A Formula For Peace
“We must once and for all admit that there is another side, that it has
feelings and that it is suffering, and that we are behaving disgracefully…Yes,
there is no other word for it: disgracefully. We have turned into a people of
petty fighters using the wrong tools.”
These words were spoken by four former chiefs of Israel’s powerful domestic
security service, Shin Bet. They headed the agency from 1980 to 2000. They
called for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
saying that the government should recognize that no peace agreement can be
reached without the involvement of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and that
Israel must stop the immoral treatment of Palestinians.
Maj. Gen. Ami Ayalon is a co-author of a peace petition that has been
signed by tens of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians. He said: “We are
taking sure and measured steps to a point where the state of Israel will no
longer be a democracy and a home for the Jewish people.”
The security chiefs denounced Sharon’s military and political tactics,
including clampdowns on Palestinians in the West Bank and joined Israeli Air
Force pilots in calling the use of missiles and bombs to kill militants in
civilian neighborhoods, “immoral.”
Israel is “going in the direction of decline, nearly a catastrophe” on
almost every level. “If something doesn’t happen here, we will continue to
live the sword, we will continue to wallow in the mud, and we will continue to
The above information appeared on November 15, 2003 and was complied for
the Washington Post by Molly Moore.
The United States, England, and others, need to heed these words. War and
killing do not stop war and killing. Peace comes from opening the heart center
and being an example of love and compassion in the world.
September 11th, the Film
Recently we saw a film called “September 11.” It contained eleven films,
each of which ran no more than nine minutes and eleven seconds. Each was made
from a different perspective by film makers in different parts of the world
who were reflecting on September 11, 2001. The perspectives ranged from
children in Iran who didn’t know what the teacher meant by "towers", to a deaf
woman who missed the event altogether, to a missing NY Muslim young man who
was thought to be a terrorist until it was discovered he died a hero trying to
save people at the towers, to a bereaved man whose tiny apartment is filled
with sunlight for the first time since his wife’s death when the towers go
The wonderful thing about this collection was that it unmistakably
universalized the event which is too often seen as happening to the United
States or to New York City. What happened on 9/11 happened to humanity. What
took place that day was simultaneously one of the most horrific episodes in
human history and one of the most brilliantly planned and executed attacks in
long term memory. The world was equally as grief-stricken as the perpetrators
were ecstatic and proud.
The film, “September 11,” demanded that its viewers expand themselves
beyond national or personal interest. It insisted that we acknowledge all
human suffering, all injustice, and all religious and political points of
In what was one of the most powerful entries, a bereft, exiled Chilean in
London writes to New Yorkers to share their grief because on September 11,
1973, the rejoicing and celebrating (by millions) of Allende's Communist Party
victory turned to tears, screams, and bloodshed as the US CIA instigated and
helped to overthrow the new government and, with Kissinger’s direct
interception, installed instead the puppet Pinochet who is credited with the
torture and murder of over 30,000 Chileans.
One cannot hear that distraught man without lamenting over what all
countries, including the United States, have committed as acts of terror to
further their own political and financial interests.
Before we went to war in Iraq, for reasons true or fabricated, there were
those in our Senate who called for Saddam’s assassination. Among them was
Joseph Lieberman, a former candidate for Vice President who is now seeking to
become the Democratic nominee for President. Lieberman is a prime example of
Holy War mentality. He labels others as evil and fully supports their
cold-blooded murder – all this in the name of peace-keeping in the world.
Sometimes I wonder if we have not all gone mad, being completely blinded by
our position and our demand that it prevail uber alles. In the US rush to
bring democracy to every corner of the world, whether suitable or not for the
prevailing circumstances, we risk echoing the ominous words from World War II,
“tomorrow the world.”
My regret is that the film “September 11” left our art theatre after only
one week. But it is perhaps rentable and it is a must for any thinking/feeling
The film promotes functioning consciously and seeks to help us all lift up
out of the prison of nationalism.
Patriotism, which appears to be very popular, is a form of partisanship,
which is really separatism, which is an illusion that locks us into a plane of
suffering most aptly called purgatory. We can hope that this is not Earth’s
Our housekeeper, a 38-year-old from Mexico, works with her husband and
cleans at least three houses per day. The work they do is excellent and the
quality of their character is high. They are both young enough to be able to
sustain a heavy work load (he also works on weekends), raise their children,
maintain their own house, and support their extended family.
Our housekeeper is also intelligent, with a strong desire to learn, to
improve her English, and to prepare for college so that she can enter a
helping profession. Hence, in addition to her many work hours and her numerous
responsibilities, our housekeeper is attending school and making her dream a
I have been so impressed with her purposefulness that I offered my
services, pro bono, to help improve her pronunciation of English. Speech was
my major in college and I taught it in high school 33 years ago. In our first
session, I came away soaring with joy. I had never worked with anyone who
wanted so much to learn, who took what I gave her and applied it instantly,
who delighted in every small achievement, and whose whole being asked for
more. In fact, at my suggestion, her husband joined our sessions and we meet
for an hour once a week before they embark on a full day’s labor.
I have worked with many people over the years, in many arenas, teaching and
counseling. In every case, I have discovered that motivation is the most
important factor accounting for achievement.
Being smart means little if caring is missing. Being privileged, having
everything offered to you because you were born into a family of means,
contributes little or nothing to success, and often detracts from it. Having
opportunities and not seizing them is a waste.
I have known many dilettantes who came to study because they had the means
and curiosity, but their willingness to change and grow has often been
lacking. I always extend myself for people who come full of purpose, are
highly motivated, and who apply what they are learning.
When I was young, and lacking in means, I was offered scholarships time and
again because I was not only talented, but ready and willing to embody all
that I was being taught.
My housekeeper is working hard to become a Social Worker, to do something
meaningful with her life. It is a privilege to support such an endeavor in
There are many things I can teach, but I have not yet figured out how to
instill motivation in someone who has little or none. I know such people and
they choose a passive approach to life. They wait for life to happen to them.
If something good comes along, they are mildly glad. I can understand that,
because they themselves did nothing to create the reality.
As a highly motivated and purposeful person, I cannot fathom a passive life
or a mild response to anything. My life is always in full, living color, never
faded or dull. And it doesn’t just happen that way. It is the result of fully
meeting each moment of life and meeting it in such a way that I help to lift
that moment to its next level. What I find is that there are no limits to the
next levels. There is only more.
My housekeeper is bright, excited, open, and ready. It is as if she is
inside the seed pod of an astoundingly beautiful flower that is ready to burst
upon the garden of life with overwhelming scent, extraordinary delicacy, and
Such budding human beings are everywhere around us. Nothing will stop them
because their motivational stem is deeply rooted in Mother Earth. They really
don’t need us to flower. But as we notice these beings, it is important that
we water their fledgling selves. It is our duty.