Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Resolutions toward eupan in 2014

From Cinergychoaching.com website.

Resolutions toward peacebuilding - at home and for the world!


  1. This year, I will acknowledge how conflict presents an opportunity to enrich relationships.
  2. This year, I will make amends with people and not let our differences of opinion fester.
  3. This year, I will apologize and mean it.
  4. This year, I will stop blaming others.
  5. This year, I will take responsibility for how I contributed to disputes.
  6. This year, I will forgive and let bygones be bygones.
  7. This year, I will not be hard on others, or on myself.
  8. This year, I will not judge people.
  9. This year, I will value the importance of respecting other people’s opinions, even if I don’t agree with them.
  10. This year, I will listen.

Toward eupan ~


~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.




Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How we treat others.

This is excerpted from the Blog of the editors of Wipf and Stock Publishers:

An unattributed story from the Associated Press in last week’s paper recounted how a Mormon bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, (a suburb of Salt Lake City) had a make-up artist radically change his appearance so that he would be unrecognizable even to his own family.

He dressed like a homeless man and showed up prior to Sunday services at his own church and interacted (or tried to interact) with the congregants. A couple gave him money, a few (especially children) spoke with him, but most hurried past him and didn’t want to speak to him or even look him in the eye.

During the service, he approached the pulpit and revealed who he was—to the shock of the congregation. He was quite surprised that people were so taken aback. He told them that he didn’t pull this as a stunt and certainly did not intend to shame anyone. He simply wanted to hold up a mirror so that they could think about how they interacted with others. It is reminiscent of “some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb 13:2, KJV).

If we treat everyone with grace and gratitude, whether at the holidays or not, ultimately what we will have created is a more gracious and inclusive community.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sometimes it takes a 2,700 year old chalice to make peace!

A Chalice toward friendship - for Iran and the U.S.!
The United States returns an ancient Iranian artifact, as relations appear to thaw

According to this CNN report:
  • A 2,700 year-old silver chalice may be a new token of friendship between the United States and Iran.
  • It had been in New York since 2003, when an art dealer smuggled it to New York
  • Iran's cultural heritage chief hopes its return will mark a lively cultural exchange with the U.S.
  • Mohammad-Ali Najafi says the ice between Washington and Tehran has thawed.
"I adamantly believe in cultural diplomacy, and I believe the thing that could improve relations between US and Iran after the years and softens the harshness of this relationship is cultural diplomacy."

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Urban Innovation Exhange

A group of people get together to mow unkempt parks so children can play! 

Two minute video - inspiring creative urban renewal.

Urban Innovation Exchange: The Mower Gang from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Empower new ecologies for the future.


A blog entry by Professor Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez focuses on current news - and the continuing news of our ecological crisis.  A reading worth reflecting upon.


While her particular positions on "Earth" (as godless) may vary from my own - people of no-faith and people of vibrant faith should consider our roles in stewardship that echo her appeal e as she writes:

In other words, our role is to be the storytellers of past, present and future.  Of all the amazing beings on the planet, no one else can fill this particular niche.

It is our privilege and our curse as humans to KNOW so much about what we are doing at any given moment on the planet, and to ceaselessly narrate that knowledge.  Now in the 21st century, aided by the global neural network of the World Wide Web, we have never been more tuned into the on-going global story, but this knowledge often becomes oppressive, since so much of what we are asked to absorb is negative, bad news.
It’s time to rebel–to resist the battering of the bad news, to become producers rather than just passive consumers of knowledge.

We need to start telling new stories.  Empowering, positive stories that light the way towards the human beings we could become, the human civilization we could create, in concert and harmony with the rest of the Earth community.

Full article here.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Image from New Zealand

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Iran's New President & Peace in the Middle East !

Iran's new president is talking about peace! 

Yes!

Let's hope it becomes possible!

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was important that countries across the Middle East learn to peacefully coexist. "We are not seeking ... and looking for war with any nations. We are seeking peace and stability among all the nations in the region," Rouhani said. 

Read more.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Peace for Israel and Palestine

An article posted to the New York Times today, critiquing the "Two-State Solution" as "Illusion."

There are many things great about the article.  (1) A recognized and long-term expert in the region offers commentary over decades.  (2) The positions advocated note the complexities involved in any possible future.  And, (3) the author articulates a "third way" compared with what has been espoused and has not worked for decades.


There is NO single easy solution to the conflict in the land.  And yet, reasonable persons can find ways to move forward peaceably recognizing a unified solidarity in shared humanness.

The article explore the complexities and issues involved.  NYT Opinion:  Two-State Illusion By IAN S. LUSTICK   (9/14/2013)

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Obama & Putin & Playgrounds in life.

I’ve been trying to make sense of Obama’s aggressive, speech-making and threats which have not been characteristic of his Presidency.

Remember when you were on the elementary school playground and you were the Captain who got to pick who was going to be on your team? And, remember how you felt when the other team got the One star player? You knew that no matter how many other players you chose, you could never balance the equation of the fact that the other team got that One! The rest of your picking of players, and then the future of the game was shaped by who got that One. [NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB drafts continue to operate like this with truly star players. It happens when teams of players connect for Paint-Ball fights or MMORPgaming.]

I wonder if the vitriolic, aggressive ‘trash-talk” of Obama and Putin is really about the fact that Putin got former U.S. NSA employee Edward Snowden on his “team” and that single “draft choice” has set off rivalrous desire and the need to retaliate from Obama’s psyche. Syria might just be the most direct situational factor for two individual men to expose their self-serving rivalry.

Except, these “Captains” possess very real weapons and this is no game and no playground.

I wonder.


Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Better Ways to Respond for Syrians Now

A thoughtful agent of peaceful action in our world is John Franklin Hay.



He offers his thoughts on what the President of the United States should say and do now to help with the conflict in Syria.


His words offer deep insight for our consideration on A Better Way than Bombs and Militarism.

Please read his full entry from the link above - though his abbreviated thoughts are shared here:



1. Provide vigorous relief and support to all who are victims of violence . . . .

2. Pivot . . . and vigorously make the case for freedom and human rights. . . . 

3. Contemplate deeply the failed and costly military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq . . . .

4. Stop saber rattling . . . Using violence to end violence has lost its effectiveness.

5. Demonstrably reduce the role of the Defense Department, the military and militarism across the board . . . .

6. Change the role of the military to a more purely defensive posture . . . . The word “defense” describes what it should be.

7. Develop and consult with an independent panel on creative international nonviolence. . . .

8. Define "national security threat" to include only direct threats. . . .

9. Continue to appeal to and work for common ground with all UN Security Council members. . . .

10. Reset and invigorate all diplomatic efforts . . . to influence a negotiated settlement to their civil conflict.

11. With a delegation of diverse world leaders, personally meet directly with Assad and rebel leadership to appeal for a cessation of conflict and a brokered settlement.

12. Call upon all Middle Eastern nations to work directly with Syria to broker a cessation of conflict and settlement. Respect and encourage intra-regional capacity for settling regional issues.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d


Monday, August 26, 2013

OKC Fall Peace Festival - November 9th

Fall Peace FestivalOklahoma City's 27th Fall Peace Festival will be held Saturday November 9, 2013 

10 AM - 4 PM 
Downtown Civic Center Hall of Mirrors. 

Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Edward Snowden - and Collaboration with Violence - Am I guilty?

I've been too busy with too many things to think through the myriad and complex issues involving all aspects of Edward Snowden, the NSA leaks, and all the issues engaged.

And yet, I am suspicious of calling Snowden, who is exposing troubling activity a simple "criminal" - or "spy," "traitor," or "whistle-blower."

There are so many complex issues involved.

In the midst of this, though, I've been thinking about complicity in patterns of violence with regard to the Snowden situation.  I teach and talk about these issues when I teach about the Holocaust.  I raise issues about the fact that leading up to and in the midst of the Holocaust - the world needed persons to exist who were agents of positive social change who refused to perpetuate or stand by when violence and hatred was engaged.

At the link I'm providing - the author Robert J. Burrowes raises questions I will explore as I read and re-read his post, provided at the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) website.

From the FOR website: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? and provides other writings and materials on his web site. (This article is part of a series titled “The Psychology of Human Violence.”)

His article begins:

Some people have accused Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden of being traitors. But this obscures a deeper and more important question.

If the government of the United States is engaged in endless acts of lawless violence, as the documentary evidence clearly demonstrates (See Fred Branfman, “World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government”), then it is not Manning and Snowden who are the traitors for providing evidence of this violence and the surveillance necessary to carry it out. The real traitors are all of those other employees of intelligence agencies who say nothing while they collaborate with the endless and often secret perpetration of violence by the U.S. government and its allied governments in our name.

Why does this matter? It matters because it tells us that thousands of individuals are willing to collaborate, without the intervention of analytical thought, compassionate feeling, or conscience, with the use of violence. And that bodes ill for our society.

Please continue reading here.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

American Religious History & The Hope of Tolerance

Kenneth C. Davis writes for the Smithsonian in this article about the history of the founding of America - and the religious issues and problems of early settlers.

Bible riotsWhile I am no expert on American History and I have a few misgivings about some specific statements of the author's perspectives in a few places, I am certain the history he highlights is more true than we care to remember and a reminder that the hopes of America were for the good of the all - toward eupan.

Davis article ends with this:

America can still be, as Madison perceived the nation in 1785, “an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion.” But recognizing that deep religious discord has been part of America’s social DNA is a healthy and necessary step. When we acknowledge that dark past, perhaps the nation will return to that “promised...lustre” of which Madison so grandiloquently wrote.
Kenneth C. Davis is the author of Don’t Know Much About History and A Nation Rising, among other books.
 Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.



(Image credit - from same Smithsonian article - Philadelphia Bible Riots of 1844)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

1,000,000 bones on display - National Mall - Washington D.C.

After years of planning - partnering with thousands of persons around the world - under the leadership of fellow Carl Wilkens Fellow Naomi Natale, her inspiring idea about a large scale art exhibit to raise awareness about Genocide - will come to full reality this weekend!




I'm thankful for many persons from Oklahoma - and persons in OKC and many students from SNU & SWCU (where I teach) and Putnam City Public Schools and Bethany Public Schools  nearby - to have been participants in the project.

More news at this link from the Washington Post.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

India & Pakistan touch Hands with Coca-Cola

What a GREAT way to connect people!

In March 2013, Coca-Cola set out to break down barriers and create a simple moment of connection between two nations -- India and Pakistan. The initiative "Small World Machines" provided a live communications portal between people in India and Pakistan and showed that what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart. The key to engaging with each other through the machines was simple: people in India and Pakistan could complete a task, like touching hands, drawing peace, love, and happiness symbols -- together.
Fantastic 3 minute video!




Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Inter-Faith and Jewish Peacemaking!

It is great to know & work with people of no faith who work for peace - and people of deep faith who work for peace.

I just learned of the Shomer Shalom Network - a  movement within Judaism dedicated to the study and practice of Jewish nonviolence as a way of life. Members span the denominational spectrum from Hasidic to Secular.  They affirm an identity as Jews who want to replace war, economic injustice and violence with restorative justice, nonviolence and peace.  They are about Stewarding Peace!

While I only know of them from their website posts at this time, their projects sound entirely in line with our efforts toward eupan.

I hope to get to know them more - and know you can get to know them as well.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Violence Against Women - A story of Hope & Kindness

I don't follow Hollywood actors or particular Television Shows - though I recognize figures here and there.  I recognized Sir Patrick Stewart - from his roles in Star Trek - and felt compelled to watch this video when it was linked with this information entirely copied from the BuzzFeed.com website.


A powerful 7:47 video of a Question and Answer described here, and worthy of your time for the story that is narrated.  Powerful. 

"While at Comicpalooza, a girl asked Sir Patrick Stewart a question about what the most important thing he’d ever done besides acting was. His answer was his work with campaigns against violence toward women, which led to this impassioned answer and wonderful gesture."



The girl who asked the question, Heather, wrote about what happened on her - including this tidbit:
They were about to move onto the next question when Sir Patrick looked at me and asked me “My Dear, are you okay?” I said yes, and that I was finally able to move on from that part of my life. He then passionately said that it is never the woman’s fault in domestic violence, and how wrong to think that it ever is. That it is in the power of men to stop violence towards women. The moderator then asked “Do you want a hug?”

Sir Patrick didn’t even hesitate, he smiled, hopped off the stage and came over to embrace me in a hug. Which he held me there for a long while. He told me “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.” I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked strait in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will.

A compelling story that reminds us that the work of eupan is not just about large scale violence, massive casualties or major exploitation or harm.  The work of eupan begins in homes and with families, with a better understanding of all relationships.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.