• 147th International Peace Meditation “Waiting to Receive”

    “Waiting to Receive”

    March 1, 2009 — We’re nearing the end of February 2009. Americans are barely past the inauguration of a new President. The economy is affecting most, if not all, people worldwide. Greed has been exposed, and it shocks our sensibilities. Arguments over regulation and de-regulation, or lack of regulation, abound. Trust has been violated; homes and jobs have been lost; savings have dwindled; and fear abounds. The stimulus package has many already in line to receive. What are we about to receive?

    When a crisis hits, it also creates a crisis of confidence that may be far more serious that the original challenge. Trust, the basis of all relationship, erodes, and may even disappear. The institutions built to protect us have failed to some degree, and we are left feeling vulnerable. We look for quick solutions to ease the downturn, whether in financial or health crises, and put our hope in what is selected as the best approach. If financial, in-pouring of money. If medical, in-pouring of appropriate supplies or medications. If weather related, activation of those resources designed to address the issues of cold, heat, flooding, famine, or disease. In other words, we create systems to address other system failures, or catastrophes. We build systems to address oversight of business, education, healthcare, transportation, etc. When there is a failure of any system to address, or lack of capacity to address, any given issue, we are left vulnerable and afraid. Vulnerability is our greatest threat.

    Looking back, we can see that the failures of a few have created doubts where there was once almost unlimited trust. Consider religious leaders who have abused children, or drugs. Scandals of political leaders so outrageous that we wonder how we could have elected them. Abuse of the disabled who depend totally on the care and goodwill of others. Abuse of children by those who brought them into the world only to disdain their very existence. Murders as part of initiations. Beheadings that reveal nothing human in the make-up of the perpetrators. Wars that overpower some to elevate others. And we are left wondering where to turn, whom to trust, and what we can still believe in.

    As we wait to receive that answer, we need to go back to basics. We need to go back to the human spirit and the Creator of all. We need to come back empty to learn. We need a new perspective, a new will, and a sense of the revival of hope within our own soul. We need to accept responsibility for our decisions and actions. And, we need to create within our own hearts a fresh start.

    The institutions that failed us are our own creation. We can rebuild them, but differently. We can eliminate greed in our own lives, and refuse to accept it in others. We can recognize that “something for nothing” is greed. We can see that greed got us into this financial mess, and untangling and rebuilding can make it solvent again.

    We can put in controls, and then enforce them. We can stop the creation of over-wealth, and build a nation of people who look out for one another. We can be suspicious when bonuses and salaries are exorbitant, and hold accountable those who manipulate the loopholes. We can elect people who really care instead of those whose self-interest requires recognition. We can wake up! What we have created is our own. We did it. Now, we need to build anew.

    We need to look at how our leaders live to assess their ability to lead. Why must they live in luxury when those they “serve” are crying out in poverty, lack of healthcare, and unequal education? Why do we teach our children to look up to some athletes who break laws, abuse drugs, and fail to set a quality example? Have we allowed capitalism to not only empower us, but to overpower us? Where are the common sense, human controls?

    We need to stop and listen internally. What about those tenets we were taught in all of our religions–to love one another, and to treat others as we would have them treat us? In our need to consume, have we forgotten the one thing that distinguishes us as human: Empathy? If we do not have the capacity to feel for, and care about, another human, all of our institutions will fail. Our philanthropic organizations will become only social, replacing the serious work of addressing societal concerns.

    If we lose empathy, we will not truly care about each student, or patient. We will value some, and disregard others. Truthfully, isn’t this already happening?

    Perhaps the most direct measure of a society is how it cares for its young, disabled, poor, and elderly. Yet, when budgets are cut, it is often the vulnerable in society who, again, bear the brunt. ‘Read the fine print’ is a common saying to prompt us to look into the details. Medicaid cuts, physician potential loss of control for choosing the best medications for their patients, lack of reimbursement for ventilator therapy and rehabilitation, and direction of education funding in ways that are not equal, are a few of the issues we must address.

    If you want to see for yourself, visit suburban schools in high income school districts. Then compare them with the conditions of the lowest performing urban schools where you may find, as I did, a lack of certified teachers; lack of instructional materials; children unable to go outside during the daytime for fear of drive-by shootings; and syringes on the walkway to the elementary school. We need to take individual responsibility to examine these issues and many more for truth before we turn the responsibility back to those we “trust,” and avoid our own personal responsibility for outcomes.

    A True Democracy, where all are equal and all are truly free, needs to be constructed first in the minds and the hearts of its people.

    This Meditation is dedicated to all the honest, caring, people who still believe in the goodness and the greatness of the human spirit, and turn these beliefs into actions.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director

    ** Unity Pledge **

    We welcome the advent of the new Millennium. We will meet its challenge by first acknowledging that our planet is rich with diversity, but one in humanity. Together we pledge that we will support only the programs and legislation that elevate all people toward equality. We desire to live in peace with our brothers and sisters internationally, and will work toward equity of opportunity in every area of our lives. We celebrate our commitment to improving international relations by living peacefully while sharing active concern for those less fortunate. Together we unite in our desire to end oppression, hunger, and poverty by seeking educational opportunities, including access to technology, for all.

    ** Unity Pledge is part of the Proclamation for International Unity Day held annually on September 11. For more information, and to join in this global movement, go to www.humanempowerment.org and click on the globe.

    Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of Sunday, March 1, and again the first Sunday of every month. We are in our 13th year of continuous meditation. Forward our Meditation to all in your address book; make copies for your religious and spiritual brochures and bulletins.

    Important Dates to Remember:

    September 11, Annually     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.

    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.

    You may contribute online via PayPal:

    Or send your contributions to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York 12203 USA
    Please make checks or money orders out to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a
    501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    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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