Peace at your hearth

A home should be a refuge, a safe place for folks to retreat to. However, unless you live alone (which is not without issue) then sharing a home means needing to co-operate with others. Peace at your hearth contributes greatly to scope for inner peace, and for having the equilibrium to tackle the rest of the world. A home without peace is not much of a home at all. However, peace in the home has to be a shared project, if not everyone is in residence is committed to creating a harmonious space, you have no hope of making it work.

I think the most critical elements for developing peace in the home are care and respect. Where these exist, then dealing with difficulties is relatively straight forwards. Without care and respect amongst co-habitors, conflict is probably inevitable. While circumstances can mean some of us end up living in such conditions, it’s well worth avoiding or moving away from if you can.

With care and respect, differences of need and opinion can be tackled through dialogue. Avoiding blame as much as possible, and focusing on solutions and ways forward, it’s possible to resolve most things well. A peaceful household is a more effective one, harnessing collective skills and strengths, offering mutual support and taking into account the needs, abilities and shortcomings of all those involved. 

People are more likely to be peaceful and co-operative when they are happy. Making sure everyone has what they need, that resources are distributed fairly, that everyone gets a say in key matters and that decisions are explained, all contributes to happiness and overall tranquillity. A household culture in which good contributions are praised, and efforts are noticed and encouraged, is more conducive to peace. Care and respect are attitudes which have to be expressed in an ongoing way through word and deed.

It is not necessary for people to love each other for this kind of arrangement to work. Any kind of space sharing, or resource sharing can work well if all parties approach things in a spirit of care and respect. Where people do love each other, the sharing of a peaceful, nurturing environment can be even more beneficial.

Muslim Mosque and Religious Intolerance—Where Does it End?

Building a Muslim mosque in New York close to the 9/11 ground zero site has raised some serious issues as well as anger. I can understand the anger some people have over this issue. My feelings are a little mixed and I wonder why anyone would even think that building a Muslim mosque in that area would go over well. That being said, I am also scared at the level of intolerance that this country is showing now.

I will admit that I am no fan of the Muslim religion, but I feel that way about other religions as well. One can argue that the Koran says that Muslims should kill those who do not share their beliefs and so Muslims are dangerous, but the same can be said about the Bible and Christians. I am very familiar with the Bible, but admit I know very little about the Koran. The Bible is one of the most violent books I have ever read. What about all of the atrocities committed by Christians throughout history? Who can forget the crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries—the religious military campaigns in the Middle East—Christians killing Muslims in an attempt to take the holy land from them. And what about all the poor women and some men accused of witchcraft and killed during the European witch hunts from the 14th to the 18th centuries? What about Christians bombing abortion clinics? Do we abolish Christian churches because of a few radical Christians? Or what about all the reports of Catholic priests molesting children? Do we punish all of that faith because of what a few deviant priests did? Is it okay to kill in the name of religion as long as it’s the RIGHT religion?        

I don’t see anything different with the Muslims that flew planes into the World Trade Center and any other acts committed by radical religious nuts. The 9/11 Muslims don’t speak for all Muslims. So is it right to punish other Muslims for what those few did? Where does it end? I feel there is a certain faction in this country that wants America to be like Iran where only one religion is worshipped—and that would be the Christian faith. These people are truly un-American and seek to destroy the freedoms of being an American and the principals that this country was founded on. They can call President Obama a Nazi, a Socialist, a Muslim, or whatever, but he defended the religious freedom in America by saying that they have a right to build their Muslim mosque. The way I see it, today these people want to drive out Muslims, and tomorrow they will be burning pagans or anyone that doesn’t follow their religious agenda. This scares the hell out of me and I hope this country wakes up and realizes that things could get much worse.

Any thoughts on this?

Kelley Heckart

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