Omar Mateen was once a beautiful and innocent baby boy. He was not born to be a slaughterer. Was this terrorism? Yes, if by this we mean the terror that he suffered for desiring men when his father reviled homosexuality. The terror he suffered when his culture told him if he was gay he would be the shame of his entire family. More than terrorism, this was also Shame-ism. Omar’s self-hate was methodically taught to him.
Culture. Why do we give culture so much respect, in the name of tolerance?
And yes, it was terrorism if by this we mean the terror wrought upon us all by ‘freedom’ – when ‘freedom’ is the freedom to do business unrestrained. Someone still has the money Omar spent that day. Others will make more money from the fear that has been sown. The answer to the problem is more of the same problem, right?
Now comes the blame war. “It’s Islam!”. “It’s the NRA!”. “It’s the homophobes!”. In some measure, for sure it is all of those. A smoking gun is certainly in the hands of patriarchal culture of all stripes. And free-for-all capitalism? Its hands drip with blood, no question.
Today, I would like to say: “Je suis LGBTI!”. Problem is, in the deeper shadows of Self, I am also Islam. I am also Bigot. I am also Capitalism.
For the love of the families that were shattered that day in Orlando, for the unbearable horror and unfathomable loss that has hit them, maybe we can all breathe out a little more, extend our being-ness a little more widely. They are all our family. Omar Mateen however, is also our son. In some way we all gave permission for him to be brought up in crushing shame, and then to be enabled in his final act. And the system that sold him his weapon gloats, it goes unmolested. We each have a Voice and are responsible for both using it and not using it. From this day on, what can we each say differently, what can we think differently, how can we vote differently, to what will we give our money, our energy? And most importantly: what can we stop believing in? What can we stop accepting?
May 2016, they meet in Dakar. Humanity rolls up its sleeves, and re-greens the biggest desert. Changing the climate. Feeding the hungry. Multi-crops among the trees, in a gigantic, new and bio-diverse forest.
From despair come unity and daring.
Something new has begun.
So simple…so many of the world’s most frightening problems solved at once…
Is this a time for hopelessness and fear, or a time for paradigm-shifting solutions?
A farm that RESTORES the environment?? Really??? While feeding a populace, restoring health, providing an excess of renewable biofuel, with zero fertilizers, with zero pesticides, sequestering mega-tons of carbon from the air and nitrogen from the sea…
I am stunned.
See what you think. And be sure to watch the Ted video! CLICK
By prohibiting physical punishment in al settings, Mongolia has just become the first country in East Asia to do so.
Once the most feared warriors and invaders throughout Asia and Europe, now leaders in peace-oriented reform.
49 nations have prohibited, 52 more are in process. The veneer or normalcy is starting to peel off this old habit.
Fantastic news. Across several branches of Judaism, and in the secular Jewish world, in USA, South America, Europe and even in Israel – yes, very much so in Israel – young Jewish parents and rabbinical authorities are no longer amputating their babies’ foreskins.
Finally, circumcision is being understood for what it is: “a barbaric remnant of pre-civilized times” and “a violation of human rights” . The medical world has largely agreed that health benefits are mythical, and loss of function is a certainty.
I had not realized how rapidly the rejection of this malignant practice has swept the Jewish world, in hundreds of thousands and growing. Read more.
Parenting can sure be stressful, and that might be the understatement of the year. There is so much information out there about what children need in order to thrive. But not enough attention is given to what we need as parents, on a daily basis, in order to keep our cool, stay grounded, feel nourished and supported, and really enjoy the journey.
And there is more: how can we turn parenting into the greatest ever personal growth and healing journey – for us the parents?
“Parenting as a Hero’s Journey” is a 3-part evening workshop series that answers all those questions and more, and is filled with practical, skills-based goodies for parents.
For more information, click here.
This was the last brief interview we did with Lisa Reagan from Kindred Community. We were in New York, at the end of my ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World Tour’, and we were talking about the global Children’s Liberation Movement.
Here it is, I hope you enjoy it.
I have exciting news. There is a project underway to translate my book ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World’ into Chinese.
Why? Progressive parents and educators in Hong Kong despair at the lack of freedom of thought in Chinese education systems. I am in close contact with the educators who are working on the translation and publication so I can be assured of a faithful version of the book.
I’m thrilled at the prospect of what my book could do for socially progressive communities in China who are seeking to liberalize childhood and (as are the rest of us!) in this way reduce the ghost of authoritarianism that haunts our politics.
The small group of parents who are working on the Chinese version have initiated a crowd-funding drive in order to sustain the translation, design, printing and promotion of this book. You can read about it here.
A massive study, 96 nations in all, published in the Pediatrics journal. Around the world, more than half of the world’s children were the victims of violence – and that’s just 2014. Bear in mind, that has to be a big underestimate, since in most countries an adult can beat a child and it is not called violence. So most of the violence goes un-noticed and un-reported.
So: to be born as a human child in this world means you have well over 1 in 2 chance of being the victim of violence, mainly from the people who “care” for you. Betrayal, on a grand scale.
To dilute this message or to minimize it is to compound the insult to children. Children are the punching bags for angry, resentful, confused and helpless adults – and the majority remain so despite decades of improvements.
If that is not the reason why we grow up to be so destructive towards this planet, then I don’t know what is. But don’t ever try to tell me that anyone is born to be chronically violent or addictive. People become as they are treated when they are vulnerable. Together, this is the destiny we author every day.
To read more about this piece of research, click here.
What do our changing childbirth practices have to do with the kinds of societies we create?
Can we build interconnectedness and an ecologically harmonious model of society…by reforming how we bring children into this world?
In one of the most beautiful parts of coastal Scotland, September 2016, this transformative conference is being convened – and you are invited to join us.
Find out a little more? Watch this short video