As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
As world leaders have gathered together for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA, 2018), I think that I also prepared well to my present my thoughts of a desired future. While my thoughts focused on post 9/11, the middle-east, Palestine, Israel, Syria, and the disputed territory of Kashmir, between India and Pakistan, it must be said that these are only some of the regions in the world that possess issues, conflicts, waiting to be resolved. While populations in these regions want peace, to live peacefully amongst one another; political processes, leaders, and Governments are the ones who possess the power / control to ultimately find effective solutions for areas that have historically been at war, and the many civilians that are hurt through tactics, employed by regimes, war crimes, and injuries. Solutions and resolutions can be found if only leaders, Governments are able to commit themselves to the idea of a future free from violence, or wars. While we can imagine these ideas through peaceful images, tranquility, or even those of an imagined heaven / paradise, we can only wonder if peace can be achieved in our life time.
Through the UNGA world leaders possessed an opportunity to reveal their place in the world, relations with other countries, and what matters to them. Whilst it may seem as though world leaders spoke much of the same as last year, there were hints of progress, repeated points, conflicting points, areas where there was a need for improvements, or where nothing has been done. This analysis reminds us of the slow processes for social change, and progressions. But it is also an area to become alert. When we think of the fast pace of technological advancements, and the pace of social advancement, we can question: Can social progress afford to remain slow in its pace? An example of my thoughts is when nations retreat to patriotism. Whilst nations are proud of their national identity, we should not use this as an excuse to ignore the relations that are forged from within a nation, that are now reaching all corners of the globe. When we think of companies, businesses, foreign investors who contribute to a nations economy, through global exchanges, now enabled simply from the internet, we have to remember that technology has enabled this. Even something as simple as online shopping. If you have purchased a product that was made by a foreign country, you have taken part in the process of globalization.
Whilst a nation should be allowed to forge their identities, be proud, be patriotic, and believe that they are sovereign nations, we can't ignore the global exchanges that occur from within nations. If these processes or exchanges are limited, then a nation has retreated away from global processes that have been created with technological advances. So here we have room to investigate how nations can continue to explore global partnerships, relations, and also maintain a national identity. We can take these thoughts a step further, when we think about duties that extend beyond the boundaries of a nation.
These duties are implicitly borne on the shoulders of wealthy nations. For example: If we take the case of Syria. We hear of refugees who try to seek entry to the USA, UK, Europe, or Canada. It should also be noted that refugees have also entered neighboring countries such as: Jordan, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt. We also heard thoughts from King Abdullah II about allowing refugees to enter a country, trying their best to accommodate with the scarcity of resources that Jordan possesses. Here we are also called to question : Is it OK for wealthy nations to close their doors or limit refugee / asylum seeker entry, when they posses wealth of resources, as opposed to those nations assisting even with scarce resources? The question is simplistic, but it extends beyond any immigration policy. It questions the moral duties of nations.
The same thoughts can also be transferred to the situations of the border crisis, at the U.S / Mexico border lands. Whilst President Trump blatantly put it that America should be allowed to enforce their own immigration policies just as other countries do, we are left to question if his administrations policies that occur at the border are ethical or not?How is the treatment of asylum seekers / refugees impinging their human rights, dignity, and sense of worth? And why should customs, and border patrol officers interrogate the already vulnerable, in the name of border security?
We cannot speak of peace, without thinking about the destructive practices that take place within a nation. No nation should consider itself superior, that it strips away the dignity of another, naming border security, to cover up for the racist degradation of others. This thought is also connected to the USA assistance with Venezuela. While we should applaud, be thankful and grateful for this assistance, we have to think: Is it OK to assist one country, and be harsh to others? Especially those connected with America at the south border? In my view: while the aid to Venezuela is positive, it could also be a tactic to keep matters of border ethics at the hush hush. So that it does not seem as though President Trump and his administration have a problem with Hispanic / Latino/a, Spanish speaking refugee / asylum seekers, building of the wall, and cruelty immigration politics.
When we think of globalization, technological advancements, we are left to wonder how the brutal treatments at the U.S. / Mexico border, cruel immigration policy, or zero tolerance are paving social progress or not?
My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on September 27th, 2018. Image 1 - Web Link
I decided to add this thought about Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. While I remain in a position of neutrality to this nomination, I do want to say that I find the patterns that emerge interesting. Whilst I do not agree with all of the policies that are derived from the Trump Administration, I do wonder about the legitimacy of scandals, and also the timings. If there was ever such claims, why are they not dealt with earlier? Why do women decide to come forward when the named accused is in the public lime light. While these thoughts are my opinion, I wonder why an accuser would prefer to reveal such claims / scandals, in the lime light; when these are personal, sensitive issues that could be resolved without media attention, when the accused is in the public eye. We are left to think and wonder, that these are in-fact tactics used to smear campaigns, and to obstruct political processes.
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
I became interested in the value of personal stories when I began to reflect upon my own life experiences. The experiences. My reactions to events, and what I had learned. In other words taking the time to reflect on experiences. I then became more interested in personal stories when I heard, listened, and read personal stories of others. The struggles, adversities, and how strategies were found internally and externally to push forward, to continue through the paths of life. As I continue to read, learn, reflect; I continue to place a high value upon personal narratives. But I also learned that our experiences are not seen as worth much at the undergraduate level, where the emphasis is placed upon learning what is already written, providing evidence, and thoughts that are backed with other writers. There is some room to add your own stories, as long as these can be contextualized, with what is being learned. This process continues throughout the acquisition of knowledge, or through life learning. In other words this is a process. We are building knowledge. Little by little. Building upon what already exists, and to really grasp and be able to contribute, it is important to know what was written previously, authors, and points of history as well.
As we go through academia, we also realize the importance of personal stories, experiences, for the process of research collection, and data. Its really quite exciting because previously we had to back up life stores. Now we have an opportunity to hear, listen to stories, and call this a process of the collection of raw data. Raw data / primary research is collected, refined, and produced. For research purposes this is considered as treasure. It is an integral process as to how the scientific community contributes to the bodies of knowledge. While of course this is a slow process, social scientists have an obligation, a responsibility to use what is known, unknown, to try to improve the human condition.
We see this through processes of improvements in healthcare, education practices, buildings, architecture, infrastructures, conservations, ergonomically designed products, eHealth, information Communication Technologies, and so on. With these progressions, especially technologies, other fields or advancements may not be able to keep up with the pace of technological innovations. The positives are that technological advancements have been created, but because of the fast pace, it is really unknown as to how there will be benefits. This point allows us to go back to the value of our stories. We can only, truly know the effect of an invention, or a finding through a study, through the personal stories that are collected.
FYI ~ It is important to note that to gain a clearer understanding of the development of these thoughts, please read / refer to the previous thought posts that I have indicated. As with peace or the process of peace, so too are thoughts. A process that are continuously developing.
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to reflect upon my previous thoughts, particularly with the idea of peace. Within regions of political / religious tensions, driven from historical and civil contexts. While the issues are complex, it does not mean that one should simply shrug these off, or believe that there is no possibility for peace, as conflicts have been going on for years. But if we were to say that everything should remain the same, because of the complex web of conflicts internally and external, then what is the point of social progress, or knowledge revolutions? With a knowing arrives a responsibility, to try, try to improve the human condition / s. These acts might be grand, or serve to improve, a little bit at a time.
If thinkers who have pushed thoughts to understand that peace is a possibility within regions of conflicts, it must then be pursued without a doubt.Anything less would be called ignorance. When we think of regions who have been torn by war for years on end, it doesn't mean that no one wants to solve these, it means that these issues have been ignored for years, because there are individuals / leaders who do not want the issues to be resolved. We can think of areas named in the middle-east, or humanitarian crisis' that are derived from natural disasters, such as earthquakes in Latin America, Haiti, Hurricane Maria, or Florence. The individuals that are struck by disaster are all important, meaning that one cause is not considered of more or lesser importance. All are worthy of thought, consideration, and action from the researchers point of view, however; one must eventually focus attention on specific topics / issues. From an organizational point of view such as International Organizations, who respond to conflict, disasters from war, they too must focus their attention on areas that are being served. But from a Government perspective, if a Government possesses the ability / capacity to facilitate a peace process in the middle east then they must do so. It is high time to recognize that peace can be facilitated and achieved. It is in the best interests of America to continue to maintain good relations with Israel, but also in the best interests to seek resolutions / solutions with Palestine. Not only for the sake of peace within this region, but also for the peace within America.
America is a nation that must understand that dependency for resources, from eastern civilizations can, and should not be sought through invasion and attacks. It must be sought through building good relations. That are reciprocal. Which also includes eastern nations / civilizations, being open to build these. And of course while we do think about the best interests of nations and needs, peace cannot be thought of as just the acquisition of resources. It is about the betterment of lives.
Imagine what one day, one week, month, year, or even forever, what peace sounds like to those who have only known, heard, or seen the wounds of war?
Congratulations to all the winners, nominees, supporters, and fans for the 70th Emmy Awards, class of 2018. You are all winners, thank you for keeping creativity alive, and thank you for showing the world that love does and continues to exist, with a wonderful first ever live Emmy wedding proposal from Glenn Weiss to girlfriend Jan Svendsen, congratulations, and congratulation to all who made the 70th Emmy Awards a success!!! :)
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think about my previous thoughts, particularly with regards to the TED talk analysis. While I do think that the professor took risks, I also think that it was necessary to open this conversation. Difficult, tense for many who have incurred the wounds of war, or lost loved ones, from within a nation and throughout the world. Whilst I also pushed thoughts to add theological perspectives, I would like to continue my thoughts to include these perspectives.
It is the internal fractures that are derived from external, and external derived from internal; historically to shape what is happening to the present day. While we can think of military forces evoke the power of God (Jesus) in the west, we can also compare this to military forces in the east, who also evoke the power of God (Allah). Now, as I wrote yesterday - God would probably prefer to be loved then fought for, but the very God that is being fought for is the cause of dispute. With dominant religions believing it is thier God / Allah that is the one true God, and others believing it is theirs, and so on. So it is not only a question of God, but also a question of which God, and whose God is the one true God?
But again I present another idea. Radical in the eyes of some, but also simple common sense. I question and ask as with all religions / spiritual belief of God; God desire is to be loved. To establish a closeness with God. But this does not have to be fought for, I requires love. What if we could establish this closeness with God and be respectful with each others religions, beliefs, not seeking a quest to establish who is right or wrong? And rather understand the connectedness within various beliefs to God. For example: We have to realize that the world, and what happened with 9/11 not only changed the USA, but many activities and relations that happen on an international scale. We could say it was an attack to wage war between the Eastern Islamic civilization and the Western world. But today after the retaliations, invasions, where we find a desire for peace, we must explore this possibility.
Regions of on-going tensions.
The war between civilizations and religions was caused by human beings. Not God. Even if anyone does believe that it was God, it wasn't. God has given human beings the power and capabilities of the intellect. To decide. Make decisions, about how to think, act, behave, and make decisions. We can add the disputed territories of the Middle-East. Gaza, Palestine, Israel, and the constructed wars in Syria, tensions between India, Pakistan, and the disputed territory of Kashmir. Regions where wars never end. Fights remain ignored, with little intervention or attention from the international community. We could question how these events in these regions affect what is happening in the west. They do affect affect relations, especially at the Government levels, where decisions are made of building or even breaking relations, even if it is not viewed right. We can think of the recent closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to exemplify these thoughts.
We can also question relations with Israel. While Israel and the Israeli people are contributors, investors, and citizens of the USA, Israel's crimes with the Palestinians have been overlooked and ignored for years. Some might ponder on retaliations from Hamas or any other organized group, but then we have to think -- are these groups not just doing the same as Israel?? Protecting territories??
We cannot ignore the power that is derived from money. This influences the protection of Israel over Palestine. But I question again, and wonder why should the human rights of the Palestinians be ignored, even if Israel possesses power from wealth? Is it right that the vulnerable, marginalized are being ignored? Just as the Israelis have a cause, so do the Palestinians. We are actually inherently connected to Israelis, because of land and religion.
The division have been created. Admit it or not. The divisions are purposely created so that tensions continue to exist.
Whilst the west has been protecting Israel for years, the USA dependance on resources from the East was fought for many many years. One could question that this was done so that relations with Israel were put first. But really the USA should be building relations with nations from the east in a state of: at peace. For support, trade relations, seeking resources, natural, human made, and so on. While the USA could fully build relations with the other nations, these have been reserved. It is time to realize that Israel must finally open its arms to peace, and understand the Palestinian right to land, agreements, whose unjust treatment has stemmed from power relations and exploitation. Internal fractures can only be healed once Israel, and parties from all ends of the disputed territories seek mechanisms for peace. And the USA must also realize that it is not right to cover up, or babysit Israel, and fight with other nations with the intention to claim resources.
As I close my eyes and drift way to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to reflect upon my previous thoughts, particularly with regards to the idea of America as a nation moving from at war, to that of at peace. I first wrote about this when I wanted the view of 9/11 to be shifted to that of honor and remembrance. I was always critical of the term never forget, but then later understood why it is necessary to keep boundaries, even if we desire peace. It shows boundaries, and also with that same desire for peace, tolerance levels; with a hope that tradegies such as these never happen again. Others could argue that tradegies happen in other regions, parts of the world, why does anyone who doesn't possess a care for America even care? The fact is that yes, tradegies do happen all over the world, but just as other nations value, honor, protect, and cherish thier nation, so too does the nation of America. Here we can draw similarities from nation to nation, to nation. Where there is a love and desire to protect the boundaries of nation. However, what is different about 9/11 is the aftermath, and the psychological forces that have been installed in the public. But to truly move to the status of at peace within a nation, is to conquer the fear that has been installed.
So as I read, heard that professors, and thinking institutions within America also desired this peace, I craved it more and more. Thoughts in a flux, sorting through them, as I realized that current racist policies, top-down abuses, unethical use of resources, being installed to create divisions, divides, and dichotomies that are not wanted or needed. What is more important than divisions is to truly understand our connectedness. We can relate these thoughts to the following TED talk that I recently watched:
Sam Richards, Award Winning Sociologist, Penn State University, USA
The professor takes risks, asks critical questions about what is happening internally within a nation. While I do agree that each nation has a right to protect, defend, I do become weary of nations who fight in the name of God in the West, and Jihadist / rebels in the East. While God is a strengthening force, a belief behind our action to strengthen resolve, what would God think of all the fighting?
We have to think. Did Jesus come to the Earth to create divisions? Did Prophets come to the Earth to create divisions? Anyone who walked the Earth spreading the message of God, had one purpose, and that was to bring human beings closer to God.
If we critically reflect on what is being said is this talk, remove sides. Remove all the social constructions. There is an opportunity to come to understand that God, the God that everyone fights for, didn't want humans to fight each other for him, but wanted human beings all over the world to love for his sake. Love each other for the sake of God.
Now we have come to this realization, through the words I have written, we can wear shoes of sympathy / empathy and also believe in the our interconnectedness. Realize, that while we fight / invade nations, wouldn't it be easier to create partnerships with nations, so that resources are shared and exchanged? We have to remember that even before the constructions of Nations, the world was one world, an ecosystem that needed resources from all parts of the World. So really when fighting for land / resources, we have to question and wonder that resources are for all. Instead of the fight, isn't is just easier to ask nations? It may sound easier said than done, but it can become a reality, if only we realize that there is enough for all; developed and developing nations. There is enough for all. Isn't is time the Governments / policy makers join together, hold hands to remind themselves, that whilst nations exist independently, there is an interdependency that can exist without wars and fights.
I would like to take the time to say a huge thank you to the Survivor Tree 9/11 memorial for offering seedlings to the regions of Parkland Fl., London, and Puerto Rico. Thank you for spreading hope in areas that have recently been struck with disaster and violence. A special thanks for also including Puerto Rico, a beautiful USA territory that is often ignored. Thank you for your inclusion!!
Me gustaría tomarme el tiempo para dar las gracias a la memoria del Árbol del Superviviente 9/11 por ofrecer plantones en las regiones de Parkland, Florida, y Puerto Rico. Gracias por difundir la esperanza en áreas que recientemente se vieron afectadas por desastres y violencia. Un agradecimiento especial por incluir también a Puerto Rico, un hermoso territorio de EE. UU. Que a menudo se ignora. ¡Gracias por tu inclusión!
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
Its interesting when we are able to observe from afar, and then come to understand that what was learned from afar is quite different to what is happening from within. For example: When we think of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the remembrances that happen all over the nation, we think of America as anti-Muslim, with remembrances to enforce Islamaphobia. While I do believe that systemic racism does exist, I also believe that Muslims living in America don't desire to have their lives disrupted with any kind of terrorism, from any kind of individual or group who puts a claim on terrorism. These ideas are reflective of who participates in remembrances, which also includes Muslims, and families of Muslims who lost their loved ones in this tragedy.
While we also hear of Muslim Bans that are put into place, reasons that are given are for Homeland Security. We can also question are the security measures that are derived from the Government, put in place because of invisible discrimination, that is covered in the form of Homeland Security? Although Government actions do effect public policy, what we hear and see at Government levels / practices is very different to what is happening within a nation.
Through listening to various talks given by American Professors, and reading articles - I am arriving at conclusions that suggest that there are internal divisions, which are not reflective of the severe policy such as:
*Muslim Bans *Zero Tolerance Policy *Border Crisis *Building the U.S. / Mexico Border wall
While I speak through my own opinion, trends and patterns suggest that thinking institutions within America are very much against these policies; especially the points mentioned above. So its not only the politicians, but also institutions who are fed up with policies that are inherently racist. While America is a nation that is made up of diverse cultures, heritages, and immigrants, it is important to remember that what is observed from afar is not always true for all. What a current administration / or Trump administration enforces is not a direct reflection of what is happening within a nation. To really understand a nation, climate, culture, and reality, one must possess some experience from within that nation.
Dedication: These thoughts are dedicated to all the thinking institutions, or any institution who is thinking beyond a nation at war, to that of at peace. To majority populations who are using their knowledge, or talents to raise awareness of the internal biases. Public consciousness can only be raised when we begin to talk tough, which also includes the offering of brutal truth.
God Bless You and God Bless America!!
My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :) Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on September 15th, 2018. Image 1 - Web Link
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
I have always said that being open to learning different perspectives are of value. After a new perspective is learned, what we choose to do with the perspective really depends on the person who learns the new perspectives, and the decision to act, not act, or simply think of the ideas as useful for personal development, and increasing awareness. This is what I thought when I was thinking about the response of the Trump Administration with regards to the numbers dispute, death tolls associated with hurricane Maria that struck Puerto Rico. While I am sure that death tolls are predicted as accurate from Puerto Rican officials / Mayor, I also wonder why the argument surrounding the death toll matters now, in the midst of hurricane Florence. Where there are now preparations / evacuations, and presidential weather information right in the White House. I'm guessing numbers do matter, the timing can also be thought of as a mechanism to reveal comparisons / contrasts, to preparedness, and the response to emergencies. For example: It is known that some residents are still waiting for assistance after the striking of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Even in Houston, Texas where the poorest of the poor are the slowest to receive assistance, after hurricane Harvey. But we can think and wonder about the responses from a systemic point of view, or the race of majority populations, in the island of Puerto Rico that is located in the Caribbean, and is also US territory. Were individuals / communities ignored on purpose because of their "race"? It could be argued as such. We can also add another perspective. Was the response ethical? Is it ethical to leave human beings to suffer, stranded, alone, knowing that families, communities could have survived, but were left to die?
In my opinion ethics do matter as to how a Government responds to humanitarian crisis within a nation, and also at the international level. In this case the national level, which includes Puerto Rico. Was the Government response ethical? This is a question worth exploring, to further understand / investigate the internal biases that exist within a nation such as: race, ethnicity, socio / economic class. We can also relate this question to the forced closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Washington. Was it ethical to shut down voices that are working for the desire for peace and diplomacy, internally, internationally in the middle -east?
Here we can connect the question of ethics, with the idea of power and control. While we preach freedom, democracy, equality, we also have to realize the many restrictions that are derived from Government control, that exercise control, and also limit freedoms. One could also argue how far a Government should be allowed to stretch power and control within a nation, especially if decision violate human rights, and the ethical treatment of voices, who desire to improve the human condition.
While a Government seeks to protect and secure a nation, protection and security can also be viewed as excuses for invisible discrimination, to enforce internal biases, and to look after the interests of the Government.
As we take the time to think about the examples that I have written here, we are also called to question the morals and values of a nation. One cannot uphold morals, values, and then purposely enforce unequal treatments of minority populations. Here we are called to deeply reflect. Morals and vales are not just things that you decide to uphold when you feel like it. They are put in place so that they are achieved across all the playing fields.