Originally posted at Upworthy, this video reminds us of what the world needs most.
An enormously important decision came down from the Supreme Court on Friday, June 26. An amazing victory for the LGBT community and for our country. We are all better because of this decision. It upholds the highest values of our country, of our democracy. Justice for some helps justice for all. We’re all touched by the eloquence of Justice Kennedy as he writes about this decision:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
This is a thoughtful statement that evokes the humanity of this ruling. This is one of those times when we feel especially proud to be Americans, to see justice served and freedoms expanded.
PFP had a wonderful fundraiser at the great Flatbread Company in Providence on Tuesday, June 9. It was an enormous success. We were so pleased by all the people who enjoyed a pizza 4 peace. Thank you so much to all our friends, volunteers, family and colleagues who came out to support us. Thank you, too, to all the wonderful local companies, businesses and organizations who donated items for our Raffle/Silent Auction. Those things were excellent fundraising items, and we are so grateful for their generosity. We couldn’t be happier! Thanks again for all your help and support over the years.
This is the title of a great OpEd piece in the Providence Journal on Sunday, November 30, 2014 (page F 6). I was surprised to see that the article was written by Amanda Siegel, a senior at Rocky Hill School, a small independent school in RI. Good for her!
Her theme was to consider the value of a liberal arts education. The question is always, don’t college students need to be more practical? Acquire specific skills? Plan for their future vocations, not dally around learning about art, history, literature and the like? My favorite quote that supports the liberal arts was from Wesleyan University President Michael Roth, “liberal education intertwines the philosophical and rhetorical so that we learn how to learn, so that we continue both inquiry and cultural participation throughout our lives because learning has become part of who we are.” Her question is, “Isn’t that what we want for our students?” She points out that according to many, a liberal arts education leads to innovation. Tony Golsby-Smith, writing in the Harvard Business Review, stated that the most innovative thinkers come from the humanities and that”people trained in the humanities …have learned to play with big concepts, and to apply new ways of thinking to difficult problems that can’t be analyzed in conventional ways.” Siegel also quotes Steve Jobs as saying that “it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities that yields us that result that makes our heart sing.” Sounds good to me. Liberal arts and technology need not be mutually exclusive. Please check out this article and see what you think. Peace, Ginny Fox
Our 2014 Month of Peace was a wonderful time and great success with lots of different events, and we were fortunate to have some coverage of this special peace time by the Providence Journal, the premier local newspaper. Alisha Pina did a profile of Ginny Fox, founder and executive director of the Peace Flag Project; and Andy Smith wrote about the various events happening in September. Both articles were published on September 11, 2014. Here’s the link for Andy’s piece:
Please check out these thoughtful articles and appreciate all the good things that are happening in our little state. The Peace Flag Project’s Month of Peace both creates peace events during September and highlights other events that are reflective of a peaceful world. We hope you were part of some of those events, and we’d like you to join us in planning and celebrating peace in RI next September.
“Sitting meditation is an act of civilization.These days we are so busy, we don’t even have time to breathe. To take a moment to sit in stillness and cultivate peace, joy and compassion – that is civilization. And it is priceless.”
— Thich Nhat Hahn
This wonderful insight comes from Thich Nhat Hahn, one of the best known and respected Zen Masters in the world today. He is also a poet and human rights activist. He has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism. We read more and more about this important practice of meditation, and Thich Nhat Hahn explains how it is important not just to individuals — but to our whole society.
There are many ways to explore meditation, even in our small state, but we want to highlight one local teacher in Thich Nhat Hahn’s order — Joanne Friday. Joanne leads meditation retreats for sanghas and groups throughout the Northeast. She is the guiding teacher for the six sanghas which comprise the Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness, and she is also an Associate Chaplain at the University of Rhode Island. Please check out her website — www.joannefriday.com to where Joanne is teaching.
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” –Gloria Steinem
Some people may be surprised by Steinem’s broader, more generous definition of feminism. It’s certainly not how most people think of feminism. We have all been fortunate to have a wonderful spokesperson in Gloria Steinem; we have all benefited from her voice, her work and her insights. She recently celebrated her 80th birthday. A few months ago, Gloria Steinem was also honored by President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality. She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights. Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.
Watch this short interview with Steinem after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
For more information visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/medal-of-freedom
Read this thoughtful essay by Carol Bragg, a local person who has worked for peace for many years in our little state. She focuses on MLK's ideas about making nonviolence a way of life for each of us. King felt that nonviolence was important for individuals as well as a medium for social change
You’ve GOT TO read this wonderful story about a wonderful woman in our midst — Sister Ann Keefe –a local hero! What an amazing life she’s led, and how many organizations she’s founded! We are blessed to have her among us. The story is by Edward Fitzpatrick in the Providence Journal. Here are a few excerpts from the article, and the link for the full piece is below.
“With an election year under way, Rhode Island politicians will soon be listening to their fundraisers and pollsters, to their advisers and campaign managers. But first, they should listen to Sister Ann C. Keefe.
“In September, Sister Keefe received one of the “Women of Achievement” awards from the YWCA Rhode Island. And in her acceptance speech, she reminded the “elected and selected” that “public service is just that — it’s service.”
“Politicians often start with good intentions, Sister Keefe said in an interview. ‘But they get mixed up in the shuffle of this or that piece of legislation, or someone wants to get this one a job, or they make promises that shouldn’t be promised,’ she said. Even if they don’t realize it, they can come to value public power over public service; they can develop a sense of entitlement, she said. ‘Power has to be used for good, and you can’t confuse it. Once it gets confused, it can take a long time to figure it out again.’…
“Let’s get to the heart of what we are really about — inviting people to love each other,” she said. “There is no other message, no other way. When you and I are gone, the way we will be remembered is how by much we loved others.”
By that measure, Sister Keefe will be long remembered as a woman of great achievement.
This is a FIRST: Gubernatorial and mayoral candidates in RI will articulate their Vision of Nonviolence, focusing on nonviolence education in schools and nonviolent tools & strategies for communities.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 20, 2014 – 1:00 to 3:00 pm
265 Oxford Street, Providence – www.nonviolenceinstitute.org