This is not my usual kind of post. But I found this piece a while ago and found it thought-provoking. It is Not mine and is long but worth it. I will post this in two parts. The strange part is that only a while after reading it did I realize that my name Irene means peace in Greek. The only change I made is from British English to American.
What do you understand by the word peace? What words in your language refer to ‘peace’? What are the meanings associated with the concept?
Peace can be envisioned in many ways, philosophical, poetic, linguistic, sociological. For example, in May 2001 the American writer Susan Sontag was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in West Jerusalem. In her acceptance speech she addressed the question of what was understood by the term peace in the context of the ongoing violent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Do we mean an absence of strife? Do we mean a forgetting? Do we mean a forgiveness? Or do we mean a great weariness, an exhaustion, an emptying out of rancor?
It seems to me that what most people mean by ‘peace is victory.That’s what ‘peace’ means to them. While to others peace means defeat. If the idea takes hold that peace, while in principle to be desired, entails an unacceptable renunciation of legitimate claims, then the most plausible course will be the practice of war … Calls for peace will be felt to be, if not fraudulent, then certainly premature. Peace becomes a space people no longer know how to inhabit.
Diana Francis refers to peace as a space for human striving. She expresses this by quoting a poem that she copied when it was attached to the fence surrounding the American cruise missile base in Britain at Greenham Common in the 1980s:
Say no to peace if what they mean by peace Is the quiet misery of hunger
The frozen stillness of fear
The silence of broken spirits
The unborn hopes of the oppressed.
Tell them that peace Is the shouting of children at play The babble of tongues set free The thunder of dancing feet And a father’s voice singing. Quoted in Diana Francis, ‘Conflict Transformation – from Violence to Politics’
It is important to recognize that different cultures attach different shades of meaning to the concept of peace. We can gain some insight from the words for peace in various languages.
Pax – Latin: a pact, with the implication of a contractual element. Tacitus the Roman historian of the conquest of Britain ironically described the achievements of a victorious general ‘He made a wasteland and called it peace.’ The term Pax Romana Americana usually refers to an absence of war through the imposition of order by a dominant power.
Sala’m – – Arabic: peace with justice/ order/ following the right path of God.
Shalom – Hebrew: connotations of wholeness, integrity, harmony – coexistence of opposites through acceptance of difference. Beyond absence of war to embrace notions of continuous growth of all creative human powers.
Shanti -Sanskrit: equanimity, spiritual peace, oneness with Divine, non-attachment, self-realisation.
Heping- Chinese: harmony within and without; stability and order
I am different from both the boys and the girls and don’t get along with them. They think something is wrong with me. I think it’s them. The real problem is that they don’t like me or are they afraid of me? I get very lonely with no on one to play with or talk to. We don’t have schools like you do and even if we did, girls can’t go. It’s not allowed. I don’t know why. If I was grown up I would try to change that.
I can’t even have a pet like you do. The word pet has not been invented yet. We have animals, sheep and lambs, but they are to barter for something we need to have or to eat. Also we are lucky that our sheep are special. They have the whitest wool to make all kinds of things on Ima’s loom and Abba can barter that for something.
The fact is that though I am young I am busy all day with chores. Nothing is easy here. We all have gardens to grow our own food and there are also terraces where we grow other things. I hardly have any time to have fun. Not that there is anything to do here that is fun. It is work, work, work, from sun-up to sun down. Sometimes it is downright boring.
Here we go again. This time it is Abba who is calling. When I finish with that my ima, my mother will find something else for me to do.
Please forgive me for having only a few moments to talk to you. As you can see time is precious.
Bye. I’ve got to run.
I had bulimia for years. I did not know about the hypoglycemia until many, many years later.
The bulimia lasted from my teenage years until I was about fifty. I didn’t even know it had a name. I just knew that I could eat what I wanted and then get rid of it. When I moved to Florida a nurse in Glenbeigh Hospital where I worked figured out I had hypoglycemia. I went through a five hour glucose tolerance test and the facts were there.
I had to do something to help myself but didn’t know what. Thanks to the internet I did research – lots of it. After reading a few articles I asked myself the question – Do I Want To Live As Long As I Can and if so – what the hell am I doing to my body.
As a psychologist and Eating Disorder specialist – yes, I helped other people but never helped myself – I moved to Florida and gained more weight. At almost 180 pounds I knew I had to change my lifestyle. And I did. I now weigh 125 lbs and everyone thinks I’m fifteen to twenty years younger than my age. You can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you the same thing.
Do you have a problem with food. If so, I would like to help. Please go to my website ireneckessler.com and fill out the contact form. I will get back to you within twenty-four hours and we can talk about your problem, your journey from a psychological and food perspective.
I learned so much and would like to pass it on to you.
The story of a young girl who is ‘different.’
My name is Elisha. I know, I know. Please don’t yell like my parents do. It’s a boy’s name and I shouldn’t have it. My parents hate it. But it was given to me by a special friend I’ll tell you about later. It’s hard to talk about him and I’m having a difficult time with my parents and the villagers because of him. By the way, I live in Ancient Israel in a village with no name near Shechem in the Land of Caanan.
I’ve got to go. I’ll tell you more next time but my mother, my Ima is yelling for me to sweep the floor.
Bye for now. We’ll talk more when my parents are busy working.
I am not the person I was up until now. I seem to change constantly. Do you?
My childhood was difficult. I felt like I was born into the wrong family. I survived it, but not well.
I am a mixture of college girl, getting a Ph.D. forty something years later, was the mother of three, then the divorced mother of three at a time when divorce was a dirty word.
If I was forced to describe myself I would say: I am angular, twinkling, growing, sunny, dark, flowing, straight out, solid, and sensitive all according to the day and the hour of that day.
I am a mother, grandmother, great grandmother of a five month old boy, psychologist (the Ph.D), singer, actor and director. I am all these things and more. But right now my main job is taking care of myself.
At the moment I am plumbing the depths of me to uncover long forgotten secrets. I know the answers are there in my memory bank, somewhere, elusive, hiding, afraid to show themselves. I survived it all so why is it so difficult to open it up, to bring it to the light.
Which part is needed at this very moment? The angular with its sharp points digging in? The sunny growing and twinkling to avert falling into a fit of depression? The flowing part that allows me to be creative?
I never know which will show itself. Which will take over and dictate my day. And I – have to deal with the one that appears and allows all the different emotions to present themselves.
Who will show up tomorrow?
My Granddaughter’s Vegetarian Chili 2-4 Servings (depending on how hungry you are.
I was not a fan of Chili. She made it for me and is now my Favorite!
15.6 oz. Red Kidney Beans drained
4 cups rice (yellow rice preferred).
8 oz Salsa (medium is best, but mild works well).
8 oz Heinz Chili Sauce
2 oz Cheddar Cheese shredded
Cook Kidney beans
Combine on stove with chili sauce, salsa, and seasoning. Pour into 8×8 pan and broil for 5 minutes.
Top with cheese, put back in oven and broil for five minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
Remove from oven and let it sit for 2 minutes. Stir in the melted cheese.
Let it cool so that it’s hot but not burning your tongue.
Black Bean Brownies Serves 9-12
1 can 15 ounce black beans, drained
1/2 cup cacao powder
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup raw honey
2 teaspoons Stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water
Blend all ingredients together
Grease 8×8 pan with coconut oil
Bake for 49 minutes at 350 degrees
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and Enjoy
Trying to get healthy was not as much a process as a finding my way, and it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of trial and error. I got a bunch of books from the library. Since this was quite a while ago the what to eat page would not be what you would find today, but they gave me ideas.
I must admit I was not a complete beginner. I studied at a place where they discussed good eating. Back then, I decided to go vegetarian and cut back on starchy foods. I allowed myself three or four tablespoons of brown rice or pasta at lunch and dinner and was doing all right.
One morning I woke up with my body screaming for a hamburger. After much thought I decided to give in and went to a local restaurant with a great reputation. I was glad I did. Obviously my body needed something from that burger and it never happened again. I went from a size 12-14 to a size eight. That lasted one year.
I moved to Florida and it started all over again. I knew what to do but the anxiety of being there alone ( I had family but they were busy and there were no friends) and going into a brand new job made me feel deserted. Everything I did before went down the toilet and my weight increased and increased until it was close to one hundred eighty. I had to do something.
There is a picture of me at one of my mother’s parties and I when I saw it, I couldn’t believe how heavy I was. How much fat made the dress so tight that it creased all over and I almost couldn’t breathe. I went back to my original plan. This time I changed only one thing a month and started losing weight. Seeing the scale move down gave me the lift I needed to keep going.
I learned that I had to eat lots of vegetables to satisfy my hunger. That every time I had too much pizza or bread or pasta I gained back a few pounds. I lost ten pounds a year until I was down to one hundred forty. At a much slower rate I lost more and am now a happy one hundred twenty-five pounds. It feels like this is where I should have been all my life.
Happy because I feel like I’m in the right body. Have energy. Feel well. It’s not the number on the scale but the knowledge that both my body and I feel like we belong where we are. If you are having problems with food let me know. Eating Disorders was my specialty.
From the time I was young I loved sweets. It continued until I was in my fifties. I had bulimia and didn’t know it. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the process of overeating and then getting rid of the food. There are a number of ways to do that. Some go on the treadmill or run for hours and hour, usually at home so no one will see. Others use laxatives. That was my choice.
On top of that I had hypoglycemia and didn’t know it. That is the opposite of diabetes – low blood sugar. Much easier to handle than diabetes but you still have to work at eating the right foods. The nurse where I worked did a five hour glucose tolerance test. She gave me a something to drink and I laid on the table while they took blood every five hours. It was excruciating. It came from eating sweets.
The problem started after my brother was born and I had to baby-sit him. I baked and ate almost a whole cake every time my parents left for whatever they were doing that evening. My mother couldn’t understand why I was gaining weight and I wasn’t going to tell her. I lost weight before I went to college but was up twenty pounds and down twenty pounds for years.
I’m jumping a large number of years to when I moved to Florida and things began to change. Not right at the beginning but soon after, though I did become a vegetarian the day I set my foot on Florida soil.
I found out I was allergic to certain foods. I pared down what I ate, but how far can you go? I had to have something to eat and began to feel deprived. My menu depended on bread, pasta, pizza – you’ve got the picture. My weight soared to close to one hundred and eighty pounds.
I had to change my lifestyle. I’ll try to tell you the process for recovery I used in my next post. Try because it’s not easy to go through or talk about and took a long time.
A lot of people have food issues. Do you? Let me know, maybe I can help.