The Key to World Peace: Love and Compassion

“There cannot be peace in the world when people have anger and hatred in their hearts. Only with love and compassion in the heart is world peace attainable.”

— S. N. Goenka

Almost thirteen years ago, S. N. Goenka—the principal teacher of the highly beneficial and nonsectarian Vipassana Meditationaddressed the United Nations Peace Summit in New York, focusing on “the themes of religious harmony, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.”

Today, battered by the contagious sectarian conflict in Syria, escalating religious violence in Indonesia, and the widening unrest in Myanmar, the world could once again benefit from his words of wisdom.

A perfect counterbalance to your morbid morning news, Goenka’s fourteen-minute speech is guaranteed to start your week off with positive thoughts:

Please share this with others and start a chain of positivity!


Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam.
May all beings be happy.

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On Education, the Arts, and Writing

Japanese_classroom

First of all, let me just say how funny writing is, and the process through which any written material comes to fruition. This particular post is the result of my discussion with Julie Israel a few days ago. One thing led to another, and soon we found ourselves talking about education.

Respect the arts

Unfortunately, we live in a society where the arts—and writers, in particular—are not appreciated. First I thought that it was strictly an Asian thing. But Julie soon confirmed, “Even in the States, writers are not thought particularly high of. Certainly some are; but generally-speaking, I think, writing is not seen as prestigious work. Even when it comes to basic schooling, which has been hurting financially in recent years, the arts are usually the first thing to go.”

Why is that? Continue reading

Trimming the Fat

ME 401 QuickJob

In an excellent article in The Jakarta Post, Mario Masaya cited Peter B. Evans1, stressing the importance of reducing resources allocated to bureaucracy, because he considered bureaucratic apparatuses to be predatory. As an alien living in Belgium, I have experienced first-hand what he meant.

Even in a developed country such as Belgium, government bodies are far from ideal. While they function as intended, delays and blunders resulting from unnecessary bureaucracy often lead to frustration and other—dire—consequences. Continue reading