Stop, Please – An Appeal for Sanity, Part 2


I want to talk about coincidences, or, as I call them, God-incidences. You know what I am talking about: those synchronicities in life; those apparently unrelated events that are related, but whose relationship is difficult to explain.

Let me tell you what happened, because, at least for me, something remarkable did happen.

I wrote “An Appeal for Sanity” during the evening hours of Monday, July 28, 2014. I was called to write it, if you understand what I mean. I was watching BBC World News when I got a glimpse of Lyse Doucet’s report, “No place to hide for children of war in Gaza and Syria,” and that was enough. I saw the children, I felt their pain, and I heard the command to do something. I had more important things to do — or so I thought — but The Voice Within commanded me to put all things aside and dedicate myself to “do something.” I had to obey. See, I was the one who, many years ago, asked, “God, use me. Make me an instrument of your peace.” And since writing is what I do, I sat down and wrote “An Appeal for Sanity” which can be be summarized by the two words I capitalized in that plea: “PLEASE, STOP!”

Now the God-incidence…

The following day — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — I got to know that Pope Francis, in an impromptu plea for peace, said the following words during his Sunday address at Saint Peter’s Square:

“Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of the CHILDREN who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future. Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who don’t know how to smile. PLEASE STOP! I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. STOP, PLEASE!” 

You can watch the Pope’s plea in this short video…

Now, what I find worthy of notice is that although I was completely unaware of his remarks, both of us were called to bring attention to the pain and suffering of the CHILDREN, and that the same two words, “PLEASE, STOP!” powerfully emerged in different places and times. For me, a God-incidence.

So here’s my inspiration.

You may be reading this and be moved to do something. Maybe you don’t know what to do. Well, here’s something we all can do. Let us send out this message to the world…



Go ahead. Take your picture and send your plea out to the world, for the world to see.

Don’t think too much. Just do it!




P.S. To read Lysa Doucet’s report, please visit No place to hide for children of war in Gaza and Syria


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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”


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– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”



– “Silent Peace Walk”





An Appeal for Sanity – Part 1

Here, in the comfort and safety of my home located thousands of miles from the nearest war zone, I watch the news and think about the children who have been directly affected by war. My heart cries and my spirit sinks. I think how their lives have been forever tarnished. I ponder on all the distress violence brings about.


war-children 2

war-children 3

war-children 4

war-children 5

Violence inflicts pain and suffering, and condemns little children to carry the memories of atrocities for a lifetime. Violence shatters the children’s innocence and hope, and disseminates fear and mistrust. Violence brings forth the desire for revenge, and turns innocent children in slaves of hatred. Violence only produces more violence.

This insanity must stop.

This is my appeal for sanity: PLEASE, STOP!

Drop your weapons and go take care of the children, all children, your own and the children of your enemies; they are your children too. We are all related. We are one family.

Drop your weapons, and go take care of the children. Take care of their wounds. Feed them. Shelter them. Give them love. Give them love. Give them love. Give them hope. Give them family.



Let’s keep in touch.

Please, like Peaceful Ways on Facebook at

Learn about upcoming workshops and retreats at the Peaceful Ways website

Let’s keep the conversation going; read my writings, and send me your comments. 

Subscribe to my blog through the link below.

Thank you!


You can find my books at the Peaceful Ways online store.

Thank you!

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”


Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”



– “Silent Peace Walk”




If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

~ Rudyard Kipling
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)



I am not an island

To all of you out there, beautiful souls, who give of yourselves to make this world a better place…

To all of you out there, beautiful souls, who give of yourselves to make the lives of our fellow men better…

To all of you out there, beautiful souls, who engage in the work of inner exploration and betterment of your own selves…

To all of you who, despite the mundane pressures, demands and distractions of life, engage in the work of finding and cultivating justice, peace and beauty within your own selves, and who, by doing so, make the world more peaceful and beautiful for all of us…

… I want to say, “Thank you.”


I am deeply touched by the work you do.

When you feed someone, you are also feeding me. When you shelter someone, you are also sheltering me. When you clothe someone, you are also clothing me. When you protect someone, you are also protecting me. When you give someone love, you are also giving love to me.

Every time someone’s life is diminished, I am diminished, but every time a life is exalted, I am exalted. We are all connected. When you do good, good is bestowed upon all of us. When you better yourself, you aren’t the only one benefiting from it; I am too. When you take good care of others, you are also caring for me. When you lift someone up, you are also lifting me up. For that — for lifting your own self and others up, and, therefore, for lifting me up — I am grateful.

Receive my heartfelt, “Thank you.”


“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~ John Donne


Thank you.

Be well.



Positive Affirmations 4

I am prospering everyday. I feel it.

I am growing in health, love, happiness, wealth, serenity, and wisdom everyday. I feel it.


I am getting healthier everyday. I feel it.

The love I give and receive expands everyday. I feel it.

My wealth is multiplying everyday. I feel it.

I experience more serenity and peace everyday. I feel it.

My consciousness expands everyday. I feel it.

I am getting wiser everyday. I feel it.

I grow in gratitude everyday. I feel it.

I am advancing and moving forward in all aspects of my life everyday. I feel it.

My life is good and is getting better everyday. I feel it.

I am connected to the inexhaustible and generous Source of the Universe that keeps providing abundantly everyday. I feel it.

More and more good things keep coming to me everyday. I feel it.


Everything that is good is coming my way. Everything that is bad is going away.


Namaste. The Divine Intelligence in me recognizes the Divine Intelligence in everything around me, gives thanks, and rejoices. Namaste.


Positive Affirmations 3

The universal, intelligent, loving and healing life force energy flows freely through me. It purifies me. It heals me. It protects me.

I am healed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.


My body is healthy. My mind is clear. My heart is joyful. My soul is serene.

I am happy. I am healthy. I am wealthy. I am wise.


A good friend told me that these positive affirmations brought back memories of her childhood. She told me that one of the preferred sayings of her father was, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” I will add the word “Happy” to that saying. “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.”

“My body is healthy. My mind is clear. My heart is joyful. My soul is serene. I am happy. I am healthy. I am wealthy. I am wise.”


Go forth and make this day a great day!

Why stop there? Do more than that. Be bold.

Go forth and make this day The Best Day Ever!


Namaste. The Divine Presence in me recognizes the Divine Presence in you, gives thanks, and rejoices. Namaste.



Positive Affirmations 2

  1. Examine your desires.
  2. Make sure that what you want is what you really want , not what the world around you told you to want.
  3. Be authentic.
  4. Once you have clear that what you desire is actually what is best for you, focus your thoughts on imagining your desires fulfilled, and try to feel now the same joy you will feel when your dreams come true.


Here’s a positive affirmation that you can use: “Everything that is good is coming my way. Everything that is bad is going away.” Just say it. If possible, practice in front of a mirror.

  1. Open your arms and while you say, “Everything that is good is coming my way,” bring your hands toward your chest, palms facing in. Feel everything that is good coming to you, and embrace the good feelings.
  2. Once your hands are near your body, gently rotate them, and with the palms of your hands now facing outward, say, “Everything that is bad is going away.” Say these words while imagining that you are gently and successfully pushing everything that is bad away from you with your hands.
  3. Repeat at least three times, and every time, open a wider smile. “Everything that is good is coming my way. Everything that is bad is going away.”
  4. Sometimes I say, “All that is good comes to me, and stays. All that is bad moves away from me, and never comes back.”

Here’s another thing you can do to develop your positive self-talk: memorize “The Optimist Creed” (I posted it on 10/16/2013) and recite it everyday.

Practice, practice, practice, over and over again, and you will certainly experience all the good things that have always been and will always be available to you.

Namaste! The Divine in me recognizes the Divine all around me, gives thanks and rejoices. Namaste!


Positive Affirmations 1

The secret to a good life is to populate your mind and heart with positive thoughts and feelings, giving no room for negativity.

  1. Whenever you fear that something bad may happen, or that you may not have enough, the best thing you can do is to immediately acknowledge that you are having negative thoughts. Remember that you are not your thoughts; you are the one having the thoughts. Notice that you have noticed that you are having the thoughts, therefore you are separated from your thoughts, and you can choose not to stay with them.
  2. Every time you become aware that you are being attacked by negative thoughts and feelings — such as fears, doubts, and worries of any nature – stop and say to yourself, “Here they are again. I know where these negative thoughts will take me if I let them; they will take me to the doldrums. I choose not to go there, and I am not going there. I choose not to give space to fear, worry and anxiety.” A friend of mine developed his own technique to deal with negative thoughts: he imagines that he is watching the thoughts on the screen of an imaginary TV. Once he notices that he is being sucked into a melodrama and negative emotions that are not doing him any good, he simply turns the imaginary TV off. That’s all. Negative thoughts and emotions are gone. This works for him, and you can develop your own way of sending negative thoughts away.
  3. The next step is to bring positive thoughts in. Begin by giving thanks for all the good you have already received and for all the good that you will soon receive.
  4. Quietly go to the sacred center of your being, and restore your confidence in the abundance of the Universe. Mentally, imagine yourself going with confidence to the inexhaustible source of all that is good in the Universe, and feel yourself receiving much more than what you need or ask for. You will always have everything you need and desire. It is your birthright.
  5. Experience the feeling that you are divinely protected and abundantly blessed. Peace, harmony, success, achievement, well-being, and perfect health are yours.
  6. In your mind, see images of yourself experiencing abundance.
  7. In your body, feel the satisfaction and tranquility of having everything you need. Feel the serenity and joy of living a life blessed with an abundance of good things.


Every time any worry about the future emerges, replace the negative with positive. Practice positive self-talk. Gently bring to your mind positive affirmations. Do this over and over again throughout your days, no matter how many times it may be necessary, no matter how many times negative thoughts come to haunt you. As you continue to do this diligently, the negative thoughts will dwindle away and more good things will come your way.

This is what I call prayer.

Believe, and you will receive!

Practice, practice, practice, over and over again, and you will certainly experience all the good things that have always been and will always be available to you.

Namaste! The Divine in me recognizes the Divine all around me, gives thanks and rejoices. Namaste!




Apparently there is a new soap opera running on Brazilian TV where one of the characters addresses another by calling him “Poderoso,” which means “Powerful.”

I talk to my father, who lives in Brazil, quite often, and lately he has been calling me either “Poderoso,” or “Poderosissimo” (“Super-Powerful”)  And I can’t remember one single conversation I have had with him in which he hasn’t uttered his command, “Positive Thinking, always!” He often says, “Every day, from all points of view, I am better than before.” 


I love my father. He always has uplifting messages for me. He always tells me, “You are a victorious man. You have built a beautiful life, a beautiful family.” His remarks are a reminder to look back and give thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me. They remind me to practice gratitude, the key that opens the door to the Kingdom of Happiness and Serenity.

I guess that this is what we do: we touch other people’s lives. My father touches my life and other lives in a positive way. I, too, touch his life and other lives in a positive way, and what a great feeling this is!

So, inspired by my father, here’s my message to you today:

“You are a victorious and powerful individual!”

“You have touched and continue to touch many lives in a positive way!”

“Give thanks for the many blessings you have received, and for the many more that are coming your way!”

And remember, “Positive thinking, always, all the time!”

“Every day, in every way, I am better, better, and better!”


Aparentemente há uma nova novela na TV brasileira onde um dos personagens chama o outro de “Poderoso.”

Eu falo com o meu pai, que mora no Brasil, muitas vezes, e ultimamente ele tem me chamando de “Poderoso” ou de “Poderosissimo.” E eu não me lembro de uma única conversa na qual ele não tenha comandado, “Pensamento positivo, sempre!” Ele frequentemente diz, “Todos os dias, sob todos pontos de vista, estou cada vez melhor.”

Eu amo meu pai. Ele sempre tem mensagens edificantes para mim. Ele me disse: “Você é um vitorioso. Você construiu uma bela vida, uma linda familia.”

Suas declarações me lembram de olhar para trás e agradecer pelas muitas bênçãos que foram derramadas sobre mim. Elas me lembram de praticar gratidão, a chave que abre a porta para o Reino da Alegria e da Serenidade.

Eu acho que isso é o que nós fazemos: nós tocamos a vida de outras pessoas. Meu pai toca a minha vida e outras vidas de uma forma positiva. Eu, também, toco a vida dele e outras vidas de uma forma positiva, e que grande sentimento isso me traz!

Então, inspirado pelo meu pai, aqui vai a minha mensagem para você hoje:

“Você é uma pessoa vitoriosa e poderosa!”

“Você tocou e continua a tocar muitas vidas de uma forma positiva!”

“Dê graças pelas muitas bênçãos que você recebeu, e pelas muitas mais que estão vindo em sua direção!”

E lembre-se: “Pensamento positivo, sempre, o tempo todo!”

“Todos os dias, sob todos os pontos de vista, estou cada vez melhor!”


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Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”


– “Silent Peace Walk”


Ebb and Flow and Mind Control

Sometimes we feel like superheroes, ready to face life’s greatest challenges. Other times we feel like timid cowards, wanting to flee and hide. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why?”

Sometimes we feel courageous, optimistic, determined and confident, while other times we experience fear, pessimism, hesitation and doubt. Why?

One day we wake up full of positive energy, but many are the days when we feel so depleted that even getting out of bed is difficult. Why?

Why do we go through these mood fluctuations? What is it that hurls us to the highest peaks one day, and pull us down to the lowest valleys the next? And is there a way to avoid the descent into the doldrums?

James Allen, the author of “As A Man Thinketh,” clearly made the point: “We are what we think!” Since the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our thoughts, we better make sure we know how to select our thoughts wisely.

The key that opens the door to the kingdom of happiness and serenity is the understanding that our thoughts influence our moods, and if we want to live a happy, productive life we must learn to select our thoughts.

The prescription may sound simple, but implementing it is not always easy. But if we practice mindfulness with diligence, eventually we will be better able to screen and select our thoughts, and this will help us tame melancholy and gloom.

Enter Mind Control…


So, here’s my recommendation:

1 – Meditate everyday. Separate yourself from your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are the one who observes them.

2 – Practice mindfulness. Be the one who observes your moods. Be aware of your feelings. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling? Why am I fearful? Why am I enraged? Why am I sad? Why am I feeling this way?” Be the one who identifies the thoughts behind the moods. Screen your thoughts many times during the day. “What am I thinking? How are my thoughts affecting my mood?” Remember that you are not your moods either; you are the one who observes them and is capable of choosing which ones should stay and which ones should go.

3 – Spot the ugly ego at work, ready to get a hold of you and bring you down. Be the one who observes the ego. When the situation arises, be ready to say, “There you are, hiding in the bushes. I see you. I’m not going to stay here and play your game. I am moving on to a better place. Good-bye.”

4 – Put a positive spin on your thinking. Learn techniques that allow you to shift from negative to positive self-talk. Practice the techniques of creative visualization and positive affirmations. The moment you identify a negative thought in your mind, gently let it go, and replace it with the best positive image of yourself surrounded by affirmations such as, “I am growing in health, love, wealth and wisdom everyday. I am advancing and moving forward everyday. I am prospering everyday. All that is good is coming my way.”

5 – Finally, surround yourself with positive, supportive, happy people. Smile a lot and laugh more. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, a  healthy diet, and learn techniques to manage stress.

The practice of meditation and mindfulness helps immensely with these aforementioned points. When we meditate, we learn to observe our thoughts: we acknowledge the thoughts, and gently release them, without initiating an inner narrative or dialogue. The greatest benefit of meditation is equipping us to screen our moods, our thoughts, and our egos at work during the other hours of the day when we are not meditating. It is through the practice of meditation that we realize that we are not our moods, our thoughts and our egos; we are separated from them. We are the ones who observe them. Through practice, we learn to not engage with negative thoughts; we learn to let them simply pass by.

The practice of creative visualization and positive affirmations helps us reduce the negative self-talk. Soon, we will find ourselves criticizing less, looking for the good in every situation, and expressing gratitude more often. It may take some time, but this practice produces optimists. You have everything you need to become one. Remember: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Do these things and not only you will be blessed, but you will be a blessing to the world.


Let’s keep in touch.

Please, like Peaceful Ways on Facebook at

Learn about upcoming workshops and retreats at the Peaceful Ways website

If you like what I have to say, let’s keep the conversation going: read my blogs, my books, and send me your comments. 

Subscribe to my blog through the link below.


You can find my books at the Peaceful Ways online store.

Thank you!

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”


Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”



– “Silent Peace Walk”



New Ideas for a Healthy Planet

Lissa Rankin, MD is a physician and author. She left her medical practice in 2007 and became a leader in the field of mind/body medicine. She is the author of “Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself.” She teaches how to heal the body by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not only through healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but also through healthy relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She believes in self-healing and in empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body.

I like what she has to say, and I agree with her: our thoughts determine the quality of our lives and the quality of our health.

She lists a series of factors that are essential for our physical health, such as:

  • Having healthy relationships
  • Having a healthy professional life
  • Being able to express oneself creatively
  • Being spiritually connected
  • Having a healthy sex life
  • Being healthy financially
  • Living in a healthy environment

All these factors contribute to our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health. When one or more of those are missing, we lose our balance, and mental and physical illnesses pop up.

The problem is that many of those factors are not easily attainable. For instance, if being financially healthy — not worrying about money – is one of the ingredients of a healthy body, than, unfortunately, the majority of Earth’s population is destined to be sick.

Here are some facts and statistics about poverty in our planet:

  • Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
  • More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
  • The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
  • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

And these are just a few facts and statistics. There are many more in the site from where I got these numbers:

All this brings to my mind Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Human Needs.” Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. The most fundamental and basic four layers are what Maslow called “deficiency needs:” physical needs, security needs, friendship and love needs, and esteem needs. If these “deficiency needs” are not met, the individual will feel anxious and tense, and the mental and physical health will be affected. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the higher level needs.

Merging what Abraham Maslow said and what Lissa Rankin is saying – and I ask beforehand  forgiveness to both authors for taking this liberty – we can conclude that if you are hungry, without a safe shelter, worried about your survival, unemployed, underemployed, working in a job that you don’t like, working in an unhealthy work environment, being underpaid, not having enough to cover your health care expenses may something bad happen, making just enough money to go by, most likely you will not be able to focus on what you need to be physically and mentally healthy; most likely you will not enjoy healthy relationships, you will not have time and venues to express yourself creatively, you will not have time and energy for spiritual exploration and growth, you will not have time and energy to build a good relationship and have a healthy sex life, you will not have the means to live in a healthy environment. (1)


Now, let’s pause for a moment and remember that our thoughts determine the quality of our lives. Faulty mindsets, many times, manifest unhealthy relationships, lead individuals to accept poor pay, unhealthy work conditions, and other sorts of abuse, which lead to mental and physical disease.

Happiness and optimism are states of mind that have a positive effect on everyone’s health. They bring about success. A positive mindset manifests healthy relationships, a good professional life, a healthy financial situation. It opens up opportunities for a creative life, for spiritual exploration and for a healthy sexuality. Happiness is independent, for instance, from one’s wealth. Don’t you know wealthy individuals who are constantly complaining, and poor fellows who are always smiling, happy and grateful for the life they have?

We have to remember that have the power to control our thoughts. We can let go of the negative ones, and replace them with positive ones. Our health and happiness depend on our mindset. We can look at every situation in life and choose to see abundance instead of scarcity. We can choose to be optimistic instead of pessimistic. We can all practice positive thinking, and benefit from it. We can learn how to nurture positivism. I am a living witness of the positive outcomes of this practice.

I have covered this very important subject in more detail in other writings, and I will continue to do so. For now, let’s focus on the idea that those whose most basic needs are unmet are the ones most prone to disease.


So here I go again.


The world does not have to be like this.

We can organize ourselves to live on this planet in a much better way.

This is a place of abundance, and there is more than enough for everybody.

We can assure to everybody life, liberty and the means to pursue happiness.

We can organize ourselves so every family can have what they need to survive: food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, and a clean and healthy environment to live.

We can guarantee health care and education for everyone.

We can eradicate the basic worries with survival and grant everyone the means for a dignified life.


And we can do better.

Instead of living in fear of not having enough;

Instead of oppressing and exploiting others for personal gain;

Instead of accumulating more than the necessary and depriving others of the essential means to live with dignity;

Instead of living in a mode of constant competition and fight…

We can tame our fears, change our ways, and live much better.

We are here to express ourselves fully and give our unique gifts to the world, what Maslow referred to as Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence.

And we are here to help others develop themselves, so they too can express themselves fully and be able to give the gifts that only they, and no one else, can give to the family of the Earth.

We can do better.

We can become a network of individuals who support one another on our journeys to become the best we can be.

We can become a network of individuals who look after one another, and help one another reach those stages of development where each one of us will be able to give our best contributions to the world.

We need a new paradigm for a new world.

We need a new set of beliefs to manifest a better world.

We need to embrace solidarity, cooperation and collaboration as the values to live by.

We must help one another find ways to enjoy healthy professional lives where we may be able to do what we feel called to do, where we may be able to fully express our purpose in life, where we may give our best contribution to the world, and where we may be able to enjoy financial rewards that will allow us to live worry-free lives so we can concentrate our efforts in bringing Heaven to Earth.

We can do it. Believe it!


(1) Please, check my reflection titled “Peace is an offspring of justice.”

Thank you.




I Will Pray for You

This is a reflection. What follows was not written by me. I just copied material written by other authors.


The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”


“I’ll pray for you.”

Before I get into this, I want to say, prayer is the most important thing we can do for someone. Breakthroughs come from God, from the Holy Spirit working in our lives.  Miracles come through prayer.

With that said, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this floating around in my head for a while, mainly a couple of problems with this being our sole response to people who are hurting, or in need.

1. Empty words.

Sometimes we say “I’ll pray for you” because it’s a good thing to say. It’s the Christian thing to say. Where others might say “I’m sorry for your situation” or “I hope it gets better,” We Christians say “I’ll pray for you.”

The leader of our women’s prayer group at church has this rule.  As soon as a prayer request is mentioned, we immediately stop and pray. It’s how she lives her life, because she realizes that without doing this, there is a very good possibility that we’ll forget or not get around to it.

Prayer is great, but we say “I’ll pray for you,” more often than we actually do it.

Put it in action: If you see someone struggling, hurting, or in need–stop what you’re doing and pray for them. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or eloquent, and maybe you’ll revisit it later and pray more in depth, but praying immediately ensures that you’ll honor your word.

2. It replaces practical help.

In James 2:14-17, we read this: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? …If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

My husband and I used to do this funny skit, called the $50 skit.  It’s about a college student who needs $50 to pay his electric bill.  In the skit, he meets a series of people, each one a Christian who has been blessed with an extra $50.  Thus begins a hilarious episode of each friend trying to help him get what he needs, using everything from “faith aerobics” to getting down on your belly to be “humble enough”, and “naming it and claiming it”.  In the end, a final person walks up to him–after his faith has been beaten down, and says simply “I don’t know what you’re going through, but the Lord put it on my heart to give you this $50.”  It’s funny, but powerful.

I was reminded of this skit recently when my friend shared a story about her 3 year old daughter.  She had told her daughter at the store, “You can’t run away–I need you to help me.”  To which her daughter replied:  ”Okay, I’ll just pray for you.”

This innocent, funny story pierced my heart with conviction. On the one hand–it’s evidence of her mother’s teaching that she thought of prayer first, and that’s awesome.  But at the same time, how often do we do this?

How often do we say “I’ll pray for you,” when the practical help is within our power to give?

God works through people sometimes. You and me.

Sarah Mae, in talking about her book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, talks about how moms need physical help sometimes. And don’t we all?

Is there someone that you can offer physical, practical help to today?  What’s stopping you?

Power of Prayer

I fully believe in the power and importance of prayer.  There are so many times where we need God to step in because nothing else will help–heart issues, healing, etc.

But maybe, sometimes, we should be a little more hands on. Yes, pray for others.  But also offer practical, physical support as well.

Is there a time in your life when someone has offered you real, practical help?

~ in “Offering Practical Help to Others” by Crystal Brothers – “Serving Joyfully blog,” May 15, 2013


Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of this parable, contrasting the rapacious philosophy of the robbers, and the self-preserving non-involvement of the priest and Levite, with the Samaritan’s coming to the aid of the man in need. King also extended the call for neighborly assistance to society at large:

“On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

~ from the entry “Parable of the Good Samaritan” in Wikipedia /  Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Time to Break the Silence,” quoted in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark R. Valeri, Global Neighbors: Christian Faith and Moral Obligation in Today’s Economy, Eerdmans Publishing, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-6033-8, p. 31.


To show compassion is to suffer with the wounded and the suffering, to share their pain and agony. Compassion does not leave us indifferent or insensitive to another’s pain but calls for solidarity with the suffering. This is how Jesus, the Good Samaritan par excellence, showed compassion. At times we can be like the priest and the scribe who, on seeing the wounded man, passed by on the other side. We can be silent spectators afraid to involve ourselves and dirty our hands.

Compassion demands that we get out of ourselves as we reach out to others in need. It means that we get our hands and even our reputations dirty. Indifference is worse than hostility. The hostile person at least acknowledges the presence of the other while reacting violently to it; the indifferent person, on the other hand, ignores the other and treats him as if he did not exist. That was the kind of indifference and insensitivity shown by the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side, leaving the wounded and waylaid traveler completely alone.

The Good Samaritan shows us what compassion and commitment are all about. He could have easily passed by on the other side. He could have closed his heart and refused to respond to a genuine need. But he stopped and knelt down beside the stranger who was hurting. At that moment, a neighbor was born. Everyone who stops beside the suffering of another person, whatever form it may take, is a Good Samaritan. This stopping and stooping, this pausing and kneeling down beside the suffering, is not done out of curiosity but out of love. The Samaritan’s compassion brings him to perform a whole series of actions. First he bandaged his wounds, then he took the wounded man to an inn to care for him, and before leaving, he gives the innkeeper the necessary money to take care of him.

Loving means acting like the Good Samaritan. We know that Jesus himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us. More than 2,000 years after this story was first told, it continues to move people deeply. It teaches us what authentic compassion, commitment and communion with others are all about.

~ in “Loving Means Acting Like the Good Samaritan” by Father Thomas Rosica — “Salt + Light blog,” July 9, 2013.

A New Paradigm for a New World

We have to be careful with the ideas we accept simply because we manifest our beliefs. If we believe, for instance, that human beings will always fight, oppress and exploit one another, then that’s exactly what we will get. Within this frame of mind, mankind will never experience widespread justice and peace.

If we want to transform the world and make it better, we must first change our thoughts. We must refrain from repeating fatalistic prognostics such as, “This is the way things have always been, and will always be.” We must put our pessimistic omens aside, imagine a better future, and affirm with conviction, “Things don’t need to be the way they are now. We have the capacity to make them better.”


It is difficult for us to understand that we are molded by the ideas we unconsciously accept. Why is it so? Because we are immersed in them. Think of fish for a moment. They are unable to see and understand the water in which they swim. They are surrounded by water, immersed in it, but unaware of it. We too, like fish, are surrounded and immersed in an ocean of widely accepted ideas, pervasive beliefs, far-reaching assumptions and ways of thinking that trigger automatic and unquestioned responses. And we are mostly unaware of it all.

Paradigms not only condition our reflexes and bring about predictable outcomes; they also restrict how we see the world, limiting our imagination, and blocking us from considering new ideas and possibilities. The current prevalent beliefs constrain us to accept with resignation that this undesirable reality is unchangeable, and that pessimistic outcomes are inevitable. Inequity, injustice and unfairness around us are accepted without further questioning because we believe that, “This is the way things have always been, and will always be.”


Once again, our realities are shaped by the ideas we accept and the stories we tell ourselves.

If we believe that unity and cooperation are impossible, we will attract experiences that will validate that belief. If we believe that humans will never transcend their selfishness, and their loyalty to tribes, religions and nations — and will always be fighting one another — we will find innumerable instances that will confirm those beliefs. If we are among those who keep saying, “We are right, and they are wrong. We are good, and they are evil” — and if we are unable to see that every individual, independent of the group, nation, party, religion, tribe, or any other gang he or she belongs to, is saying the exact same thing — we will continue to propagate prejudice and division. Finally, if we believe that life is a struggle without end, and that we have to compete and fight to get what we need because there isn’t enough for all of us, our experiences will validate those beliefs.


But we would have a completely different experience, and manifest a much better world, if we embraced more positive, optimistic and inclusive beliefs. We would have a completely different, and much more pleasant experience, if we were brought up hearing messages such as, “Don’t be afraid. This is a place of abundance. There is plenty for everyone. We all take care of one another here on Earth. You don’t have to worry. There’s no need to compete and accumulate. Just give your best, collaborate and share, and you — and everyone else — will be fine.”

The adoption of new, more optimistic ways of seeing life changes everything. We can change the world by adopting new thoughts ourselves. If we do so, eventually we will reach that tipping point when the prevailing paradigms will change. That will be the day when consciousness will shift, and we will begin to manifest a much more beautiful reality in this physical dimension.


I imagine that a day will come when we will be looking back, and saying, “In the past we lived in fear. We were constantly worried about not having enough for our survival. This fear created all sorts of problems. It made us extract all we could from the environment, and accumulate much more than what we needed. It made us compete, oppress, exploit and fight one another. That struggle brought about a lot of pain and suffering; while some were able to gather a whole lot, the immense majority ended up with almost nothing. Both those who had and those who didn’t have lived in fear: the former were afraid of losing what they had, while the latter lived in the constant despair of not having enough to survive. But once we came to the realization that this is a place of abundance, and that we are all in this together, we changed the inefficient and unjust ways we had organized ourselves to live on this planet. We began to cooperate much more with one another, and everything changed: fear vanished, generosity flourished, solidarity blossomed, and peace became possible. We came to the realization that this is our Garden and our Playground, and we finally brought Heaven to Earth.”


Once the majority of human beings come to embrace those new beliefs, a new, much better world will arise.

We can change our physical world if we change the way we live in it. But in order to successfully create the conditions for everyone to thrive and enjoy life to the fullest, we must first change our thoughts and beliefs.

So here’s my challenge to you: adopt these more positive, optimistic, life-enhancing beliefs. Practice them. Live them. Propagate them.

Believe that Heaven is here if we want it to be. Accept that this is a place of abundance where there is more than enough for everybody. Accept that things don’t need to be the way they are. Accept that we, all of us, can have our needs met and live without fear. Accept that we have the capacity to come up with better, more efficient ways of organizing ourselves to live on this planet. Believe that reason, justice and fairness will prevail. Envision all human beings living dignified, fulfilling lives. Envision a world of solidarity, where we fully support one another, and where each one of us develops to the fullest, and gives his or her best contribution to humanity.

Look back and be optimistic! The world has changed. The world is changing. The world will continue to change for the better.

Believe it!

As “Bucky” Fuller said, “It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting the high technology from weaponry to livingry.”

buckminster fuller


“The time is past for tweaking this or that external circumstance. No superficial change will fix things. What we need is more than behavioral change and more than psychological change; we need nothing less than for an otherworldly light to enter our hearts and make us whole. The answer lies not in the future or in another place. No change in time or space but rather a change in our perception holds the key to a world made new. And the new world is closer than we think. We find it when we settle deeply into the hidden, more loving dimensions of any moment, allowing life to be what it wants to be and letting ourselves be who we were created to be.” ~ Marianne Williamson

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