• 129th International Peace Meditation “For the Love of Dogs”

    “For the Love of Dogs”

    September 2, 2007–Dogs have more than earned the reputation of man’s best friend. Even as I write, our family white Boxer named Jeter is giving me lots of attention and love. Of course, we love him, and demonstrate our love with good care. But, what we give in care doesn’t even begin to compare with what he gives us in loyalty, love, and protection.

    The media recently has jarred us with horrible images and stories of the torture and killing of dogs used for gambling. One would wonder how anyone with any heart could do this. Where is the empathy that defines us as human? Why are too many humans less compassionate than the animals we use to complete our families?

    Where has human compassion gone when we execute a species we have domesticated, teach our children by example to kill in the name of religion, and leave our homeless unprotected from the elements, and forgotten? What is happening to our “humanity”? Will there come a time when “humanity” no longer equates to “empathy”? What will we be then? Isn’t that what we commonly refer to as “animals”? Are we reverting to a time when caring may not have existed? Have we forgotten to teach love?

    How do we teach love? By example? By caring? By respect? By nurturing? By tolerance? How should we teach love? Let’s go back to some basics.

    A child enters the world completely helpless. After approximately 9 months in the womb, the baby enters the world unable to care for itself. All of the touch, sound, and warmth of emotion accompanied by taking care of basic needs, teaches that baby to begin to trust. We can see an example of trust when the toddler wants to go only to those people recognized as trustworthy-the ones who have provided for those basic needs. Later that small circle expands to include teachers and friends who can be counted upon. This is a foundation for learning whom to trust as an adult. This could prove to be our most important lesson.

    As adults, we often become confused about whom to trust, depend upon, or respond to, in personal and professional relationships. Trusting the wrong person can result in a failed relationship, loss of career, and/or financial hardship. It can result in great emotional pain. We need to be extremely careful about who can be trusted while simultaneously having a great love and respect for all humanity. It is an awesome challenge! It is a challenge that can also mean life or death in many situations.

    Lately we have also seen media coverage of extreme interpretations of a variety of religious beliefs. Our media is showing us the extreme, even fanatical, expressions of some religious practices. Extremism is dangerous. The intended result that would promote positive human experience and development is missed due to focus on an interpretation that is manipulated for another purpose. We need to trust only those teachings that promote love, unity, and empathy.

    How do we know when to trust? How do we know if a religious teaching is being manipulated for political gain? Whether a person loves us as we are, or there is another motive such as financial or social gain? Whether an animal loves us only when a basic need for food and shelter is met, or whether there is a strong unspoken connection between our pets and us? Perhaps knowing who to trust is our greatest lesson. And to learn it, we must begin to respect and “listen to” our basic instinct we often call our “gut instinct.”

    We can also look for examples of great love to emulate, as well as study teachings about love. Real love is not fake. It is not manufactured. It is intense and gentle. It can be seen in healthy self-love observed by self-care as well as caring for others. Love of humanity is broad and is reflected in great writings, art, music, and entertainment that bring relief to those too heavily burdened. Love of humanity is often seen in heroic acts, but is also reflected by physicians who are truly healers as opposed to businessmen and women; attorneys who take on important causes because they care deeply; people who volunteer to help others in need, and caring people who protect and serve.

    Leaders who do not truly have a love for humanity should not be elected as their need for power over people rather than power through people will take a terrible toll. People who desire power to control rather than to lead should be suspect. People who have devious motives or agendas must not be trusted. Leadership of our countries, which often translates to shared world leadership, must be selected carefully.

    Perhaps we should retreat and reexamine whom to trust. Those of us who love animals could take a lesson in what we need in our relationships and leaders: love, loyalty, and protection. Caring. Giving without expectation of return. Compassion. Empathy. Vision. These are character and leadership attributes that should not be ignored. It is important to look at all of a person’s known previous actions and not be misled by unfounded promises and charisma.

    Internal Guidance, profound intuition or “gut instinct” that can lead us in decision-making, is important for us to develop. Recognizing those who respect all life is as important in electing leaders as it is in selecting our mate. Paying attention to feelings, doubts, or even physical reactions in our bodies can give us clues. We all know more than we can remember because we are products of years of experience. Although we may not consciously remember, our minds have a huge store of experience. When we violate that experience, refusing to follow our gut instinct we call Knowledge, we make decisions that can have major consequences for ourselves, our families, and our world.

    We need to go back to basics. We can learn a lot from our dogs.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    Important Dates to Remember:

    September 11     International Unity Day

    Please join us in this essential annual commemoration. You can find out more by going to www.humanempowerment.org and selecting the globe.

    May 10, 2008     Second Annual Fibromyalgia Conference

    Please mark your calendars for our Second Annual Fibromyalgia Conference to be held at Price Chopper Community Room in Schenectady, New York. Watch for updates by going to www.humanempowerment.org and selecting “Fibromyalgia” in the menu bar.

    Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of Sunday, September 2, and again the first Sunday of every month. The International Institute for Human Empowerment, Inc. is completing 10½ years of continuous International Peace Meditations. Forward our Meditation to all in your address book; make copies for your religious and spiritual brochures and bulletins.

    The International Peace Meditation invites people of all faiths to participate. The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc., a 501C3 charity registered in New York State, is not a member of any religion in order that it may serve all.

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    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491

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