I don’t know if you have this radio program available to you, but if you don’t- you should check it out online! One of my favorite things to listen to, be inspired by, and just plain “cry” to is Peace Talks Radio. Weeks ago as I was driving to work, they were featuring one of my most loved programs on this planet- Creativity for Peace. “What is this savvy, amazing, peace instilling program that you speak of,” you may ask?
“Creativity for Peace includes a camp experience in the high desert of New Mexico for adolescent girls from all sides in the Middle East conflict. At the annual camp, the girls speak their minds and hearts about their own suffering due to the hostilities. Despite being taught to see the other as the enemy, they learn to get along and even be friends. More importantly perhaps, they learn important lessons in conflict resolution.”
I am a huge proponent of teaching people to listen- deeply listen- to resolve conflict and create healing in their hearts from traumatic or abusive situations. This program to me represents everything that can be accomplished in our world if we understand that words much of the time are just expressions of emotional release, and many times once they are expressed without judgment or reacting, healing can take place for both parties. Incorporating deep listening practices into your daily routine can be life changing- especially with those people that really know how to “yank your chain.”
This particular episode that I was listening to had two young girls, Palestinian Jwana Ghaleb and Israeli Jew May Freed, who have attended the camp and continue to work with it to help other girls resolve their inner conflicts due to the outer conflict of their cultural society, particularly between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. Their stories will drive you to great heart opening experiences, and give you the opportunity to see where you may need some healing yourself.
A long time ago, I heard an interview by a Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, where he talked about the anguish he experienced in losing 3 of his daughters and a niece due to an Israeli shell that hit his home in Gaza. Dr. Abuelaish served as a doctor in Israel, and had dedicated his life to serving those that many would call his enemies. In response to his experience, he wrote a book called “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey”. What was amazing about his interview to me, besides how incredible his spirit is to have dedicated his life to peace after an experience that could have perpetuated hate and conflict, was learning that one of his daughters that died in the bombing had actually attended Creativity for Peace, here in New Mexico.
My inspiration today lives in all of those that see beyond their own inner conflict and anger, and reach out to the world to heal rather than perpetuate the ego’s delusion of separation. Deep Listening is a practice that can be instilled in all of us- and if our children learned it at a young age, I feel we could change the world. To me, it is a meditative exercise that connects us to the hearts of one another, rather than our mind which is full of belief systems and a desire to be argumentative. I hope that you have time to listen to this radio show today, or check out Dr. Abuelaish’s book– or just think about someone that you might be angry with, and see them with compassion for their ignorance that may have caused you pain- or have compassion for yourself, which is so hard and difficult to do for many of us.
Give yourself a hug, by giving someone else a hug. Happy Friday!