Together for Peace

2017 Peace Day Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
#jointogether

Peace is a goal to which we strive, a state of existence that we want to live in, a way of acting and a feeling of respect.  When we work to live peacefully with others it shows the concern and love we express for them.  In some cultures, people greet one another by using the word “peace” in their greetings, “peace be to you.”  Native Americans when they met with people from another tribe, or when “foreigners” came to them respectfully, the “peace pipe” was shared among those assembled.  From early times, cultures have recognized symbols for peace. Voices Education

Wishing kindness on our earth

Today, do something kind for our earth!

Brothers and sisters all are we
Let me walk with my brother and sister
In perfect harmony !

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Good-bye Triclosan, Almost!

Protect Lakes and Streams
Protect Lakes and Streams

Twenty-five years ago I thought antibacterial soap was a good thing.  We have learned it is harmful to people and water creatures. When we wash our hands these chemicals end up in our waterways. Researchers have found that use of triclosan could create a resistance to antibiotics creating superbugs. Also, triclosan could be harmful to fish and aquatic life causing an imbalance in their hormones. Like many chemicals we put in our waterways, triclosan is something we all should avoid. Luckily, Minnesota banned the use of triclosan in soaps several years ago, but I am still seeing it in hand wash when I travel around the country.  I was thrilled to hear the FDA had banned it from products because there is no evidence it is better than soap without antibiotics.  As with many things, the original information was wrong.  NPR had an informative story on superbugs, and the United Nation’s concern about them, read it here. And the Star Tribune has an informative post on triclosan.

What is triclosan and why should you care? It is an antibacterial used in hand wash, cleaning products, soaps, lotions and some other products.  For sometime it has been recommended not to purchase products using triclosan because it can lead to antibiotic resistance and hormone imbalance, and it is harmful to fish. Unfortunately, triclosan has been allowed to remain in Colgate Toothpaste. I recommend not using Colgate products. See the story below.

What if you have a product with triclosan? The Minnesota Pollution Control told me to throw it in the garbage. DO NOT PUT DOWN THE DRAIN or toilet.

https://health4earth.com/2013/02/10/dont-purchase-products-with-tricolsan/

 

 

 

“I have NO hope!”

A strategy needs to be something that can be sustained!” President Obama on fighting ISIS

How are we as a society failing our twenty-some year old young men? The shooters in San Bernardino were living the life the men I talk about below wanted.  Where can we find a life of hope and purpose for these young men? How can they be encouraged to connect to the world around them?

This is a blog I wrote after the Paris terror attack:

Today I am writing about the young men I met on a recent trip, and I am calling on the wealthy, big corporations, the United Nations, and the World Bank to help them by creating jobs.

The Macedonian flag
The Macedonian flag

My husband and I have just returned from Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.  In the past few years we have also travelled independently to Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and other Eastern European countries.  These countries are democracies, but are still struggling after Soviet domination for many years. The message we hear from the frustrated twenty-some men is, “We have NO hope!” These English-speaking locals approach us as we wait for buses, ride ferries, trains, or are looking at a map on the street.  Unemployment is very high and most we talk to are unemployed or a few are in a low wage jobs.  They have no confidence in their governments, and feel hopeless about their futures  They say they have to pay bribes to get jobs, and to get into the military.  Some of these young men are Muslims, and some are Orthodox Christians.  They think the only solution is to move to Western Europe, Canada or the United States. What is upsetting is the place and time and people change in these discussions, but their message stays the same!  I need to leave to find a better life!

Their frustrations are so enormous that it frightens me they will take any avenue to escape their situation.   Clearly, the answer is not with their governments.  Kosovo can’t account for all the funds NATO has given them to rebuild from their recent war.

The solution needs to exist inside their own countries. If companies are looking to expand, don’t forget Eastern Europe.  Large corporations expanding and creating jobs in these countries could make a big difference! The men we speak to appear to be educated and have good communication skills, and say they are willing to work hard.

It is such a waste of human energy to have energetic minds struggling for a future! The roots of terrorism are very complicated and my ideas are simplistic, but how can these individuals feel they are important, that their lives matter, and that they can contribute worthwhile things to society? What are some sustainable jobs and industries NGOs or private business can start or create in Eastern Europe?

After a soccer win, Albanians adorned with excitement and their flag.
After a soccer win, Albanians adorned with excitement and their flag.

Much needs to be done, but as I ride buses through the countryside these are the things that could be win-win for Europe and the entire world:

  1. Solar is a natural for this area.  Wealthier areas have solar water heaters.
  2. Recycling is lacking and plastic litter is an enormous problem.  How could these plastic bottles and bags be made valuable?
  3. ECO Tourism.  Albania is on the Adriatic Sea and the ancient and historic sites make for some fabulous tourist attractions.

Below is a solar water heater:
image

http://infodev.org/publications/green-industries

http://ecowatch.com/2015/11/17/apple-solar-singapore/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=ab7bbc7486-Top_News_11_17_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-ab7bbc7486-85912169

http://undesadspd.org/Youth.aspx

You ask me, “Where are the girls and women?” I can’t answer that question.  Sometimes on the street you see a hundred men to one woman.  Some women do have jobs, and girls are going to school, but overall this is a place where the men seem to dominate.

International Day of Happiness!

Get Outside and Enjoy!
Get Outside and Enjoy!

First Day of Spring and International Happiness!

http://climaterealityproject.org/blog/come-get-happy

Below is from Wikipedia:

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated throughout the world on the 20th of March. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012.

Assembly Resolution A/RES/66/281 states in pertinent part:

Balloons of Happiness
The General Assembly,[…] Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,[…] Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples, Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities[…]

—United Nations General Assembly, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 28 June 2012[1]
The International Day of Happiness Resolution 65/309 was the result of the effort the Kingdom of Bhutan and its Gross National Happiness Initiative. [2]

This UN resolution marked the historical milestone of globalizing the Happiness Development Movement that started in 1972. [3]