in the evening and I am just finding time to sit down and post a new blog entry. My days of late have been full of the joys of "grand mothering."  That is mothering to both my daughters and granddaughters.

My newest joy arrived a week early and threw us all into a tizzy.  She was a planned c-section, so coming early wasn't even considered.  It is amazing how much one can accomplish in 24 hours when one must!

Kaia is a delight and a joy to sister Chloe.  As a new big sister, Chloe is helping to care for her sister.  She sings to her, worries about the fact that she has a "yucky belly button," and get diapers as needed.

Of course time with Chloe and Kaia also means time with my other two granddaughters who live close by.  We had a lovely day at the beach while Kaia and Mommy were still in the hospital.

The cousins really enjoy playing together.  The bottom picture shows the three of them looking for fairies. 

All in all, I am enjoying being with my girls and their girls.  I realize how blessed I am to have them all here with me healthy and happy.  It is a grand time for mothering!