Be Well Be Happy

March 8 was International Women’s Day. I cannot help but think of the women enduring the crisis and turmoil in the Ukraine. Some of them are joining forces with the men to defend their country. Some of them are sending their kids with their parents, putting on uniforms and standing their ground. Those who are pregnant have limited access to care—imagine the fear.  Supplies are limited so hygiene becomes an issue. Think of the everyday. 

 My heart tells me that in this day and age, this should not be. How does one pick up a gun against another at close range and pull the trigger? How can it be that families are targeted? How does one lead the air strike on a maternity hospital?  It is incomprehensible to me that one man and a minority can initiate such atrocities and that it continues to go on. 

The consequences of war—death, injury, sexual violence, PTSD, depression—do not go away and create negative effects way beyond the events. There is no “win” that could validate or soften any of it. Isn’t it time for a change? Isn’t it time to deny the force of war?

Dalai Lama, Feb. 28th: “I have been deeply saddened by the conflict in Ukraine.

Our world has become so interdependent that violent conflict between two countries inevitably impacts the rest of the world. War is outdated—non-violence is the only way. We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as brothers and sisters. This is how we will build a more peaceful world.

Problems and disagreements are best resolved through dialogue. Genuine peace comes about through mutual understanding and respect for each other’s wellbeing.

We must not lose hope. The 20th century was a century of war and bloodshed. The 21st century must be a century of dialogue. I pray that peace is swiftly restored in Ukraine.”

If we look at every other human being as a brother or sister, we will be able to coexist and work toward resolution. In real terms, if you know someone whose siblings don’t really get along, you also know that they won’t kill each other. If war was not an option, what would the action be? The mindset has to change, like the Dalia Lama says. What can inspire the powers that be to think differently? To think more about positive effects and their legacy as sacred and significant? To step back knowing that what is intangible is more important than what can be had and conquered?

I believe in the power of focused intention. Let’s take the Dalai Lama’s words and make a powerful mantra:  Let us be one with humanity and use peaceful means to settle our differences. Let peace and unity be primary, and money and power secondary. 

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be compassionate. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.

By Paulette Mancuso

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