“Be the change you want to see in the world” does not mean to just be the change in your living room… but to be the change active in the world wherever you go! The inner transformation through spiritual practice awakens in us a hunger for more love, compassion and justice in the world. Gandhi did not simply meditate for peace and justice – he used the inner peace he found in meditation to take action and create real and meaningful change in the world. So, here are some of my favorite ways to get involved in the work of creating peace on earth.
Karen Armstrong studied all the world’s religions and found that central to each one is some form of the Golden Rule – being compassionate and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Charter for Compassion calls upon all men and women of the world “to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion – to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate” and works to promote compassion as a central force in religion, business and all aspects of human life. Sign the Charter and get involved!
LOCAL: St Augustine, FL was designated a Compassionate City, the first one in Florida and the 20th in the world. Join the local Compassion Initiative to make a difference in businesses, schools, health care and all aspects of the community.
Peace Direct – Helping Local Peace Builders Change the World:
Peace Direct is an organization that believe that local people have the power to find their own solutions to conflict – and to bring change to the local environment where conflict is happening. They are an international charity dedicated to supporting local peacebuilding in the world’s most fragile countries. They support, fund and publicize local peacebuilders who are making a real difference – building peace from the grassroots up, preventing conflict in the places where it starts – locally. They are disarming rebels, resettling refugees, healing communities and reviving economies – changing the local culture as a key to preventing conflicts and creating a lasting peace. You can volunteer your time, make a donation or host a fundraising event – you can even support them by shopping online through Amazon Smile or searching on line using Goodsearch.
Ending Slavery Once and For All – Global Freedom Network:
There are an estimated 35.8 million people forced to live in slavery around the world today: in places of prostitution, in factories and farms, on fishing boats, in illegal establishments, in private homes behind locked doors and in myriad other places, in cities, villages and slums in the world’s richest nations and poorest nations.
On World Day for the Abolition of Slavery, religious leaders from all of the major world religions came together to bring awareness to the urgent and compelling need to eradicate modern slavery and trafficking of human beings. Committed to the dignity and freedom that is the birthright of all humankind, Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and Orthodox leaders have signed a Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery. Please join Pope Francis, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), Thích Nhất Hạnh and many other religious leaders in signing the declaration and pledging to do all we can to end slavery once and for all.
Equal Rights for All – Human Rights Campaign:
I believe strongly that God loves ALL her children and that every human being should have the same rights as any other person, period. I have an HRC T-shirt that says “Love Wins” – which I fervently believe! The HRC is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans – and they also get involved in International issues such as the atrocious situations in Uganda, Brunei and the Soviet Union. Check out their website, sign petitions, donate and get involved online or sign up to volunteer at one of their local centers.
Economic Justice – Equality for All:
I watched “Inequality for All,” a great movie explaining the importance of changing economic policies to reverse the trend of growing income inequality. Robert Reich explains how it is a matter of great importance not just for the welfare of the middle class, but for our entire economy and democracy. Total compensation of Walmart’s CEO is now $20.7 million – more than 1000 times the earnings of a typical Walmart worker, who earns $8.80 an hour. No one can live with wages like that. Check out the website with ways to watch the movie, spread the word and get involved. You can also text “READY” to 55155 or download the App! Also – sign his petition urging McDonald’s and Walmart to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour.
As the grassroots arm of the women’s movement, the National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights. NOW is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of contributing members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Please support the equal rights of women by donating or getting involved.
MORE ACTION COMING SOON…