Day 265: Warrior of Peace

I can’t stop thinking of Boston and am saddened that our world is filled with some people who are filled with anger and want to hurt others. But at the same time, through the stories, I find hope. I hear how humanity helped one another amidst the chaos. I hear of people who were there who are loving more deeply and living in the moment, knowing that we don’t know what tomorrow brings. I paid attention to the stories of generosity and giving and loving.

I choose to focus on peace, despite the chaos, every day.

I choose to love those around me.

I choose to forgive those who hurt me.

I choose to love those who cause pain.

They must need more love in their lives.

I hope I’m not naive…

I choose to teach my children to love one another and those around them too, every day.

We focus on making connections and avoiding conflict when we can. We are creating peace, every day… not perfectly, but we keep adapting and trying again, even when we fail.

Today we went to visit the Anne Frank house and shared stories of hate and discrimination. We talked about the human spirit and the pain that people have to endure. We talked about survival and death. We talked about dictators and followers. We talked about those who helped the Jews. We talked about how we can make a difference. We talked about love.

We talked about the attacks at the Boston Marathon. We are open and honest with them in small doses.

I hope my children make their own connections and find ways to be their own little warriors of peace.

We can be the change we want to see in the world.

Namaste.

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Day 106: People with Passion

Do you know anyone who is passionate about what they do or love? These people are my favorite. I don’t necessarily have to share their passion, I just love listening to their stories and being around them when they are doing what they love, especially when they share what they love from their heart. These people usually are filled with joy and peace and light, and their eyes sparkle.

When we were in Rome, we went on a private tour with Bruno and spent 3 hours with him. There were 7 of us, and all of us were engaged and listening and laughing and anticipating what he might share next. We all wanted to hug him and were thankful for all that he shared and taught us. We asked him how he chose to become a tour guide, and he said he absolutely loved Roman history and studied history in Florence. He was confident and knowledgeable and knew just how much to share. He was joyful and patient while giving us a tour, and if we had time, we would have scheduled another tour with him, just because he was so passionate and fun to be around.

Today we did a walking tour of Amsterdam with Michelle.

Our passionate tour guide, Michelle.

She studied World War Two history and she is quite passionate about her subject. She was prepared and brought laminated photos to show us the past along with the present. She made eye contact with all 7 of us. She never was in a hurry and spent extra time with us. She shared just enough context to make history come to life and to help us feel what life might have felt like as a Jew, a Dutch person, or a German during Hitler’s regime. She was passionate and talked about the history book she was currently reading. She loves what she loves and shared her love with us and we were so enthralled and thankful. I think this type of passion makes people successful. It brings joy to their lives and that is success to me.

Beautiful Amsterdam – Monet painted this scene. Don’t you love the geese floating by? They were paid! šŸ˜‰

The Anne Frank sculpture just outside the Anne Frank house.

What are you passionate about? How do you share your gifts and talents? How do you keepĀ learning?

Day 105: Admiring Amsterdam

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Amsterdam is a beautiful city. I love the architecture, the canals and the trees. I like people watching and just the feel and vibe of the city. It reminds me a little bit of San Francisco in a way, with all the little pockets of character and charm. The trams, buses and metro system make it very easy to get around and I’m finally getting comfortable with the transportation options and timing.

Today I took my parents to see the Anne Frank house. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, so the picture posted here is from the cafe attached to the museum, which provides a lovely place to sit and relax and take it all in. I’ve been before, and it always moves me to tears, thinking of her struggle as a young girl and all she had to sacrifice. And even though her freedoms were taken away, she still continued to have a positive attitude, to look for the good in humanity and to make the best of her situation. She is a good role model for all of us. Her death was such a tragedy, making me wish she could have held on to hope for just a little longer.

Namaste.