#652 – Dick Bernard: Thoughts Towards a Better World

(click on photos to enlarge them)

Suburban Woodbury MN sunrise October 9 2012

When I initiated this blog site in 2009 I chose to call it “Thoughts Towards a Better World”, since my interest was in a future which would be a positive legacy to my grandchildren and all of their cohort on the planet earth.
Often, I will admit, this seems to be a goal beyond attaining, but I march on, trying to stay optimistic and do my tiny little part “towards a better world”, and invite others to do the same. We are in the world as it is, hence my photo of traffic and a sunrise – perhaps dissonant, but nonetheless the reality most of we Americans and indeed others in our world share.
Yesterday, in the detritus of Election 2012 came a remarkably uplifting piece of video, about 6 minutes in length, which I would invite you to enjoy. You can access it here. It is exactly as it is. You don’t need to forward it. Do check it out. It is narrated, beautifully, by Brother David Steindl-Rast.
And consider some suggestions which follow, or construct your own positive vision for the coming weeks, months and years, and do something to implement that vision. I emphasize the word positive. Mostly we have become mired in an incessant cesspool of negative messaging, primarily in a ‘war’ vocabulary. It isn’t useful.
Here’s an invitation to visit a couple of websites, and to consider participating in some way in their message of Peace.
Consider sponsoring or beginning discussions about becoming a Peace Site. You can get the information here. This is a worldwide program which got especially strong legs in Minnesota a number of years ago, but continues to this day. As best as I can determine, the original Peace Sites were in New Jersey: Peace Sites NJ 1982001

Eagle Scout Eric Lusardi, family and friends dedicate a Peace Pole, Peace Site and Peace Garden on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2012, New Richmond, Wisconsin.

Minneapolis’ Lynn Elling, still actively engaged and in his 90s, adopted Peace Sites as one of his “driving dreams” towards World Peace. Here is a film clip from about 2000 about Lynn and his notion of Peace Sites. Peace stories are often interconnected, and here’s a website I initiated in 2008 about Lynn and Dr. Joseph Schwartzberg, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota, himself a powerful advocate for a better world.
Participate in the 25th anniversary celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg College in Minneapolis MN March 8-10, 2013. The information is all here. This will be an uplifting and inspiring event including two Nobel Laureates.
There are endless, truly endless, lists of positive things we all can do, one tiny bit at a time.
As the video says, powerfully, today is unique, a new day. So will be tomorrow, a new day, and the next, and next. Perhaps a glimpse at R. Padre Johnson’s magnificent painting of the Global Human Family (below) can help spur us on to do a little bit of good each day.

Photo of a print of R. Padre Johnson's work, the Global Human Family

When Padre Johnson talks about being with people in 159 countries in the world – his own experience – he emphasizes being with people in food and in dance.
Here’s a wonderful website of dance to togetherness.
POSTNOTE: On Jan. 6, 2013, in Minneapolis will be a preview showing, invitation only, to a film about Garry Davis, World Citizen. If you are interested in more information, contact dick_bernardATmeDOTcom.

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