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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada

On this November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada, I would like to thank all the brave women and men in Armed Forces positions, who have dedicated their lives to keeping those of us in Canada safe from tyranny.I hope that the situations in which all military personal of our county and its allies are presently in, involving physical conflict, can be resolved as quickly as possible,so that the brave women and men fighting in these conflicts can return home to their loved ones.

Today, November 11,2008, marks the 90th anniversary of World War One armistice. Having recently read a book about the armistice, authored by Margaret McMillan , entitled "Paris 1919", I am even more aware of the debt that Canadians owe to our armed forces personnel in all the wars in which Canadians have been involved. As Margaret McMillan states in her book,

"The peacemakers of 1919 made mistakes, of course.By their offhand treatment of the non-European world,they stirred up resentments for which the West is still paying today....When war came in 1939, it was a result of twenty years of decisions taken or not taken, not on arrangements made in 1919. ....The peacemakers, ...had to deal with reality, not with what might have been.They grappled with huge and difficult questions.How can the irrational passions of nationalism or religion be contained before they do more damage? How can we outlaw war? We are still asking these questions." (Margaret MacMillan, "Paris 1991", 2003 Random House.)

Answers to these questions must somehow, some way be found, if Humans are to continue to be able to live on our planet. Nations must put aside their grievances with each other, and the political and military leaders of our World, must be made to realize, en masse, that the populations of our World's countries are tired of wars and conflict. Wars solve nothing, and only lead to more conflict and more war. Only if an alternative to war and conflict is found, can Humans and all life forms on our planet, have a future on this planet. Writers at in an article concerning world peace, suggest that the idea of total peace in our World is a "utopian" ideal. In contrast, members of the World Peace Newsletter, assert that:

"Peace, like reading, writing, mathematics, drawing, emotional intelligence and enlightenment ("understanding/comprehension/compassion/meditation/intuition"), are learned skills that improve our knowledge, maturity, health, happiness and longevity. Peace is probably the most important lesson we should learn during our lives and the sooner the better. The advent of the world wide web may just provide the boost in knowledge humankind has been waiting for. Improved communication may be the difference between extiction and survival. Through knowledge, Peace will evolve. Knowledge is power. Knowledge combined with enlightenment leads to wisdom. Wisdom is Peace!
Be the change you wish to see in the world.Peace starts from within! A change in perception leads to a change in attitude, which leads to a change in behavior, which leads to a change in the world! "
Life's what you make it. (source:

I believe those members of the World Peace Newsletter have a very good understanding of human behavior. The way in which we humans perceive the world, can change. It can change in spite of all the horror, violence, and negativity which we are exposed to in the news media. Today in Canada, I hope that people turn off their televisions and avoid watching the news, and see how they feel by doing so. The media in this world are out of control and if we all see this fact, and we do something about it (by deciding to avoid listening to the news any longer, or at least until the format of news broadcasts changes, from one of negativity, or sensationalism relating to violence and destruction to one of positive news broadcasts with positive stories about the world. We can change our perception of news we read, by simply making a decision to avoid reading stories which are about violence in our world. We can write the owners of newspapers and television stations and demand that changes to these media occur, so that fewer stories about war, violence and negativity are shown. We can tell these business people,that we will not be reading their newspapers or magazines and we will not be watching television stations which play shows or news broadcasts with violence in them. The peace-loving citizens of this world must take action, , to change the perceptions of the political leaders in this world, if we are to survive as a species, and if we are not to cause (as a species) the total eradication of all life on this planet.

Peace, like war, is a choice. And of peace is a choice, then we must make the politicians of the world adopt this philosophy.

"Canada's military budget for 2008 was $18.2 billion. It's projected to reach $19 billion next year. In the 2008 budget, the government pledged to increase military spending by two per cent a year for 20 years, starting in 2011, which would add an additional $12 billion over those 20 years." (source: The fact that our Government has pledged to increase its expenditure on the military,in the coming years, is such an awful sign of the current state of our World. Unless humans begin to put aside our differences in political and religious ideology , and begin to work together, our species will not survive on this planet. I urge those of you who want the world to survive, to write to the political leaders of your country (you would be surprised how accessiable they are using email or Government websites) and demand these budgets be lowered, and demand that these elected leaders focus on bringing peace to the world, not peace-keeping.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.