Recording your attempts at "Being Peace"
My Peace Blog Entry for the week involved a couple of pictures, so I posted it over on my regular blog. You can access it by clicking here.
Last Friday, I went out to dinner with my friends. I knew it was going to be pretty crazy, seeing as it was the night before the Navy game (which I’m still mourning) and South Bend was going to be mobbed by all the visitors. So I called ahead (the night before) and left my name for 7 p.m. There were eight of us in total. Five of us would go in my friend’s car, and the rest would take a cab, which I had called to arrive at my dorm at 6:30. Needless to say, the cab was late. The driver left a message on my phone at 6:30 saying he would be another 10-15 minutes and to call him back if I no longer wanted the cab. I still needed the cab, so I called back anyway to let him know that we still wanted him to come. After that, five of us (including myself) left in my friend’s car to go to the restaurant, while the other three waited for the cab. As we pulled up to the restaurant, I got a call from one of my friends back at the dorm asking me how long the cab driver said he would be. (He definitely should’ve been there by then.) I called up the driver and asked him how far away he was, and his response was, “Oh, I completely forgot about that. I’ll send a cab over right now. It should be there in about fifteen minutes.” At that point, I was pretty annoyed. What with overcharging and unreliability, I hadn’t had very good experiences with cab drivers in the past. Thankfully, my friend with the car offered to go and pick up our other friends while the rest of us waited for our table. I immediately realized how out-of-proportion my reaction had been, and I thanked my friend for her kind offer. Conflict #1 diffused.But that wasn’t all. We arrived at the restaurant right at 7 o’clock, and I got in line behind the hostess counter to get my name checked off the list. After about five minutes, I had moved up to second in line. I expected to be attended to within the next couple minutes, but instead, I ended up waiting at least another fifteen minutes just to get my name checked off the list and to be given one of those vibrating “your-table-is-ready” devices. The restaurant was absolutely packed, and many of the people waiting were getting very frustrated and kept interrupting the hostess to complain and ask how long their wait was going to be. One man, in particular, was very rude. He was annoyed because he had been waiting 45 minutes when the hostess had told him 25, and in order to make sure he was not forgotten, he staked his territory by standing right next to the hostess counter, as if that would speed up the process. Instead, it only blocked other people (including myself) from getting to the counter. I could have gotten very annoyed at the wait, I could have complained and made a big deal out of it, which could have been very tempting considering so many other people (including one of my friends) were doing it. But I didn’t. I remained calm, and I waited my turn patiently. I realized that the hostess was doing the best she could, given how many people she had to serve and that complaining would only make things worse. Even when the hostess finally gave me her attention, I let her know that the lady next to me had gotten there first. That extended my wait by at least another 10 minutes, but I didn’t mind. We weren’t in any hurry, and my other friends had even gotten there yet. By the time I got my name checked off and received a vibrating device, the wait for my table ended up being a very agreeable 10 or 15 minutes. We were even seated before my other friends arrived. The food was good, the service was excellent and expedient, and we ended having a great time. I am so glad that I was able to remain calm during what could have been a very stressful and frustrating experience. I had decided beforehand to walk into this evening with the right attitude (i.e. peaceful and patient), and the evening was so much more enjoyable because of it. It wasn’t a huge deal, but my remaining calm helped some of my more high-strung friends to remain calm as well, so I suppose in that sense, I spread the peace. And it was a great feeling.
For Fall Break, I attended one of the Appalachia Seminars. In order to understand the importance of this, I think it's fair that you have the background information. I did not want to go to an Appalachian Seminar. I finally mustered up the energy to apply to my intended seminar of choice (washington) and got rejected>:) I approached that idea of Appalachia convincing myself that I should have a "Notre Dame experience" and assuring myself that the site wasn't construction oriented, so how bad could it be? Little did I know the program would have alot of unknown tidbits. We were not told to take only 1 shower for the week, to turn off our cellphones( we were in the mountains with no service) and to forget about time and focus on living on God units (there were no clocks.) Each group had a different responsibility for the day that included making dinner& doing dishes, making breakfast or planning reflection. First, it was the most annoying experience of my life. We had to make everything from scratch and, in the name of simple living we only had powered milk! But I thought to myself, what would the peace studies class want me to do? So I actively attempted to embrace this simple/peaceful lifestyle. I began by stepping out of my comfort zone and going on a hike with the group. That wasn't my thing. But I did constantly volunteer for prayer and take time out to just sit, read and actually think. I thought coming back would be amazing, but I actually miss the Fall Break. These business and electronic life that I claim to need seem to be the problem in the first place.
So I actually did this awhile ago, but being the professional procrastinator that I am, I am only now writing it up. This is good though because I have more comments on peoples' reactions to my "peace blog activity" to write about. See...procrastinating is a good thing. Last year I was on the women's boxing team. I loved it! It was a great work out, and I must admit, I felt pretty badass. When this class started and Dan told us we were doing a peace blog, I immediately started to question my participation in boxing. Actually.. I think it started this summer too, after I had had a few too many drinks and slapped one of my friends when he said something that I interpreted to be sexist (this was all in my intoxicated head though). He wasn't hurt or anything, but I would never had done that if I had not learned to use my hands as weapons. So... anyways, that incident and the peace blog helped me decide to give up boxing for peace- a decision I have not regretted, even though my workouts have suffered. Two of my roommates are captains of the team, so it works out really well because boxing comes up a lot in my house and people assume I still box. So...then I get the opportunity to spread the peace by saying, "I don't box anymore. I gave it up for peace." Some people ask for a few more details, others just roll their eyes, but overall I think I get them to question ways that they are violent without realizing it.
For my peace blog activity today I went to a lecture by Jackson Katz called "More Than A Few GoodMen: A Lecture on American Manhood and Violence Against Women." It was an amazing 2.5-hour talk and although it's not explicitly related to our topic for the week, I learned a lot about our violent culture and this has to do with both new/old wars AND the gender and peace theme from a few weeks back. Something that Mr. Katz stressed was the importance of language, which I heartily agree with. We can refer to rape and sexual assault as "women's issues" because that: a) turns men off the topic automatically, b) lets men off the hook by taking them out of the picture, and c) denies the personal aspect of these so-called "women's issues" for men. They are MEN'S ISSUES too! I just think that is so important to understand because feminism is something everyone should care about and understanding our violent culture that encourages violence by men against women in particular is so important to creating change! There were a lot of other things that Mr. Katz spoke about but I don't want this blog to get too long. I really really recommend that you all check out Mr. Katz's website: HTTP://JACKSONKATZ.COM. seriously, take a look. He had so many incredible things to say about fighting anti-intellectualism, creating dialogue about important issues that impact both men and women, and just flat-out NOT accepting things how they are! That's an essential part of peacebuilding (not simply peacekeeping), I think. We need to educate and empower! Ok that's all.
Last weekend was a crazy weekend, six of my best friends and I live together off campus, one of my roomates is engaged to a Navy boy, who brought some of his navy friends with him this weekend. Need I say that it was quite annoying when we lost and had to hang out with the gloting navy boys afterwards. It is hard to be a good sport when you then have to be polite to a group of boys who feel that they have just witnessed history. Well, as it happened we were throwing a party at my house and as the night went on a few of the notre dame boys who were over grew a little angered at the navy boys inability to stop talking about thier win. All of a sudden we had a navy boy and an ND boy yelling at eachother with their faces basically one inch from eachother. The party completely stopped! and everyone turned their attention towards the heated argument/fight. A few of my roomates and my self ran up and got in between the guys to cool them off. We did and their wasnt a huge fight between the navy boys and nd boys. This was not only a good thing for my house, but also within an hour or so everyone was having fun and they were right back to being in a good mood. We were really lucky that the peaceful route was taken rather than the violent one.Island gurl:)
After attending the Notre Dame Forum on immigration, I went back to my dorm and, in the spirit of peace blogging, actually did write to both of my senators and my district’s representative to encourage them to support the DREAM Act. Upon second reflection, the letter is a little emotionally charged, but it gets my point across, and I did cite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that’s a plus. “Please vote in support of the DREAM Act. Not enough is being done to help the innocent children who, by no choice of their own, were brought across the border. They have an essential right to receive education in the country they have called home. We need to embrace the presence of these students within our country as a beneficial element to all of America. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, "everyone has the right to education," and "higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit." The students have a right to education in this country, no matter how they were brought here. We send a message of intolerance and disregard for their needs, as a student and as someone living in America, when we do not provide the opportunity for education and legal citizenship. Children should not be deprived of their rights because of the actions of their parents. Please vote in support of the DREAM Act, and give these kids the opportunities they deserve as Americans and as fellow human beings.”I’ve heard back from one senator and the representative. I’ve contacted these offices before, but it has never taken them so long to return my e-mail/letter. The representative, who I replied after about a month, seemed a lot more appreciative and receptive to my opinion and actually said, “It’s great to hear from you again.” These are probably automated e-mails or written by volunteers, but they did acknowledge I had written him in the past, which is interesting. I hope my thoughts are taken into consideration, but I cannot really be sure of that. Now I guess I know what lobbyists feel like to some degree.
Another blog I wrote awhile ago and am finally posting:I volunteer at La Casa de Amistad once a week in their after-school program. This organization helps members of a predominantly Latino community with various services, like a food pantry, English and finance classes, and after-school care for children. The children are great, and I absolutely love volunteering there. Something alarming I have noticed is the boy’s, and sometimes girl’s, tendency towards violence, in the context of jokes, comments, verbal fights, and sometimes, physical behavior. Although some of this tendency is normal among children, I am probably overly sensitive to it. I usually address the violent jokes and destructive comments by telling them to not call each other names or say hurtful things. I think the key is to make sure they realize it will not be tolerated by me or others. In some cases, it is harder to know what to do. For example, last week (10/17), some of the little boys actually got into a fight during homework time. There was some dispute over a granola bar that two little boys both claimed was theirs. This argument escalated into a fight, which did not surprise me in hindsight, but it caught me off-guard. I quickly intervened, literally pulling one child off the other. The kids are pretty young and still learning the differences between “right” and “wrong” actions, but I made sure I spoke with them about why their behavior was wrong. I told them that violence is not an effective or acceptable way to deal with arguments and that they needed to learn how to share. My explanation basically revolved around how we need to treat everyone with respect because every human has that right. I’m obviously not a parent, so it is hard to know just what to say to children in situations that need to be addressed. I just hope what I told them was effective and well-received. Hopefully, others will reinforce this nonviolent way to resolve conflict, and the things I told them will be become engrained into their daily habits and ideas of “right” and “wrong” behavior. This experience helped me to realize how I can have a peaceful impact within different parts of my life, even when I don’t expect it.
I just got back from my first trip to the South Bend Farmer's Market on the corner of Beyer Ave and Northside Blvd. For over a year, I've known a small number of people who choose to shop at the market to support local growers and vendors. But it wasn't until this morning, when I need some ingredients for a soup I'm making, that I resolved to check it out for myself.Though I won't eat any of the things I just purchased until later this evening, I was impressed with the appearance of the produce and other products. Furthermore, because many of these items are grown locally, they incur minimal transportation costs in comparison to products you might find in a standard grocery store. This reduced transportation not only adds to the freshness of the produce, it also frequently leads to cheaper prices that go directly to the grower.The thing I liked most about my experience, however, was the one-on-one interaction buying the items. I could ask questions about which type of potato would be best for the soup I'm making. I saw face to face the person who'd helped grow and harvest the food that will appear on my dinner table tonight.In a society in which wholesale producers tend to dominate, it was nice to drive the extra five minutes in order to support the small farmer who lives nearby. This choice to support local growers not only supports his livelihood, it helps the environment and provides us with fresh, natural foods at a reasonable price.So, check it out:Farmer's Market1105 Northside BlvdSouth Bend, IN 46615(574) 282-1259
Last night I went to "Lectio Live," an evening of poetry, music, and open mike readings hosted by the First Year of Studies (open to everyone though). The theme of this month's gathering was "Witnessing Peace in a Time of War," which was just wonderful. Two musicians were there and played a bunch of Vietnam protest songs, like Bob Dylan and other folksy stuff. And Prof. Michael Baxter shared a reading from a conscientious objector that was beautiful. I even got up and read some poetry, in an attempt to "be peace," of course. The first poem I read is called "The Republic of Conscience" by Seamus Heaney, a nobel laureate from Northern Ireland (he grew up amidst The Troubles there). It's about conscience formation and how we are perpetually held accountable for our decisions and always have to follow our own personal consciences. The other poem I read is called "The Nobodies," by Eduardo Galeano. I actually had a friend read it in Spanish first, because that's its original language. I know this blog will be long but I decided to include the poem here, because it really makes you think about those who get forgotten amidst war."The Nobodies" by Eduardo Galeano Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on them--rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn't rain down yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn't even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms. The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life, screwed every which way. Who are not, but could be. Who don't speak languages, but dialects. Who don't have religions, but superstitions. Who don't create art, but handicrafts. Who don't have culture, but folklore. Who are not human beings, but human resources. Who do not have faces, but arms. Who do not have names, but numbers. Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police blotter of the local paper. The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them. That is all. Keep your heads up though because we're going to have our own class peace reading night, with an open mike-- get ready! It was really such a peaceful night for me though, and I got to sit back and really think about what I care about, the tension I feel between idealism and realism, and the many potential paths ahead of us, if only we can learn from the past and present.
One of my roommates is very into hunting, and is very excited about the upcoming season. He always talks about his different guns and the techniques that are used in finding and killing prey. He has told me that he likes the sport for the thrill and fun that is involved in hunting. He does not keep his prey and does not eat it, but merely kills the animals for the rush, subsequently disposing of it (or lets others do that?). To me, this seems like completely unnecessary violence, especially since it is mainly for fun, and no other tangible benefit comes from it (i.e. food for survival). I decided to look up this hunting season (http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/digest/07-08digest.pdf) and was quite shocked to see how matter of fact it is handled. You are allowed to carry certain numbers of animals and kill a certain number in a day! This seems like a lot of violence with unnecessary reasons. Now I know this is not necessarily human on human violence, but at the same time, I certainly feel that it can be a gateway to violent activity. The fact that my friend talks about guns and knows so much about guns (which he uses to kill) makes me quite uneasy. Also, he really gains no benefit from hunting, other than having fun. I think that this violent nature could translate over to human conflict, and make a hunter more apt to react with force in a disagreement. Now, I have not seen this in my friend, but I am sure this happens with some people. Taking the lives of animals seems to be a step to moving toward violence with humans. Additionally, I think it really makes people more desensitized to violence and more accepting of it when they witness it—all of which is a bad combination.I asked my friend if he would not go hunting this year, and try to think of the negative consequences that could arise in the future if this violent nature translates into human interaction. I also encouraged him to think about getting rid of his guns, and perhaps just renting a gun if he does go hunting. I think he understood where I was coming from. Now, if he will actually use my suggestions is another story, but I’m glad he listened to me and heard me out.
Last Friday I went to the Veterans Day Vigil at Stonehendge with Fr. Hesburgh and ROTC hosting. First of all, I was surprised at the number of people that showed up, I would estimate between 400-500 students showed up and plenty of south bend residents were present as well. I thought that the whole production was done really well. Fr. Hesburgh had a great talk and I was struck by the effect that war has on everyone and not only just those that go to fight in it. With the growing number of fatalities in the Iraq war more and more people are feeling the negative affects of this war and it is sad to see how many people that show up to a war memorial because of first hand losses.
This week, for my peace blog entry, I decided to follow in the footsteps of some of my fellow bloggers and get involved in the Kiva organization. To get started, I read through Kiva's mission statement and policy. The organization is an incredible way to combat poverty by helping one person at a time to gain some momentum to start a business and earn money. After carefully searching through the different profiles of people eligible for a loan, I chose to donate to a man named Elman Ismayilov. He is a 37-year-old widower who has one child. He lives in the Salyan region, in Khaladj village. He has 8 years of experience in farming, and needs a loan of $1200 to purchase fertilizer and pesticides to increase his yield. I hope that my loan can help him to be more financially independent and able to raise his child. My loan of $25 dollars will help to get him on the way to increasing his yield from the harvest so that he can earn more money to provide for his family. When Elman pays back his loan, I plan to loan the money again to someone else in need. I hope that little by little, as I have more money of my own, that I can participate more in this organization. I am glad that Caity let us know about this great opportunity to help other people. This week, I feel that I really made a difference in the life of a fellow human being. Here is a link to Elman's site if anyone else is interested in donating: http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=23139
Over fall break I decided to visit my brother in Cincinnati where he is working for Procter and Gamble. Every Sunday he volunteers at his church teaching a Sunday school/Confirmation preparation class. Since I was going to be in town, Dave asked me if I would like to help him make a lesson plan and teach with him. I happily obliged since I love teaching and I thought it would be fun to do this with my brother. The lesson was to be about original sin and the paschal mystery; two very fundamental parts of our faith. I decided to take the original sin section and left the other up to my brother. In the beginning it was going fine, I was talking in front of the class, the kids seemed to be responding and participating in the exercises. I then came to the point about Baptism taking away our original sin allowing us to be open to God's grace and salvation. The most interesting and thought-provoking questions came up. They wanted to know about all the "what ifs?" of life. Like "what if the baby died before being baptized, would he/she be able to go to heaven?" It is very hard to try and answer these questions especially when they are not your own kids and when you are a guest in an unfamiliar situation. I answered most to the best of my ability, but then the question that I hadn't even decided on an answer came up, "what if a soldier has to kill people in battle and then he dies without absolution or confession?" To this day I have not been able to figure out a good answer to this question and I hope I did not let the girl down too much when I did not have an answer.Like the book entitled,"Kids Say the Darndest Things?" sometimes all you need is a fresh, innocent perspective or thought to make you look at a lot of things very differently.
I went to the Prayer Service for Peace earlier this evening, as part of International Education Week. Although the service was small, it was very nice. It took place by Stonehenge and there were about ten of us gathered around holding candles. The service was a nice break from my long day of studying and gave me time to reflect on other things going on in the world, besides my homework! Okay time for my shameless plug: There is a bunch of stuff going on for IEW, so check out the posters around campus! There is a really good dinner and dialogue tomorrow night “Moral Perspectives in the Face of War” at 6:00 in Greenfields Café! You should definitely come check it out!
I recently saw the movie "The Kingdom." I was interested in the movie because it had an interesting sounding plot, a good cast, and the previews looked solid. It occurred to me that it could potentially lead to a peace blog but I definitely didn't go in with that as a definite intention. The movie was very violent, depicting a terrorist attack on U.S. oil workers and their families in Saudi Arabia. It occurred to me during the movie that the movie was very violent and that I could write a peace blog about that. It also included some stuff dealing with exploitation and thus could have been written about coming from a structural violence angle. But it was at the very end of the movie that I knew I wanted to write a blog about the movie. Early in the movie an FBI agent is killed. When the unit later sent to investigate finds out, one of the agents friends is overcome by grief. The leader of the team whispers something into her hear that gets her to stop crying. We find out at the end that he told her "We are going to kill them all." At almost the exact same time, we hear the dying terrorist leader whisper into a child of his family's ear: "Don't worry, we will kill them all." This really hit me. It shows just how hard peace is. The natural response to the initial attacks of the movie was to try and hit them back. But this only leads to more violence. That kid will grow up remembering those words. It's a natural, seemingly never ending cycle.
My roommate is the secretary for Notre Dame's chapter of The ONE Campaign. The ONE Campaign's mission is to eliminate poverty. This is obviously a very general goal, and they have more specific ones. But the elimination of poverty is the overall goal. I recently attended a meeting of the officers of the group. I wanted to get a view of what a group with a broad goal like that does, particularly at a small school like this. The group thus far has been doing almost all administrative tasks. It is incredibly hard to get groups like this going. Perhaps the biggest problem is getting people to take you seriously. The officers talked about how it is very common to email people with questions or requests and not receive any replies. Applying for official group status is a surprisingly tough process. The group holds its first general meeting this week. For the first time, they will try to get more members of the campus involved. They hope to gain support from the student body and move forward. I've pledged my support to the group, although I unfortunately can't attend the meeting to my job. It'll be interesting to see what this young group can do.
I attended the Lectio Live last week that was themed "Poetry for Peace." It was a bit of a sacrifice only in that I could have been "getting things done" instead of listening to poetry and music for a couple of hours. But I'm pretty into poetry, so I also felt like I was resisting the urge to sell out to homework all the time. A nice evening in the CoMo lounge (which gets co-opted all too often by this kind of event, we know)-- a sociology prof and his friend played a few Vietnam War protest songs, a theology prof read Berrigan's meditation after napaum-ing draft files during the war. Then five or ten students shared their writing.I read some Langston Hughes ("Daybreak in Alabama"), Shel Silverstein, and a poem I had written in high school. Sharing and hearing everyone was great-- I really love the idea of using our creative capacities to build movements and build relationships based on ways of thinking, on lifestyles. It's a great way to supplement our social action and peace studying.
I am involved with Take Ten, as many others in our class are. I have had some really rewarding days (maybe I will write about those another day) but these past two weeks have been hell on earth. Last week, I had an accounting test and so did my partner, so we couldn't go to our first class. We had told the teacher the week before, but she forgot to tell her substitute on that day. All unaware of the simple miscommunication, the principal, Take Ten director and Take Ten supervisor all subsequently lectured us on dependability and the importance of consistency in the life of children. I was so frustrated that I had been labeled a bad volunteer over a misunderstanding. This week, we were informed the 1st graders were on a field trip. So my partner and I covered kindergarten together since the girls who usually teach kindergarten were absent. On our way out after two successful lessons on listening and "I" statements, we ran into one of the 1st grade teachers who asked us why we didn't show up to her class earlier. Their field trip isn't for another 2 weeks. I left the school this morning so angrily. Why was communication SO hard? How hard is it to tell us when field trips are? I just became so frustrated with the lack of organization. I got back to my room and was about to send an angry ultimatum to the Take Ten director for either better communication and more volunteers at our location, or I couldn't do it anymore. But I deleted the email after a few minutes. If I quit, where would that leave not only me, but the children, teachers, and other volunteers. Yes, the program could be much more organized, but leaving it is not going to improve things. And the truth is, the whole reason I do Take Ten is for the children. Why let communication issues and tension among adults stop me from teaching young children how to better interact and solve conflicts? I calmed myself down and remembered why I do Take Ten in the first place, to promote "being peace."
So today I had my international relations exam… There are only two exams before the final, and basically for each exam you have to write down everything you know about IR in fifty minutes. Well, ever since cramming for the first test, I hadn’t had any desire to read for IR for months. One week before the test (last Wednesday) I realize I need to get myself into gear, which led to a lot of stress. To make things worse, the material was all about nuclear proliferation and terrorism-- all very unpeaceful circumstances. As I was catching up with all the readings, current events, and doing a lot of possible identification questions in my head – I neglected a lot of my other classes. I’m lucky nothing very binding was due this week, and that it was all smaller homework assignments instead – otherwise I don’t know what I would have done! So two nights before the exam, I realize I was studied out and had actually achieved a firm understanding of nuclear everything in about 3 days. So the days prior to the exam I was able to do everything I had neglected to do earlier – and now I’m all caught up! The feeling is amazing. I need a cold beer for victory. I walked into the test this morning without my notes, and just did breathing exercises prior – and I’m pretty confident I did well. But now looking ahead to the rest of the semester, it’s already that time of year when you have to wind down and do term papers/finals. My recent victory is not going to fly for the rest of the year. Sad news, but then again the whole situation was my fault in the first place. So yeah, cheers to starting to study for finals and writing term papers!
A friend of mine was recently challenged on how he treats women. He took offense to this and defended himself. The girls making the allegations then threw another challenge at him: go to a Feminist Voice meeting. In his typical fashion, he decided to accept the challenge, and he asked me to join him. I was most intrigued. We talked about doing it for a while but never got around to it. Well last week we finally got around to it. We went to the CSC and went into the room where they hold their meetings. We were a little nervous, not having any idea what to expect. The girls of the group even asked if we were in the right place. We assured them that we were, and they were very excited to see us there. That really helped calm us down. The meeting started and things went really well. We helped make the t-shirts that hung on south quad for Sexual Assault Awareness Week. It was a real chill. We also signed up to usher for the following week’s showing of Loyal Daughters and Sons. They have put us on the listserve and we plan on attending the meetings every week. All in all, it was a very worthwhile experience, and I hope it will continue that way.
IRISH AD said...Every week on Thursday, I go to La Casa De Amistad, which is a Hispanic community program/organization that helps Hispanics on the West side of south bend in child care, after school assistance and so on. Well, when I went a few weeks ago, after Halloween, I was asking some of the children how their Halloween was. Many of them had normal answers, like they went trick or treating, or they dressed up like something, but this one girl, remained quite during the whole discussion. Afterwards, I approached the little girl, and asked her individual how her night was. She told me with broken eyes that she dint get to go trick or treating or do anything because he mom was out "trick or treating." This broke my heart. It seemed unbearable to this little girl to watch the other children devour the candy they had accumulated on Halloween while she didn't have any to enjoy. So, I promised the little girl to bring her candy the next time I came, which was last week on Thursday. When i gave her the candy i promised her, you could see her face lit up and she was happy as a bee. I also gave the other children some candy, because i didn't want the other kids to think i had a favorite, but for the little girl, I think this gesture showed her that people do care about her, and it made her happy and smile. What is better than making children happy? In order to promote peace, we need to start with the children =)
This is my first peace blog, and I have to say I don't understand why it was so unbelievably hard for me to get started. This happened wayyyy back during the ND vs Penn State game and as I was rushing to meet with my friends (I was late) for the game I noticed two old men fighting. Obviously one was from ND the other Penn State, and they were just tearing each other apart verbally. I was literally shocked at some of the obscenities coming out of these old white mens' mouths. One was something along the lines of how his wife was... "promiscuous"... and the response was she wouldn't, uh, have intercourse with such an obese man. Ok, obviously I toned down the diction, but you get the idea. Keep in mind these were like old 40- upper 50 year old men saying these things. It was just so ridiculous, and I wanted to say, "excuse me, can we please hold ourselves with a little more dignity and if anything save it for the actual game?" But, I didn't. Because I was late, and quite frankly intimidated. Then *ding* I knew this would be something I could write in my peace blog. I vowed to myself then (whenever I would get to writing this down... a month or two later) that I would never again pass by two people making utter fools of themselves without trying to bring them back to their senses. I really kicked myself for not bringing the peace to these two old geezers... haha I guess its why I had such a hard time starting with these blogs because I've never been a "free hugs" type of person. But life goes on...
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