Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Month: September, 2014

In Honor of International Peace Day

International Peace Day

“We invest in chaos because chaos is more profitable than peace,” said Greek composer Vangelis.

Hmmm, everything is making sense now. Luckily, there are many people around the world who opt for peace over profit. Today at church, for instance, the Pastor talked about The Book of Ruth, and how in several chapters of the book, everyone is looking for the best interest of everyone else.

“This is remarkable, and it’s very rare,” said Pastor Aaron. “What would happen if we all lived like Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz? What if as a family we all look for the best interest of each other, beyond the pain? What if as a church we look out for other churches and their pastors and their congregations? When people walk around thinking only of themselves, it becomes a toxic environment for other people.”

He added, “When I go into a season of discouragement, I get out and start thinking of someone outside of me. This is when I begin to get healthier.”

Are you up for a healthier spirit?

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Happy Belated Grandparents Day!

Mom (4)

I’m one of the many who did not celebrate Grandparents Day on September 7th. But in my defense, my grandparents have long ago passed away, and my mother, who is geographically the only grandparent available to my children, is a strong part of our life. We celebrate her presence regularly.

What I noticed was that no major store advertised for Grandparents Day. No local activities were set up in its honor, and if they were I totally missed it. No noise was made about it, as it happens for Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, to name a few.

This says a lot about how our society views our elderly. We overly focus on one type of people, like youth, which in turn creates an unbalanced society. The wisdom an elderly has to offer is invaluable. If we tapped into their rich minds, hearts and spirits, we would come out a richer civilization.

Utilizing the Constitution to Stop ISIS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I picked up my kindergartner from school the other day, he was wearing a white, red, and blue paper hat he made in class. I asked him what it was for, and he said, smiling, “It’s constitushi day.”

“What?” I asked.

“It’s constitushi day,” he said with an even bigger smile.

“Mom, it’s Constitution Day,” my daughter explained.

I was glad that the teachers had the children pay special attention to this important day, so kids can learn the value of the constitution at an early age. As drafted, the Constitution’s purpose was to create a government that had enough power to act on a national level, but without so much power that individual’s fundamental rights would be at risk.

But many adults need to revisit the values of the Constitution, and act upon this privilege that in many countries is obsolete. Having been raised under Saddam’s totalitarian regime, I can tell you that people in the United States do not fully utilize the political freedoms bestowed upon them.  Oftentimes this freedom is taken for granted. If that continues, I’m afraid that one day we will see ISIS strolling around in our neighborhoods.

“ISIS is here, they’re capable of striking,” CNN national security analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer

Have we Turned 9/11 into a tradition rather than a lesson?

911 (signed names)

I watched the ceremonies performed yesterday in honor of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Across the country, the names of victims were called and people stood in silence to remember the dreadful events of that day. Broadcasters  talked about how the “threat of terrorism” still lingers on 13 years later, and I wondered, what lesson have we learned from this attack, if we learned any lesson at all?

The 9/11 Commission left many questions unanswered because of the initial destruction and removal of evidence and the budget being limited to $15 million, whereas $30 million was given to dig up the dirt in the Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky scandal. In order to really honor the victims, we should make a greater effort learning a lesson from the events that led to their loss – not just perform ceremonies.