Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Hope for the Future - Christian Tradition

In the Christian Tradition - when the mother of Jesus is fully aware of her pregnancy, she sings a song.  Her song, recorded in the Bible in the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 1), celebrates more than just the arrival of Jesus.  

Her song reflects the traditions of an older prayer in Scripture, from Hannah in 1 Samuel (Chapter 2).

Both songs celebrate more than the birth of a child.

Each song celebrates the future hoped for reality of newness - and - reversals.

Reversals where the poor and downtrodden are raised up.

In a lovely 21st Century re-writing of the ideas found in these poems, Hillary Watson of Shalom Community Church in Ann Arbor, MI shared a wonderful poem found here.

I'll share snippets of it here:

Let me tell you the Good News: 
There is Good News.
That’s it: goodness, somewhere, rushing toward us in the place where future meets present tense. 
Hope unwinds across the fragile world and whispers its nightmares away. 
There is a good day coming, I can see it, when the walls built up between countries crumble back into the earth they rose from and all the people run free where they want 
. . 

And God is a woman, 
but not the way Ariana Grande thinks. 
And God is judgmental but not because God is mean but because God is all goodness sorting itself out from all evil and goodness reaches into every cracked chasm of our lives until it overflows with love and love and love and love. 

That’s why my smile scares you, isn’t it: 
because I tell the truth you never thought you’d see me trade two fistfuls of anger for two fistfuls of hope pulling it up from the bottom of the ocean like seashells
and don’t you wish you knew what it was to feel this joy? 

.  . . 
But I borrow joy from a future where your breath can’t reach, where your power doesn’t speak, I am in celebration for all our coming healing.Justice is the tsunami I will surf that gorgeous river setting everything free and don’t you see? 
This is just the beginning.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

This makes me physically - in my gut - sad

"Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation."

"The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else."

“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”


We can be better.

We can make other choices.

Human dominance can move toward careful stewardship.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Overcoming Hate - Christians learning to Love

Every year when I teach about the Shoah (the Holocaust) and on issues of Genocide, I start every class session with my encouragement that this course will change the lives every person.

I encourage every person to become an advocate for peace who will engage in actions of care & concern among the diverse matrix of human persons around the world.

I tell persons to be peacemakers, to be upstanders, and to be rescuers.

I was enlivened to view this 15 minute Ted Talk by a former member of the bigoted Westboro Baptist Church.  A daughter of the church's leader.

Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

The last lines of her powerful talk end with this:

. . . .we're all just human beings . . . . we should be guided by that most basic fact, and approach one another with generosity and compassion. Each one of us contributes to the communities and the cultures and the societies that we make up. The end of this spiral of rage and blame begins with one person who refuses to indulge these destructive, seductive impulses. We just have to decide that it's going to start with us.  (emphasis mine)

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Virtue Among First Peoples

European settlers in America treated the First Peoples as "savages" be pushed out or killed. 

The First Peoples engaged in diplomacy for their territorial rights to land their ancestors had used for millennia. They were people of character.

Did First People's kill "white men"? Yes. As white men killed, too, and with greater impact  due to the diseases and gun-powder the white-men brought with them.

While all violence is complex and conflicts emerge in escalating forms of retaliation leading to battles and wars, it is good to remember that First Peoples in the America's were advanced in human care and discerned societal values which shaped communal character.

At this link you can read more about the Lakota Values.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Changing Lives - Minds & Hearts

"If you want to change lives, speak to people’s feelings, not just to their minds. Enter their fears and calm them. Understand their anxieties and allay them. Kindle their hopes and instruct them. Raise their sights and enlarge them."  
~ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Ha’azinu 5779)

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ideas win peace.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks:  "Wars are won by weapons but it takes ideas to win peace."

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mastery of One's Personal & Professional Life

We develop a life of generosity and care when we have a sense of mastery in our own life. 

When we feel whole, complete and capable in who we are and what we do, we can offer help to others.

Tracey Dawn offers what she labels "15 Personal Goals for Work to Make You Stand Out from Your Coworkers."  If I were posting her list here, I'd label it "Habits for life that achieve eupan."  Her "personal goals" that might make a person "stand out," effectively enable a person to be a coworker who cares for others, who manages dissent, and who models a work ethic where eupan is achievable.

Read her insights including these from her list:
1.  Practice self-mastery
2.  Be grateful for where you are
4.  Celebrate each others’ differences
6.  Manage conflict effectively
9.  Show humility
10.  Model work life balance
13.  Ask for help
14.  Offer help 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Hate is no joke. Hate is not funny.

We do not have to joke about hatred. Ever.

I hope to have been habited out of hate.

I have been shaped by many important perspectives in social and psychological sciences, neuroscience, and the history of religion and culture to realize that our habits (rituals & daily practices) shape who we are - personally and socially. 

Team rivalries can be more problematic that persons realize even while some literature suggests they may also provide necessary anthropological "relief valves" for aggression.

Even if rivalries in team sports are "fun" and provide avenues for anger to find outlet, I find it offense and problematic to see persons wearing their "team sports" gear professing their hatred. 

Shirts like this one that I saw this morning are offensive to me. 

We can work for a world in which people do not take seriously - nor joke about - their hate.

I am working for a world where anger, resentment, hurt & hate can be transformed toward caring kindness among all persons.

We can do better.

We can be better. 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The War On Terror - should it terrorize us?

17 years.

It's been 17 years since leaders in the United States of America started "The War On Terror."

Do we live in a world now characterized by peace and kindness?

When will this war end?  

Where, precisely, is it being fought?

What are the costs?  [ The $ price , the loss of life and future debts, the reframed values.]

Is it possible that if we had stewarded our funds and the lives of many people differently, that a different future could now be possible for our children?

The Plough has a recent article that connects these ideas and the thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr. entitled: The Casualties of War

"We live in a world where nuclear and biological weapons proliferate, where there are war refugees in unprecedented numbers and war profiteering in an unprecedented boom, and where far-flung and unaccountable violence begets insurgency across the globe and cynicism at home. These evils cannot be denied, and can tempt us to apathy or despair rather than humility and justice."
" . . . we need 'the vision to see in this generation’s ordeals the opportunity to trans- figure both ourselves and American society.' "

Toward eupan ~

marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Great Insights for Building a Better World

The Peace Talks Radio Podcast has excellent material in every episode.

A link to every episode.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.