Editor-in-Chief Deborah Levine of the American Diversity Report has now been named Silver Ambassador as a humanitarian supporter for promoting culture of the Books for Peace International Award.
Dear Noblewoman Ms. Levine,
I feel embarrassed to write to you because our small prize can never be as great as your culture, as your immense soul, as your immense heart, as your wonderful and immense literary capacity.
You enclose the essence of the Woman, the Friend, the Artist, the Poetess, the Woman of today with the ethical and moral values of other times. You are a unique woman.
THANK YOU FOR EXISTING, thank you for accepting our recognition.
How does one consider achieving peace while living in a world that is currently confused, polarized and disunited? How do we live in a manner that leads to peaceful cooperation? We have, historically, tried various political and economic systems and yet we, as a society, continue to exist in a seemingly endless downward spiral with only brief peace-like respites. Given our current set of conditions, we can guess where it all leads if a fundamental change doesn’t occur.
It appears that humanity is in need of asking itself certain fundamental questions, such as: Who am I? What is the purpose for my existence? What do I believe in? How should I correctly act towards others?Once we begin to discern answers to these and other questions of value and character can we start to move ourselves and our society towards a more unified and productive direction. A direction that leads us out of ourselves and begins to widen our vision.
Our world is burning up from within. We need action – now – to lower the earth’s temperature, to stop mass incarceration , child abuse, and human trafficking. And what about self-harm and self-hate? Why does our own spirit twist against us so violently?
Searching for more answers – or at least some deeper insights – I turned to the lives of three people burned by hate, and burning with love. The first is Vietnamese monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh.
A thousand mile journey starts with a step
Between whispers of war starts with a tone,
No one will dream of war to receive us with loneliness
When will it stop?
Dreadful scenes, rack-edged sorrows and rapid holocaust
Will this malediction still continue?
We have crossed the river
Have you ever entered a conversation with the best of intentions, only to end up in an argument? I suspect we have all had this experience and I’d like to suggest that one reason this happens so often is because of mind distance. When we try to communicate with people whose experiences and world views are very different from our own, we often run into invisible walls. It’s like trying to describe colors to a friend who has been blind from birth. No matter how much we try to explain what the world looks, sounds, and feels like to us, if the other person’s experiences have been significantly different, they will have trouble listening and understanding. In my work as an interculturalist, I encounter such mind distance on a regular basis.
For those of you who have not yet heard the story of the Maayan Babustan/Ein Bustan kindergarten, this is a Waldorf school, a kindergarten that is run in two languages – Arabic and Hebrew. The kindergarten is situated in the Arab village of Hilf, within the municipality of Bosmat Tab’un, 7 minutes drive from the nearby Jewish town of Kiryat Tivon. The kindergarten is attended by 27 Arab and Jewish children, in two age groups. The staff is also comprised of Arabs and Jews: in each class there is a Hebrew speaking teacher and an Arabic speaking teacher. In addition, we are pleased to have two interns, two young Bedouin Arab women who are fulfilling their “Year of Service” by working as assistants in the kindergarten, one in each age group.