Tag: Peace


A New Year's Challenge: Connecting While Disagreeing

What resolution can we make as we begin 2015 that would have the greatest impact on our personal and public lives? I found my answer reading a remarkable interview in the new Smithsonian magazine of the civil rights historian Taylor Branch, whose three-volume, 2,500-page chronicle, America in the King Years, is a landmark biography in American history. In the article – filled with fascinating insights about Martin Luther King Jr. and his doctrine of nonviolence – Branch tells an extraordinary story about three Freedom Riders, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney.......

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Defending Yourself Against Life Is No Way to Live

How best to keep yourself on the path to maximum success and happiness? Or, at the very least, avoid finding yourself in situations you come to regret? Those were the questions that animated much of a long New Year’s lunch I enjoyed recently with friends. Perhaps it was the time of year, perhaps it was the wine; probably, it was a bit of both. While it’s clear that we can’t protect ourselves against all the tough stuff that life throws our way, we can make decisions that position us to enjoy life......

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This Little Light of Mine

I love the holiday season. Whether in the subway, on the streets, or even at airport security, people are gentler and kinder. I know I look into people’s faces more often during this period and see more smiles, more understanding, and more connection. The myriad lights of Hanukkah menorahs and Christmas trees and all the other lights of sacred days from Kwanza to Winter Solstice bring out the best in people. And the stories in the air do the same. Hanukkah’s message that no matter how dark it gets, or how impossible......

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How Open Are You to New Points of View?

Here is my viral video of the week: Will the Real Black Americans Please Stand Up, by Charles R. Patrick Furguson.?No one seems to know anything about Mr. Furguson, but at last look, hundreds of thousands of people viewed his remarks.   We can’t know the demographic make-up of all the people viewing and sharing this – although all the people who recently shared it with me were White, Jewish, hawkish and remarkably affirming (if not celebratory) of its message. Upon Googling Furguson’s name, I checked the first fifteen sites reporting on......

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Lincoln's Words of Wisdom on Bridging Our Divides

We have come to learn over the past few years that elections, as critical as they are, do not ensure a healthy democratic society. Citizens who are committed to freedom and a public culture with institutions that enable deliberative conversations and political compromise make real the promise of democracy implied by free elections. We face the future with the same, if not greater, political dysfunction and cultural polarization than we had before the latest votes were cast. A recent Pew survey showed that, increasingly, conservatives and liberals tend not to reside in......

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 You Left Your Daughter Where?!

I just returned from a week in Israel. And yeah, that means that I was there during the war with Hamas. In fact, the morning that we landed was the day that Hamas leadership pledged to resume rocket attacks on Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. I wasn’t traveling alone either. I was traveling with two of my daughters, one aged 13 and the other 18, who I was “dropping off” for a year of study at a Jerusalem seminary. So, am I some kind of crazy person who blithely wanders into war......

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This Is Real Courage

I recently wrote about Palestinian professor Mohammed Dajani’s visit to Auschwitz with 27 of his students. On Holocaust Memorial Day 2014, Dajani spoke on “Breaking Holocaust Taboos in Palestinian Society” with some 100 faculty and students of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. In his speech, he described how his feelings and ideas evolved from the day when a member of his family received medical treatment at Hadassah Hospital, not as an Arab but simply as a patient and human being. Dajani is the founder and director of Wasatiya, a movement to study and......

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Imagining the Other Side - Learning from a Palestinian Field Trip to Auschwitz

Whatever political views we have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is pretty clear that conventional diplomacy has resulted in all process and little peace. And whatever the desire for peace on either side, for a variety of ideological, political, cultural, historical, and theological reasons, the psychic reward and security that comes from maintaining and “managing” the conflict is for just about everyone greater than the imagined rewards for peace. Perhaps we are at a point where there is so much trauma and such deep mistrust that more than the combatants are creating......

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10 Pieces of Wisdom from Desmond Tutu on his Birthday

Today – October 7 – is Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 82nd birthday.? I have the honor of serving on the Board of The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation (DTPF)? whose mission is to help provide tools to create peace within, among and between people. Peace-making or what I call Peace-ing is an ongoing daily practice of attending to our own self and our ever widening webs of relationships that are our families, our communities and the diverse people of the world. Meeting Archbishop Tutu, hearing him speak and teach is an......

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When You Look at His Face, What Do You See?

This face could change our world and shape history.? Whether that happens or not, depends not only on him, but on you, and what you see when you see his face.? In part, what you see depends on whether or not you know to whom the face belongs, or if you simply see some religious guy – probably Muslim, or is that a Sikh turban?? But it’s actually bigger than that. What do any of us see when we see anyone or anything unfamiliar to us, “whatever religion ‘that guy’ follows”?? That’s......

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