Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Human Approach to World Peace

A Human Approach to World Peace

When we rise in the morning and listen to the radio or read the newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, and disasters. I cannot recall a single day without a report of something terrible happening somewhere. Even in these modern times it is clear that one's precious life is not safe. No former generation has had to experience so much bad news as we face today; this constant awareness of fear and tension should make any sensitive and compassionate person question seriously the progress of our modern world.

It is ironic that the more serious problems emanate from the more industrially advanced societies. Science and technology have worked wonders in many fields, but the basic human problems remain. There is unprecedented literacy, yet this universal education does not seem to have fostered goodness, but only mental restlessness and discontent instead. There is no doubt about the increase in our material progress and technology, but somehow this is not sufficient as we have not yet succeeded in bringing about peace and happiness or in overcoming suffering.

We can only conclude that there must be something seriously wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check it in time there could be disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. I am not at all against science and technology - they have contributed immensely to the overall experience of humankind; to our material comfort and well-being and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But if we give too much emphasis to science and technology we are in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism.

Science and technology, though capable of creating immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped world civilization, in all its national forms, as we know it today. No one can deny the unprecedented material benefit of science and technology, but our basic human problems remain; we are still faced with the same, if not more, suffering, fear, and tension. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values.

I am sure that many people share my concern about the present worldwide moral crisis and will join in my appeal to all humanitarians and religious practitioners who also share this concern to help make our societies more compassionate, just, and equitable. I do not speak as a Buddhist or even as a Tibetan. Nor do I speak as an expert on international politics (though I unavoidably comment on these matters). Rather, I speak simply as a human being, as an upholder of the humanitarian values that are the bedrock not only of Mahayana Buddhism but of all the great world religions. From this perspective I share with you my personal outlook - that:
  1. Universal humanitarianism is essential to solve global problems;
  2. Compassion is the pillar of world peace;
  3. All world religions are already for world peace in this way, as are all humanitarians of whatever ideology;
  4. Each individual has a universal responsibility to shape institutions to serve human needs.
Solving Human Problems through Transforming Human Attitudes

Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected. One such type arises from the conflict of ideologies, political or religious, when people fight each other for petty ends, losing sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a single human family. We must remember that the different religions, ideologies, and political systems of the world are meant for human beings to achieve happiness. We must not lose sight of this fundamental goal and at no time should we place means above ends; the supremacy of humanity over matter and ideology must always be maintained.

By far the greatest single danger facing humankind - in fact, all living beings on our planet - is the threat of nuclear destruction. I need not elaborate on this danger, but I would like to appeal to all the leaders of the nuclear powers who literally hold the future of the world in their hands, to the scientists and technicians who continue to create these awesome weapons of destruction, and to all the people at large who are in a position to influence their leaders: I appeal to them to exercise their sanity and begin to work at dismantling and destroying all nuclear weapons. We know that in the event of a nuclear war there will be no victors because there will be no survivors! Is it not frightening just to contemplate such inhuman and heartless destruction? And, is it not logical that we should remove the cause for our own destruction when we know the cause and have both the time and the means to do so? Often we cannot overcome our problems because we either do not know the cause or, if we understand it, do not have the means to remove it. This is not the case with the nuclear threat.

Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security. Life is as dear to the mute animal as it is to any human being; even the simplest insect strives for protection from dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with all other creatures in the universe, though their power to effect this is a different matter.

Broadly speaking there are two types of happiness and suffering, mental and physical, and of the two, I believe that mental suffering and happiness are the more acute. Hence, I stress the training of the mind to endure suffering and attain a more lasting state of happiness. However, I also have a more general and concrete idea of happiness: a combination of inner peace, economic development, and, above all, world peace. To achieve such goals I feel it is necessary to develop a sense of universal responsibility, a deep concern for all irrespective of creed, colour, sex, or nationality.

The premise behind this idea of universal responsibility is the simple fact that, in general terms, all others' desires are the same as mine. Every being wants happiness and does not want suffering. If we, as intelligent human beings, do not accept this fact, there will be more and more suffering on this planet. If we adopt a self-centred approach to life and constantly try to use others for our own self-interest, we may gain temporary benefits, but in the long run we will not succeed in achieving even personal happiness, and world peace will be completely out of the question.

In their quest for happiness, humans have used different methods, which all too often have been cruel and repellent. Behaving in ways utterly unbecoming to their status as humans, they inflict suffering upon fellow humans and other living beings for their own selfish gains. In the end, such shortsighted actions bring suffering to oneself as well as to others. To be born a human being is a rare event in itself, and it is wise to use this opportunity as effectively and skillfully as possible. We must have the proper perspective that of the universal life process, so that the happiness or glory of one person or group is not sought at the expense of others.

All this calls for a new approach to global problems. The world is becoming smaller and smaller - and more and more interdependent - as a result of rapid technological advances and international trade as well as increasing trans-national relations. We now depend very much on each other. In ancient times problems were mostly family-size, and they were naturally tackled at the family level, but the situation has changed. Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other, that without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really are part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to our very existence - let alone bring about peace and happiness.

One nation's problems can no longer be satisfactorily solved by itself alone; too much depends on the interest, attitude, and cooperation of other nations. A universal humanitarian approach to world problems seems the only sound basis for world peace. What does this mean? We begin from the recognition mentioned previously that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one's own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others also when pursuing our own happiness. This will lead to what I call 'wise self-interest', which hopefully will transform itself into 'compromised self-interest', or better still, 'mutual interest'.

Although the increasing interdependence among nations might be expected to generate more sympathetic cooperation, it is difficult to achieve a spirit of genuine cooperation as long as people remain indifferent to the feelings and happiness of others. When people are motivated mostly by greed and jealousy, it is not possible for them to live in harmony. A spiritual approach may not solve all the political problems that have been caused by the existing self-centered approach, but in the long run it will overcome the very basis of the problems that we face today.

On the other hand, if humankind continues to approach its problems considering only temporary expediency, future generations will have to face tremendous difficulties. The global population is increasing, and our resources are being rapidly depleted. Look at the trees, for example. No one knows exactly what adverse effects massive deforestation will have on the climate, the soil, and global ecology as a whole. We are facing problems because people are concentrating only on their short-term, selfish interests, not thinking of the entire human family. They are not thinking of the earth and the long-term effects on universal life as a whole. If we of the present generation do not think about these now, future generations may not be able to cope with them.
Compassion as the Pillar of World Peace
According to Buddhist psychology, most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities. The pursuit of the objects of our desire and attachment involves the use of aggression and competitiveness as supposedly efficacious instruments. These mental processes easily translate into actions, breeding belligerence as an obvious effect. Such processes have been going on in the human mind since time immemorial, but their execution has become more effective under modern conditions. What can we do to control and regulate these 'poisons' - delusion, greed, and aggression? For it is these poisons that are behind almost every trouble in the world.

As one brought up in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, I feel that love and compassion are the moral fabric of world peace. Let me first define what I mean by compassion. When you have pity or compassion for a very poor person, you are showing sympathy because he or she is poor; your compassion is based on altruistic considerations. On the other hand, love towards your wife, your husband, your children, or a close friend is usually based on attachment. When your attachment changes, your kindness also changes; it may disappear. This is not true love. Real love is not based on attachment, but on altruism. In this case your compassion will remain as a humane response to suffering as long as beings continue to suffer.

This type of compassion is what we must strive to cultivate in ourselves, and we must develop it from a limited amount to the limitless. Undiscriminating, spontaneous, and unlimited compassion for all sentient beings is obviously not the usual love that one has for friends or family, which is alloyed with ignorance, desire, and attachment. The kind of love we should advocate is this wider love that you can have even for someone who has done harm to you: your enemy.

The rationale for compassion is that every one of us wants to avoid suffering and gain happiness. This, in turn, is based on the valid feeling of '1', which determines the universal desire for happiness. Indeed, all beings are born with similar desires and should have an equal right to fulfill them. If I compare myself with others, who are countless, I feel that others are more important because I am just one person whereas others are many. Further, the Tibetan Buddhist tradition teaches us to view all sentient beings as our dear mothers and to show our gratitude by loving them all. For, according to Buddhist theory, we are born and reborn countless numbers of times, and it is conceivable that each being has been our parent at one time or another. In this way all beings in the universe share a family relationship.

Whether one believes in religion or not, there is no one who does not appreciate love and compassion. Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. If at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon others' kindness, why then in the middle should we not act kindly towards others?
The development of a kind heart (a feeling of closeness for all human beings) does not involve the religiosity we normally associate with conventional religious practice. It is not only for people who believe in religion, but is for everyone regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. It is for anyone who considers himself or herself, above all, a member of the human family and who sees things from this larger and longer perspective. This is a powerful feeling that we should develop and apply; instead, we often neglect it, particularly in our prime years when we experience a false sense of security.

When we take into account a longer perspective, the fact that all wish to gain happiness and avoid suffering, and keep in mind our relative unimportance in relation to countless others, we can conclude that it is worthwhile to share our possessions with others. When you train in this sort of outlook, a true sense of compassion - a true sense of love and respect for others - becomes possible. Individual happiness ceases to be a conscious self-seeking effort; it becomes an automatic and far superior by-product of the whole process of loving and serving others.

Another result of spiritual development, most useful in day-to-day life, is that it gives a calmness and presence of mind. Our lives are in constant flux, bringing many difficulties. When faced with a calm and clear mind, problems can be successfully resolved. When, instead, we lose control over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy, and anger, we lose our sense of judgement. Our minds are blinded and at those wild moments anything can happen, including war. Thus, the practice of compassion and wisdom is useful to all, especially to those responsible for running national affairs, in whose hands lie the power and opportunity to create the structure of world peace.

World Religions for World Peace

The principles discussed so far are in accordance with the ethical teachings of all world religions. I maintain that every major religion of the world - Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism - has similar ideals of love, the same goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making their followers into better human beings. All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions of mind, body, and speech. All teach us not to lie or steal or take others' lives, and so on. The common goal of all moral precepts laid down by the great teachers of humanity is unselfishness. The great teachers wanted to lead their followers away from the paths of negative deeds caused by ignorance and to introduce them to paths of goodness.

All religions agree upon the necessity to control the undisciplined mind that harbours selfishness and other roots of trouble, and each teaches a path leading to a spiritual state that is peaceful, disciplined, ethical, and wise. It is in this sense that I believe all religions have essentially the same message. Differences of dogma may be ascribed to differences of time and circumstance as well as cultural influences; indeed, there is no end to scholastic argument when we consider the purely metaphysical side of religion. However, it is much more beneficial to try to implement in daily life the shared precepts for goodness taught by all religions rather than to argue about minor differences in approach.

There are many different religions to bring comfort and happiness to humanity in much the same way as there are particular treatments for different diseases. For, all religions endeavour in their own way to help living beings avoid misery and gain happiness. And, although we can find causes for preferring certain interpretations of religious truths, there is much greater cause for unity, stemming from the human heart. Each religion works in its own way to lessen human suffering and contribute to world civilization. Conversion is not the point. For instance, I do not think of converting others to Buddhism or merely furthering the Buddhist cause. Rather, I try to think of how I as a Buddhist humanitarian can contribute to human happiness.

While pointing out the fundamental similarities between world religions, I do not advocate one particular religion at the expense of all others, nor do I seek a new 'world religion'. All the different religions of the world are needed to enrich human experience and world civilization. Our human minds, being of different calibre and disposition, need different approaches to peace and happiness. It is just like food. Certain people find Christianity more appealing, others prefer Buddhism because there is no creator in it and everything depends upon your own actions. We can make similar arguments for other religions as well. Thus, the point is clear: humanity needs all the world's religions to suit the ways of life, diverse spiritual needs, and inherited national traditions of individual human beings.

It is from this perspective that I welcome efforts being made in various parts of the world for better understanding among religions. The need for this is particularly urgent now. If all religions make the betterment of humanity their main concern, then they can easily work together in harmony for world peace. Interfaith understanding will bring about the unity necessary for all religions to work together. However, although this is indeed an important step, we must remember that there are no quick or easy solutions. We cannot hide the doctrinal differences that exist among various faiths, nor can we hope to replace the existing religions by a new universal belief. Each religion has its own distinctive contributions to make, and each in its own way is suitable to a particular group of people as they understand life. The world needs them all.

There are two primary tasks facing religious practitioners who are concerned with world peace. First, we must promote better interfaith understanding so as to create a workable degree of unity among all religions. This may be achieved in part by respecting each other's beliefs and by emphasizing our common concern for human well-being. Second, we must bring about a viable consensus on basic spiritual values that touch every human heart and enhance general human happiness. This means we must emphasize the common denominator of all world religions - humanitarian ideals. These two steps will enable us to act both individually and together to create the necessary spiritual conditions for world peace.

We practitioners of different faiths can work together for world peace when we view different religions as essentially instruments to develop a good heart - love and respect for others, a true sense of community. The most important thing is to look at the purpose of religion and not at the details of theology or metaphysics, which can lead to mere intellectualism. I believe that all the major religions of the world can contribute to world peace and work together for the benefit of humanity if we put aside subtle metaphysical differences, which are really the internal business of each religion.

Despite the progressive secularization brought about by worldwide modernization and despite systematic attempts in some parts of the world to destroy spiritual values, the vast majority of humanity continues to believe in one religion or another. The undying faith in religion, evident even under irreligious political systems, clearly demonstrates the potency of religion as such. This spiritual energy and power can be purposefully used to bring about the spiritual conditions necessary for world peace. Religious leaders and humanitarians all over the world have a special role to play in this respect.

Whether we will be able to achieve world peace or not, we have no choice but to work towards that goal. If our minds are dominated by anger, we will lose the best part of human intelligence - wisdom, the ability to decide between right and wrong. Anger is one of the most serious problems facing the world today.

Individual Power to Shape Institutions
Anger plays no small role in current conflicts such as those in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the North-South problem, and so forth. These conflicts arise from a failure to understand one another's humanness. The answer is not the development and use of greater military force, nor an arms race. Nor is it purely political or purely technological. Basically it is spiritual, in the sense that what is required is a sensitive understanding of our common human situation. Hatred and fighting cannot bring happiness to anyone, even to the winners of battles. Violence always produces misery and thus is essentially counter-productive. It is, therefore, time for world leaders to learn to transcend the differences of race, culture, and ideology and to regard one another through eyes that see the common human situation. To do so would benefit individuals, communities, nations, and the world at large.

The greater part of present world tension seems to stem from the 'Eastern bloc' versus 'Western bloc' conflict that has been going on since World War II. These two blocs tend to describe and view each other in a totally unfavourable light. This continuing, unreasonable struggle is due to a lack of mutual affection and respect for each other as fellow human beings. Those of the Eastern bloc should reduce their hatred towards the Western bloc because the Western bloc is also made up of human beings - men, women, and children. Similarly those of the Western bloc should reduce their hatred towards the Eastern bloc because the Eastern bloc is also human beings. In such a reduction of mutual hatred, the leaders of both blocs have a powerful role to play. But first and foremost, leaders must realize their own and others' humanness. Without this basic realization, very little effective reduction of organized hatred can be achieved.

If, for example, the leader of the United States of America and the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics suddenly met each other in the middle of a desolate island, I am sure they would respond to each other spontaneously as fellow human beings. But a wall of mutual suspicion and misunderstanding separates them the moment they are identified as the 'President of the USA' and the 'Secretary-General of the USSR'). More human contact in the form of informal extended meetings, without any agenda, would improve their mutual understanding; they would learn to relate to each other as human beings and could then try to tackle international problems based on this understanding. No two parties, especially those with a history of antagonism, can negotiate fruitfully in an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and hatred.

I suggest that world leaders meet about once a year in a beautiful place without any business, just to get to know each other as human beings. Then, later, they could meet to discuss mutual and global problems. I am sure many others share my wish that world leaders meet at the conference table in such an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding of each other's humanness.

To improve person-to-person contact in the world at large, I would like to see greater encouragement of international tourism. Also, mass media, particularly in democratic societies, can make a considerable contribution to world peace by giving greater coverage to human interest items that reflect the ultimate oneness of humanity. With the rise of a few big powers in the international arena, the humanitarian role of international organizations is being bypassed and neglected. I hope that this will be corrected and that all international organizations, especially the United Nations, will be more active and effective in ensuring maximum benefit to humanity and promoting international understanding. It will indeed be tragic if the few powerful members continue to misuse world bodies like the UN for their one-sided interests. The UN must become the instrument of world peace. This world body must be respected by all, for the UN is the only source of hope for small oppressed nations and hence for the planet as a whole.

As all nations are economically dependent upon one another more than ever before, human understanding must go beyond national boundaries and embrace the international community at large. Indeed, unless we can create an atmosphere of genuine cooperation, gained not by threatened or actual use of force but by heartfelt understanding, world problems will only increase. If people in poorer countries are denied the happiness they desire and deserve, they will naturally be dissatisfied and pose problems for the rich. If unwanted social, political, and cultural forms continue to be imposed upon unwilling people, the attainment of world peace is doubtful. However, if we satisfy people at a heart-to-heart level, peace will surely come.

Within each nation, the individual ought to be given the right to happiness, and among nations, there must be equal concern for the welfare of even the smallest nations. I am not suggesting that one system is better than another and all should adopt it. On the contrary, a variety of political systems and ideologies is desirable and accords with the variety of dispositions within the human community. This variety enhances the ceaseless human quest for happiness. Thus each community should be free to evolve its own political and socio-economic system, based on the principle of self-determination.

The achievement of justice, harmony, and peace depends on many factors. We should think about them in terms of human benefit in the long run rather than the short term. I realize the enormity of the task before us, but I see no other alternative than the one I am proposing - which is based on our common humanity. Nations have no choice but to be concerned about the welfare of others, not so much because of their belief in humanity, but because it is in the mutual and long-term interest of all concerned. An appreciation of this new reality is indicated by the emergence of regional or continental economic organizations such as the European Economic Community, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and so forth. I hope more such trans-national organizations will be formed, particularly in regions where economic development and regional stability seem in short supply.

Under present conditions, there is definitely a growing need for human understanding and a sense of universal responsibility. In order to achieve such ideas, we must generate a good and kind heart, for without this, we can achieve neither universal happiness nor lasting world peace. We cannot create peace on paper. While advocating universal responsibility and universal brotherhood and sisterhood, the facts are that humanity is organized in separate entities in the form of national societies. Thus, in a realistic sense, I feel it is these societies that must act as the building-blocks for world peace. Attempts have been made in the past to create societies more just and equal. Institutions have been established with noble charters to combat anti-social forces. Unfortunately, such ideas have been cheated by selfishness. More than ever before, we witness today how ethics and noble principles are obscured by the shadow of self-interest, particularly in the political sphere. There is a school of thought that warns us to refrain from politics altogether, as politics has become synonymous with amorality. Politics devoid of ethics does not further human welfare, and life without morality reduces humans to the level of beasts. However, politics is not axiomatically 'dirty'. Rather, the instruments of our political culture have distorted the high ideals and noble concepts meant to further human welfare. Naturally, spiritual people express their concern about religious leaders 'messing' with politics, since they fear the contamination of religion by dirty politics.

I question the popular assumption that religion and ethics have no place in politics and that religious persons should seclude themselves as hermits. Such a view of religion is too one-sided; it lacks a proper perspective on the individual's relation to society and the role of religion in our lives. Ethics is as crucial to a politician as it is to a religious practitioner. Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.

Such human qualities as morality, compassion, decency, wisdom, and so forth have been the foundations of all civilizations. These qualities must be cultivated and sustained through systematic moral education in a conducive social environment so that a more humane world may emerge. The qualities required to create such a world must be inculcated right from the beginning, from childhood. We cannot wait for the next generation to make this change; the present generation must attempt a renewal of basic human values. If there is any hope, it is in the future generations, but not unless we institute major change on a worldwide scale in our present educational system. We need a revolution in our commitment to and practice of universal humanitarian values.

It is not enough to make noisy calls to halt moral degeneration; we must do something about it. Since present-day governments do not shoulder such 'religious' responsibilities, humanitarian and religious leaders must strengthen the existing civic, social, cultural, educational, and religious organizations to revive human and spiritual values. Where necessary, we must create new organizations to achieve these goals. Only in so doing can we hope to create a more stable basis for world peace.

Living in society, we should share the sufferings of our fellow citizens and practise compassion and tolerance not only towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies. This is the test of our moral strength. We must set an example by our own practice, for we cannot hope to convince others of the value of religion by mere words. We must live up to the same high standards of integrity and sacrifice that we ask of others. The ultimate purpose of all religions is to serve and benefit humanity. This is why it is so important that religion always be used to effect the happiness and peace of all beings and not merely to convert others.

Still, in religion there are no national boundaries. A religion can and should be used by any people or person who finds it beneficial. What is important for each seeker is to choose a religion that is most suitable to himself or herself. But, the embracing of a particular religion does not mean the rejection of another religion or one's own community. In fact, it is important that those who embrace a religion should not cut themselves off from their own society; they should continue to live within their own community and in harmony with its members. By escaping from your own community, you cannot benefit others, whereas benefiting others is actually the basic aim of religion.

In this regard there are two things important to keep in mind: self-examination and self-correction. We should constantly check our attitude toward others, examining ourselves carefully, and we should correct ourselves immediately when we find we are in the wrong.

Finally, a few words about material progress. I have heard a great deal of complaint against material progress from Westerners, and yet, paradoxically, it has been the very pride of the Western world. I see nothing wrong with material progress per se, provided people are always given precedence. It is my firm belief that in order to solve human problems in all their dimensions, we must combine and harmonize economic development with spiritual growth.

However, we must know its limitations. Although materialistic knowledge in the form of science and technology has contributed enormously to human welfare, it is not capable of creating lasting happiness. In America, for example, where technological development is perhaps more advanced than in any other country, there is still a great deal of mental suffering. This is because materialistic knowledge can only provide a type of happiness that is dependent upon physical conditions. It cannot provide happiness that springs from inner development independent of external factors.

For renewal of human values and attainment of lasting happiness, we need to look to the common humanitarian heritage of all nations the world over. May this essay serve as an urgent reminder lest we forget the human values that unite us all as a single family on this planet.

I have written the above lines
To tell my constant feeling.
Whenever I meet even a 'foreigner',
I have always the same feeling:
'I am meeting another member of the human family.,
This attitude has deepened
My affection and respect for all beings.
May this natural wish be
My small contribution to world peace.
I pray for a more friendly,
More caring, and more understanding
Human family on this planet.
To all who dislike suffering,
Who cherish lasting happiness -
This is my heartfelt appeal.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Notary @ Your Door: Notary @ Your Door is Up for a Grant and we need y...

Notary @ Your Door: Notary @ Your Door is Up for a Grant and we need y...

Monday, March 5, 2012

A tí Casi Mujer


Casí mujer, pero en los ojos de tanto aùn solo una niña.
A tu edad te cuidaba como a una hija, 
y por eso para mí siempre serás tán especial.
Casí mujer, pero todavía una niña.
Abriendo tus alas te has hechado a volar y 
dejando atrás lo que una vez fué te convertistes en algo más.
Casí mujer pero aùn una niña,
que quiere navegar el mundo en amor y paz.
Casí mujer pero tan solo una niña,
tratando de entender lo erroneo, como su verdad.
Casí mujer pero tan solo una niña,
desenvolviendo los pliegues del camino para recibir el amor tán esperado.
Para tí mujer y todavía un poco niña,
abre tus alas y vuela al lugar que mereces justo.
Para tí mujer y todavía un poco niña,
exige lo que es tuyo por que es tu derecho 
y gritalo a los cuatro vientos cuando así lo exija el momento.
Para ti mujer y todavía un poco niña,
te faltan tantos caminos por recorrer,
y no te angusties cuando tus pensamientos de hoy no dén truegÜa a los de mañana.
Para tí mujer ya no tan niña, 
el dolor se undirá y solo quedarán marcas en tu corazón.
No las maquilles, esas marcas son parte de convertirse en mujer. 
No las maquilles por que dentro de ellas existe tu belleza y fortaleza. 
No las maquilles por que con ellas encontrarás las fuerzas para realizar lo que un día asumiste como irrealizable.
Para tí mujer ya no tán niña,
la vida te espera con ansias.
La vida desea sentir tus piés en el camino.
La vida te dará opciones y solo espera que tus decisiones no sean tomadas por tí.
La vida nos exige que le contestemos solo por nosotros y nadie más.
Para tí mujer ya no mi niña,
eres todo y mucho más de lo que de tí esperé mientras te llevé a ballet.
eres todo y mucho más de lo que se esperaba, pero aùn así de vez en cuando llama.
eres todo lo que uno puede de una sobrina, hija, ó nieta añorar.
Para tí mujer,
felicidades en tus logros de hoy.
Recuerda que los logros de el mañana están esperando a ser tomados por los que realmente los reclaman.
Para tí mujer,
Ve, la vida te llama.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TEXT CLOROX 7838 TO 44144

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Bring today's technology to tomorrow's leaders

Imagine Charter School at Weston, Weston, FL

Program Detail:
Imagine Weston is an elementary charter school. We have close to 900 students, 70% of whom are of Hispanic descent. In addition to the standard classrooms, we also have a bi-literate program of two classes per grade level in which the students are taught in both English and Spanish in order to foster full literacy in both languages. As a charter school, we receive only a portion of the funding made available to a public school. Technology has been a struggle to obtain with our funding challenges. Academically our students are excelling, but they lack the opportunity to be fully exposed to the technology of today. We are lacking projectors, document cameras, and other technology for presenting the richness of curriculum options now available to teachers. Additionally the students have only limited access to computers for their own use and exploration. It has become a top priority to improve the technology in our school to provide our students with the 21st century skills they will need.
How this Grant will Help:
This grant would allow us to obtain document cameras and projectors for all of our classrooms. These tools would provide teachers with the ability to use the full capabilities of the Internet to present lessons. The ability to share a piece of student writing on a document camera or to use a streaming video to bring a social studies lesson alive is common in many traditional pubic schools and should be available in our school as well. Once those presentation technology needs are met, any remaining funds would be used to increase the numbers of student computers to ensure sufficient access in all classrooms. Our students will be instructed and provided experience in the global world of the internet regularly rather than as an occasional opportunity.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Esta es la ùltima noche;
No duermo, no puedo.
Me hacen falta,
Me calas hondo en el alma.

La brisa tiene prisa
y se lleva mis anhelos.
La Luna?... ya se fue,
para que yo no te sufra.
El cigarro se me acaba,
contrario al dolor en mi alma.

Manuel, hermano, brother, cabrón...
Que seas féliz,
Que la vida ya no te sea tan dificil.
Que en la vida encuentres tu por que.
Que no te sientas solo cuando me valla,
por que yo siempre estaré aquí.

Ya crecimos, ya nos vamos
Cada uno a su andar por la vida;
A ver cual lo hace mejor...
El tiempo nos dirá.

No te pierdas, que yo no te perderé
Y siempre los llevaré en cada gora de mi ser.
No importa si aquí o España,
No importa si aquí o en la Eternidad.

Por que son mis hermanos,
Por que son parte de mis ser los tres.
Por que sin ustedes no soy nadie,
Por que soy su bebé.

No se engañen, ya crecimos y nos tenemos que perder.

Maria J. Torres Lopez
3:30 am hora Mexico Zapoapan, Jalisco 2002 


Hoy camino las calles que ayer caminé,
Tal vez desvalida sin saber.
Hoy camino segura de que no desfalleceré,
Por que ya estoy en confianza conmigo misma.
Por que he descubierto quien soy, por que
no le tengo miedo a la verdad, y he aprendido a esta enfrentar.

Hoy camino las calles que ayer caminé,
Tal vez desvalida sin saber,
Y hoy camino segura de que no desfalleceré.
Yo se que he cometido muchos errores ,
que hasta se han convertido en horrores,
pero es por estos que he podido crecer,
Y es por estos que no me dejaré vencer.

Maria J. Torres Lopez


Desconozco lo que has
hecho con mi corazón,
tan solo se que lo has
envuelto con tu manto de verdadero amor.

Te has convertido en algo especial,
que ni tan siquiera yo misma se como explicar.

Me has arrancado de los brazos
de aquella terrible obscuridad
en la caual yo sin pensarlo
destruía mi realidad.

Me estás amando
y siento que es de verdad,
y que de mi mente
no te podré sacar.

Tan solo espero
que esto sea realidad
y no una mentira
que me destruirá una vez más.

Siento que algùn día
lo nuestro se volverá eternidad
Y que miraremos a la vida
con una sola alma y nada más.

Porque nos daremos en cuerpo y alma
hasta llegar a nuestro final,
para luego caminar por el sendero, y cuando miremos atrás
ver nuestras huellas cada día amandose más.

Todavía no se que has hecho
pero se que ere mi lecho.
Tan tranquilo y calmado a mi lado
que hasta siento que no tengo derecho.

Derecho de que por mis niñerías
tu corazón se ponga a sangrar sin alegrías.
Derecho de que mi corazón acapare toda tu vida
dejándote sin salidas.

Y me estás logrando enamorar
así con tus encanto y nada más.
Tratandome con dulzura
hasta llevarme a mí locura.

Practicas conmigo tu arte para enamorar
y yo por tus besos me dejo acariciar;
los cuales me dejan pensando
en cual será mi verdader realidad;

Si esta ó esto es tan solo un sueño más
que nunca llegará a ser realidad
igual que todos los demás.

La diferencia es que con este
siento algo que florece
y que por dentro se estremece
hasta llegar a mis entrañas,

las cuales le guardan con celosos cuidado
para que nunca se valla.

Maria J. Torres Lopez
04/27/1999 @ 2:30am

No se si deba estar contigo.
No se si eres tù el elgido.
Pero se que fue contigo, y desde entonces algo compartimos,
Mucho más allá que solo besos.
Mucho más allá que solo sexo.
Mucho más allá que solo caricias.
Mucho más allá que solo el cariño.

Compartimos algo que nunca se devolverá,
Compartimos algo que a veces nos dolerá; nos matará,
Pero sacaremos fuerzas para seguir, por que eso es todo lo importante.
Por que le queremos ver crecer.
Por que le queremos escuchar,
cada vez que nos diga...
"Bendición papá y mamá".

Finished 07/27/2002 Maria Torres

Monday, August 29, 2011



A baby is a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald Knox 

A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it.
Frank Howard Clark 

A baby is God's opinion that life should go on.
Carl Sandburg 

A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.
Thurgood Marshall 

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.
Enid Bagnold 

A Harvard Medical School study has determined that rectal thermometers are still the best way to tell a baby's temperature. Plus, it really teaches the baby who's boss.
Tina Fey 

A lady is smarter than a gentleman, maybe, she can sew a fine seam, she can have a baby, she can use her intuition instead of her brain, but she can't fold a paper in a crowded train.
Phyllis McGinley 

A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.
Laura Ingalls Wilder 

A lot of baby boomers are baby bongers.
Kevin Nealon 

A man is not complete until he has seen the baby he has made.
Sammy Davis, Jr. 

A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
Eda J. Le Shan 

A torn rotator cuff is a cancer for a pitcher and if a pitcher gets a badly torn one, he has to face the facts, it's all over baby.
Don Drysdale 

All of a sudden I had a baby, because it went really quick. It was like, 'Oh! I have a baby!' So, it's great. I'm just having a great time with my children. They're here in New York with me.
Catherine Zeta-Jones 

All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization.
Abraham Maslow 

An ugly baby is a very nasty object - and the prettiest is frightful.
Queen Victoria 

And when our baby stirs and struggles to be born it compels humility: what we began is now its own.
Margaret Mead 

And you know, the baby boomers are getting older, and those off the rack clothes are just not fitting right any longer, and so, tailor-made suits are coming back into fashion.
Amy Irving 

Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
John Updike 

At the age of 16 I was already dreaming of having a baby because I felt myself to be an adult, but my mum forbid it. Right now, I feel like a teenager and I want to have fun for one or two more years before starting a family.
Milla Jovovich 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Quotes

Family Quotes

Life is full of lessons and truths.

Here is a collection of our best family quotes and a few proverbs, to humor and inspire you everyday. Some will make us smile for a moment and some we will never forget. Enjoy!

Here is quote you can't afford to miss:

"We love building this website and being home with our kids!"

Family Quotes, Family Quotes, Family Quotes

"What should we value? I have a tip: go for love. Because love-of your work, of your colleagues, of your family and friends-passes the ultimate currency test. It will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no love.." (Renee Loth)_____
"I wish I understood then what I do now, that I had concentrated more on the vital and less on the urgent." (Terence Rolston)

"The grass isn't greener on the 'other side', the grass isn't greener on yourside. It's Greener where you water it." (Source Unknown)
“Parenting is the only job, that you don't know if you did a Good job, until it's too late!” (Source Unknown)

All the information here is freefor you. We do it because it's our passion and it allows us to be home with each other and our kids.If you dream of being your own boss, at home, like Bob and I, you can either;
1. Continue dreaming.
2. Click Here and read how we are making our dreams and goals come true...

"What you cannot enforce, do not command." (Sophocles)

"How do you spell Love to your children? T..I..M..E " (Source Unknown)

"Old Age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill! (Source Unknown)

"We always got along," said Gordon, (Of his marriage to Gen, of more than 52 years). "We always talked about things or discussed things,and then did it her way." (Gordon Kvammen from Lifestyles - Feb.2007)

"Marriage is like a card game. They start with a pair; he shows a diamond; she shows a flush; and they end up with a full house." (365 Days of Humor)
"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." (Abraham Lincoln)
"The best friend of your conscience must always be self-control." (M. Schultz)
"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." (Jerry Seinfeld)

Family Quotes and Proverbs:

If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the Poor could make a wonderful living. (Yiddish Proverb)

The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks. (Yiddish Proverb)

Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house. (Yiddish Proverb)

What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth. (Yiddish Proverb)

A hero is someone who can keep his mouth shut when he is right. (Yiddish Proverb)

One old friend is better than two new ones. (Yiddish Proverb)
When a thief kisses you, count your teeth. (Yiddish Proverb)

One of life's greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world. (Jewish Proverb)

Old friends, like old wines, don't lose their flavor. (Jewish Proverb)

A wise man hears one word and understands two. (Yiddish Proverb)

"Don't be so humble - you are not that great." (Golda Meir (1898-1978) to a visiting diplomat.)

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." (Albert Einstein (03/14/1879-1955))

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (Albert Einstein)
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." (Albert Einstein)
When his wife asked him to change clothes to meet the German Ambassador: "If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits." (Albert Einstein)
"I don't believe in mathematics." (Albert Einstein)

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." (Albert Einstein)

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." (Albert Einstein)

"You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails." (Yiddish proverb)

"The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault." (Henry Kissinger)

"I don't want to become immortal through my work. I want to become immortal through not dying." (Woody Allen)

"I'm not afraid of dying - I just don't want to be there when it happens!" (Woody Allen)

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton.)

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Albert Einstein)

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." (Albert Einstein)

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." (Albert Einstein)
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." (Albert Einstein)

Family Quotes, Family Quotes, Family Quotes,

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Luke 12:25)_____

"I've never been one who thought the Lord should make life easy; I've just asked Him to make me strong." ( Eva Bowring)
"You are more important than your problems." (Jose Ferrer)
"Good friend, always be open to the miracle of the second chance." (Rev. David Stier)
"What is your heaviest burden?" asked the child. "To have nothing to carry," answered the old man." (Source Unknown)
"Fear, too, is a type of faith - faith that it won't work out. (Sister Mary Tricky)"
"Worry is a misuse of the imagination." (Dan Zadra)
"At night I turn my problems over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway." (Carrie Westingson)

Life's Family Quotes and Proverbs:

"They say marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightening." (Clint Eastwood)_____"Every child deserves to have someone smile their biggest smile just because that child entered the room." (Source Unknown)
"Let him who would move the world, first move himself." (Socrates)

"People of integrity make an easy target for critics because they stand upright." (Bruce and Stan in Keeping God in the Small Stuff)
"If you don't Stand For Something, you'll Fall For Anything." (Family Quotes - source unknown)

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” (source unknown)

But...have you also heard,
"The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down!" (Chinese proverb)

"If you're going to go through hell... I suggest you come back learning something." (Drew Barrymore)

"Believing in fortune cookies leads to a crummy life." (Bruce and Stan in Keeping God in the Small Stuff)

"The glory of young men is their strength, Gray Hair the splendor of the old." (Prov. 20:29 NIV)

"It is easier to follow your leader if you have confidence in whom your leader is following." (Bruce and Stan in Keeping God in the Small Stuff)

"Discretion: The art of being wiser than anyone else while letting no one know it." (source unknown)

"After I'm dead, I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one." {Cato the Elder (234-149 B.C.)}
"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." (Steven Wright)
"Have you ever noticed how easily puppies make human friends? yet all they do is wag their tails and fall over!" (Walter Anderson)

"Forbidden Fruit is the main ingredient in many Jams!" (Source Unknown)
"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere." (Source Unknown)
"The best way to destroy your enemy, is to make him your friend." (Abraham Lincoln)
"God must love the common man, He made so many of them." (Abraham Lincoln)
"Education costs money, but then so does ignorance." (Sir Claus Moser)
"Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple." (Job 5:2 NIV)
"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." (Micheal Althsuler)

"The first step to wisdom is silence; the second is listening." (Source Unknown)

"Good communication is as stimulating as coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

"Into God's Temple of Eternity Drive a Nail of Gold." (Raymond Moriyama) 

Family Quotes For Dads:

"...we have all had fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it." (paraphrased from NIV, Heb.12:9)_____
"When it was done out of love, who of us hasn't bragged about how tough our parents were on us, compared to today's standards." (M.Schultz)


"Two are better than one,...if one falls down, his friend can help him up." (Eccl. 4:9-10 NIV)
"If God didn't want man to hunt, He wouldn't have given us plaid shirts." (Johnny Carson)

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children,..." Eph.6:4 NIV
"Whether it is marks in school, sports, or their future career, let's not take our "encouragement" too far." (M.Schultz )
"It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath." {Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.)}

"A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' mere study of books." (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
"One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters." (George Herbert)

Family Quotes For Women:

"Cold Hands, Warm Heart." (source unknown)_____

"...we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4 NIV

"Inside me there's a thin person struggling to get out, but I can usually sedate her with three of four cupcakes." (365 Days of Humor)
Happiness is the best facelift. (Joni Mitchell)
"A smile is the best make-up." (M. Schultz)

Meet other moms in your area. Share stories, photos and more. Join CafeMom.com

Fun Family Quotes: Fishing - Golf - Diets - Kids, etc.

"We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart." (Source Unknown)
"If You Don't Know Where You Are Going, You Will Wind Up Somewhere Else." (Yogi Berra)

"I always start my diet on the same day, Tomorrow ." (source unknown)

"Fishing isn't always easy...otherwise it would be called 'Catching' and too many people would be doing it." (source unknown)

"Fishermen and Hypochondriacs are a lot alike. They're happy if they catchanything!" (source unknown)

"I'm so unfamiliar with the gym, I call it James". (Chi McBride)
"The only exercise I get is pushing my luck, stretching the truth, and jumping to conclusions, although, I have been known to carry a grudge." (365 Days of Humor)
"I go to schools and run around the gym with the kids. The parents will say to me afterwards, 'Wow, you relate to them so well.' That's because I'm one of them." (Simon Whitfield - Gold Medalist for men's triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Quoted from Alivemagazine April 2007 )
I hit the ball as hard as I can. If I can find it, I hit it again." (John Daly on Late Night With Conan O'Brien)
"Never trust a dog to watch your food."-Patrick, age 10
"When your Dad is mad and asks you, 'Do I look stupid?' don't answer."-Hannah, age 9
"Never tell your mom her diet's not working."-Michael, age 14
(Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for Kids Only!)

"It's bad luck to believe in superstitions." (Source Unknown)
"Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel." (Proverbs 20:17 NIV) (gravel and a gut!...no sneaking food!)
"Don't go out if it's raining cats and dogs. You might step in a Poodle." (Garfield, the Cat)
"Never lick icing off a sharp knife." (Source Unknown)
"It's hard to be serious when you're naked." (Source Unknown)
"I've got a a philosophy about exercise. I don't think you should punish your legs for something your mouth did." (Source Unknown)

Here's a great quote by Fiona McCardle and Jim Andrew;

Send Us Your Family Quotes;

We will publish your family quotes and credit your name to the family quote. Thank you to all of our contributers who have already sent us great quotes! Keep sending these great family quotes our way, to pass on to the world. We hope they give you or someone you know a smile and/or encouragement. To send us more go to The Contact Page. 

Family Quotes, Famous Quotes, Family Quotes, Famous Quotes, Family Quotes!

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