Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Ray of Hope through the Dark Clouds of Sadness

A ray of hope has penetrated our hearts these couple of days, lifting the heaviness of the sadness in our hearts just a bit. The cease-fire card is finally beginning to be played. Of course it should have been placed on the table with authority from day one of this nightmare, but better now than later, better now than never.
People around the world, ordinary people like you and I, have been speaking up, whether by going to peaceful demonstrations or vigils, by leaving their visions and thoughts for a better humanity and a better world on media websites, by adding their names with conviction to cease-fire or peace petitions, by writing letters urging their mps to take urgent action, by working with humanitarian organizations abroad to donate or collect clothing, medicine, food or money or whether by actually going into the field and helping those in need themselves. These actions, these positive, peaceful, humanitarian actions do make a difference put all together. If every single person in the world were to cry out from the depths of their soul and from the depth of their hearts ‘ CEASE-FIRE NOW’, ‘PEACE NOW’, ‘NO MORE VIOLENCE NOW’, whether with Lebanese, French or Chinese accents, their voices united together would create a force of goodness. A force so strong and so convincing that it could bring a ray of hope back to this country that was only a month ago beginning to take flight again. A force so strong, it could bring faith to the people in this area- faith that trees, homes and laughter will once again rise up from beneath the ashes and wipe their tears of despair away.
Of course it will take time. Nobody is expecting a miracle here that would be hoping for too much. Even the once innocent hearts of children have been touched by the cold cruelty of realism. Their hearts may beat passionately and happily once again but in their beating, will pulsate murmurs from this present darkness. Dreams will continue to be haunted for a while. To convince those thinking of leaving not to leave, will take time. To convince those who have left to come back, will take even longer. To resurrect entire villages and towns from their knees and from the rubble they have been reduced to, will take time. To rebuild over a hundred bridges and roads and return them to their once bustling state, will take time. To rescue our once glistening seas from the oil they are now choking in, will take time, experts say over a year. Many are the fish and other sea creatures that have suffered. Much time will pass before we will be able to promise a visiting turtle a safe summer home. Much time will pass before our children can once again bath in the gentleness of Mother Nature’s comfort. It will take time. It will take time. But though it will take time, the strength to rebuild, the strength to re-dream, the strength to recall is there.
Yes… we recall our dream of a peaceful, strong, united Lebanon. We recall the fact the first alphabet was created here in Lebanon and that our nation was once known as the Pearl or Paris of the Middle East. We recall the fact that though Lebanon was destroyed many times before, it was rebuilt, again and again and again, perhaps over seven times.
Like our ancestors did before us, we will not give in to the dark smoke of despair or to hatred. We will stand up again and rebuild. We will reconstruct our dreams and our hopes. Christian, Moslem, Druze or other, we will hope again. This time united as Lebanese, Lebanese with a dream to have a peaceful, strong, united, independent nation.
Not able to sit home any longer between the four walls of my room, I , like many others, got up these last couple of days and joined in the force of civil unity. Encouraged by a friend of mine, I went to a school today, housing many of the refugees who had to flea their homes in the South or in Southern Beirut. Armed with papers, colour pens and a thirst to hope, I spent two hours colouring in with children who more than welcomed me. It did not matter that they were mainly Moslem and that I was Christian for we are part of the same humanity, both Lebanese, both hoping for a better present and a better future. It did not matter that I was a returnee and spoke terrible Arabic. Our language was the same, one of love, one of solidarity. Happy to have something to do, they drew houses and trees and hearts. Many drew a Lebanese flag. My friend and I, Moslem and Christian, side by side, put up their pictures up on a wall in the school. Their dreams to have a safe home, their dreams to have a happy childhood, their dreams to grow up in a peaceful environment should not be taken away from them. They have the right to a happy life. They have the right to live in peace. They have the right to hope like any another child.
A couple of days before, again encouraged by the same wonderful friend, I went to help another group of citizens, pack food for refugees. A group of volunteers stood in a line and we went from one to another with our bags wide open, watching them put in bread, then rice, then lentils, then tomato paste etc. I later went up to another group of people and was welcomed with open arms. Together we sat on some steps and put in milk, sugar and tea in rationed portions in some bags. Raja, a refugee from the South opened the heavy bags for us. We took orders from a nine year old red-hair with lots of freckles. Amani… her face will probably come back to me throughout my life. These moments are certainly leaving their imprint in the albums of my soul.
Many refugees, having to flea their homes and having lost them, have no choice but to sleep in parks, parks with little water, and little hygiene. Many children run around dirty, one was covered in flies. Another group of refugees tried to find refuge in one of these parks yesterday as another wave of attacks was heard. The parks being too saturated, they had to trudge back to the buses and accept to be taken to parks in the North. Food, medicine and emergency kits have been sent from many countries abroad, but not all aid is managing to come in due to the blockade. Even if aid manages to come into Lebanon, it cannot always be taken to the South, where it is needed the most as many of the roads have been cut off. Lebanon… like a kinder toy being dismantled has been cut up into different sections, isolating areas from one another.
I pray, from the depth of my heart, that this call for a cease-fire, that has FINALLY come, will be respected. I pray that this call will last. I pray that this ray of hope will be strong enough to allow the colors of these children’s dreams to come true.

May green trees rise up from the black ashes of the rubble
May red roofs of villages rise up again to house their people
May the white light of peace prevail and take away the dark thick smoke of despair
From the bombs and hatred that have fallen.

May this ray of hope shine on us all, for we all deserve to live a life of peace and of serenity.

Nathalie Malhame
12th of August, 2006

12 Comments:

Blogger cylon said...

Six Steps to Success
Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.
Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.
It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".
Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.
Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!
Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.
Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.
Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.
Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. lucid dream

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