Wednesday, December 10, 2008

come together

Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master us.
Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and
destruction. Save us from the compulsion to follow our adversaries
in all that we most hate, confirming them in their hatred and
suspicion of us.... Teach us to wait and trust.
excerpt from thomas merton's prayer for peace (1962)

today is the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights. this declaration is composed of a set of thirty articles which are the foundation of achieving freedom, justice, and peace in the world. to read the entire declaration go here. recognizing that over a billion people in the world currently lack access to clean and potable water, resulting in millions of deaths each year, there is a campaign to add another article to this declaration which states the necessity of access to clean water as a fundamental human right. to sign a petition to adopt article 31 click here.

today is also the 40th anniversary of the death of thomas merton. thomas merton was an american trappist monk, writer and photographer. although a member of a contemplative order, merton was passionate about issues of social justice, racial tolerance, and inter-religious understanding. his personal and political radicalism was rooted not in ideology but in non-violence. in 1962, merton's prayer for peace was read in the u.s. house of representatives to begin its session. merton's prayer is as relevant and needed today as ever, to read the entire prayer click here. in 1968 merton was given permission from the abbot of gethsemani to embark on a tour of asia. during his travels he met various religious teachers and leaders, including the dalai lama and thich nhat hanh. unfortunately during this trip merton met an untimely death as a result of a freak electrical accident in bangkok. he was just 53 years of age.

in recognition and to honor both of today's anniversaries I want to share information about a new global movement - I take the vow. the goal of this movement is to promote non-violence and transform the world by taking a vow for non-violence in thoughts, speech, and actions. at this time of year, there is a great deal of talk about 'peace on earth' - what better gift can we give the world but to take a vow to be non-violent. take the vow - now!

photos: top: eglise st. andre ~lourmarin, france. october 2005; insert thomas merton 'borrowed' from the internet.

come together from the beatles abbey road album. rare vid from 1969


Saretta said...

I can vow to be non-violent in speech and actions, but thoughts? I don't have many violent impulses, but a thought is hard to control!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I agree...the thought part is the hardest part of the vow. but it's something for each of us to work on! don't let the thought part keep you from making the vow - I believe the vow has made me more mindful of those 'kind of thoughts' - as martha would say, "mindfulness is a good thing"


R.L. Bourges said...

petite souris: I read both your post and the links with great interest. I was specially interested in the 'questions' section of the alliance website as the term 'vow-phobic' describes me quite accurately. (I was raised in a fundamentalist-Christian environment in which we were pledged and vowed to an inch of our sanity so... ) I like Deepak Chopra's responses to those questions and the distinctions he draws between healthy expressions of emotions (including anger) and hostility. Not easy territory to negociate but really important distinctions to make, in my opinion.

And now, back to writing my story about violent people trying to come to grips with the consequences of their actions... I'll consider that my contribution to the cause, for the time being :-)

best (and thanks for another great Beatles song)

à + and best as usual

Anonymous said...

kimy ... i found this glorious article yesterday that i think (& readers) might love, i know i did:


Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Glad to see you're promoting this important day, and a reminder of the progress that still needs to be made 60 years later. At least the water-borne parasite guinea worm is close to elimination due to grassroots efforts over the past 30 years.

tut-tut said...

It's like having an intent in meditation before yoga. Think of the power over violence we would have with a collective intention!

dennis said...

Dennis will take the vow as long as everything goes smoothly and other cats stay out of his way.

Megan said...

I'm not too good at vows. I will need to read further. Thanks for the links and the info today.

Merle Sneed said...

I'm a work in progress. If other people could cooperate a bit, I would be better.

Barbara said...

Were you in Lourmarin? I thought that church looked familiar!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

rlb - I identify with the concept 'vow phobic' - however when it comes to embracing non--violence I don't have a prob! I neither want to be violent nor do I want to be the receiver of violence - so I actually did not hesitate long to take the vow!

intact - aka gem - thanks for the link wonderful, wonderful article - I hope all the mouse readers link to it.

junk - and I have you to thank re article 31. thank you!

tut - right on!

dennis - yes, a very pragmatic approach.

megan - as I said to rlb I am generally vow phobic also, however in my heart of heart I believe violence is never the in this case I could take the vow. I'm very, very selective on taking vows...they are never taken lightly and always need care and nurturing.... this coming tuesday I have a anniversary of the last time I took a vow - I can't say that it's always been easy but, it has been worth it.....

merle - I hear you. most excellent point! but we need to do our part and TRY - n'est ce-pas.

barbara - yes I was in lourmarin - specifically to visit the grave of albert (who would of course take the vow!).... a charming village. I would like to return.

WAT said...

I love the pic of that church in France.

I believe in human rights, but so many abusive terrible criminals have taken advantage of this, and I often feel victims get stripped away of their rights, instead of the actual perpetrators who get defended by crooked lawyers and use ridiculous defense pleas! Anyone who is found guilty of terrible crimes has no more human rights anymore! NO NO NO!

lettuce said...

i knew about article 31 but hadn't signed up, so thanks for the link

re the vow, i can't help feeling that those who might most need to take such a vow are least likely to....
(not that i'm saying i don't need to)
but who knows, change can begin slowly

Reya Mellicker said...

Yesterday was rainy and gloomy. I was feeling lazy but decided to get outside anyway and run some errands. Just as I entered the hardware store, the song "Imagine" by John Lennon cranked out of the store's PA system.

Tears came to my eyes. Peace. Imagine! Oh yeah.

bitchlet said...


I miss being here. Lovely post.

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