Posts Tagged ‘Women’
I am reading a bok by John Perkins – The Economic Hitman and so recently I signed up to his newsletter. This is the most recent newsletter andI felt the urge to share it…
I’m in Istanbul, a city that has seen its share of war. Today Turkey is greatly impacted by the violence in Iraq and Syria and the turmoil over Iran; yet this country is a leading negotiator for peace. I hope you’ll read the below on the topic of peace.
Aggression Begets Aggression
By John Perkins
In our present state and based on the world’s past history we know that aggression only begets more aggression. War creates more war. Terrorists do not dream as children of becoming terrorists. As we hear the drumbeat of our current US leaders for more “intervention”, I can’t help but think of the line in Catch-22 – the satirical novel of war – “Open your eyes. . . It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.” (Chapter 12, pg. 133-134)
And I think of my friend, Kiman Lucas, Executive Director of Clear Path International – http://www.cpi.org , a non-profit that works to restore the dignity and self-sufficiency of conflict survivors in many countries. Kiman recently traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia; she wrote:
“ I believe any future in our world must be based on the rule of law, respect and empathy for each other and a tolerance and appreciation for our differences. But fundamentally, we need to stop glorifying our tribal pasts — whether they are what you think of as colonial masterminding or what I think of as tribal divisiveness. I do not want to bring the world back to the glorious conquering days of the colonial powers any more than I want to bring the world back to the headhunting days of the Shuar.
It may serve our egos to remember the good ole days of our own people’s triumphs, but it also serves to perpetuate the myth that aggression is honorable. Perhaps it will be “female” thinking – based on nurturing rather than killing – that can bring the people of this world together to stand up for what is right and to recognize that the “enemy” has always been the ideas we have about the other, not the other.”
Nurturing peace, planting seeds of harmony, wisdom, co-existence and respect for all is the only way to preserve a future that will be different for our children. Repeating the mistakes of the past and arming ourselves with bigger and better weapons only provides new anguish to those who are the targets of those weapons – children, villages, women and men who, just like us, are trying to do the best for their offspring. When we cut out all other options of human existence and rely only on aggression to solve our problems, we become the PROBLEM.
Today think of one way you can sow peace in your community and watch it bloom worldwide. Take at least one action for peace every single day.
New York Times bestselling author
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
The Secret History of the American Empire
The World Is As You Dream It
The Stress-Free Habit
Spirit of the Shuar
I spent the weekend with many friends, listening. We listened to each other as we shared part of our life story. We spoke in turn and did not interrupt each other, concentrating instead on listening.
Not the sort of listening where you are already composing your retort/reply/next question.
It was the sort of listening that was just that – listening. We listened with our full attention, trying not to fidget or get distracted from the role of listener. It was a very active listening.
It is rare to have that sort of listening these days. It requires discipline and patience. It also requires the listener to put away their judgements and take out their compassion. It humbles the listener to hear a friend share fully their joy and their pain, their mistakes and their learning, their tears and their laughter.
I feel very lucky to have such friends and my heart is full…
This story is about a group of women in India who have enough of being beaten and undefended. They have started to group together and stand up for themselves, using lathi – traditional sticks, if necessary.
For the longest time women who have been abused have not been heard, these women are making some noise!
I can certainly understand the frustration that lead to this situation of women having to go to such lengths to stand up for themselves when the authorities that are supposed to keep law and order are not to be trusted. Of course it should not be necessary for the authorities to protect women and children, women and children should not be subjected to violence but unfortunately this is not always the case.
I don’t believe in violence as a remedy which is perhaps why I found this story so interesting and thought provoking.
What do you think?
I recently had the opportunity to sit in a group and work through some unresolved tension between some of the group members. The method used for relieving the tension was so simple – good communication.
Everyone spoke in turn, without interruption. People took their time, there was no rush, there was time to think about what you were saying. We all spoke about how we were affected by the situation thus avoiding the “you said” and “you did” elements which can be so unhelpful.
We realised how what we say and the tone used can be so easily misinterpreted. This can cause hurt, which if not aired can fester and lead to resentment.
It is not as simple as it sounds to sit and listen to each other without interruption and without the chance of an immediate come-back – which often just escalates a situation into an argument. The value of speaking in turn is that by the time it is your turn to speak you may no longer wish to say what you were expecting to say, you will have had to time to listen to others speak and this may well have changed how you see things and given you the opportunity to identify what you are really feeling.
There may be many rounds necessary to resolve a situation, you sit with it until it is finished. People sometimes ask – how long will this take? It takes as long as it takes!
It is also not often that people are courageous enough to really speak from the heart, to say how hurt they are feeling or vulnerable or frightened or angry. We are so often afraid to let others see how we really feel, we wear masks to protect ourselves, to hide behind. There are many reasons that we do this, it is a learnt behaviour. Perhaps in the past someone used our vulnerability against us or took advantage of our fear to frighten us further, whatever the reason we can unlearn this behaviour and learn a new way to be. Learning any new skill takes practise and to do this it helps to have people around us that we trust and feel safe with.
I would love for everyone have the opportunity to experience this sort of communication, to experience what it is like to sit through a situation which could very easily lead to confrontation but doesn’t, which allows everyone to speak their truth and to really hear each other.
Simple things can be really difficult – but it is worth it!
I am very much looking forward to this weekend. I am travelling to meet some wonderful women and we will spend the weekend together. We will listen to each other, talk about our selves and our experiences and cook together and walk on a beach. I cherish these women and these rare weekends.
I also hope that the weather will be good because a few of us will be camping. If I were to place my order with the weather-making gods I would ask that if they wish to make it rain could they please do so at night? It sounds so lovely to lie cosily in bed at night in a tent listening to the rain – as long as the tent is really waterproof!