War Through The Eyes Of A Soldier

“These were people. These were human beings.

I’ve since been plagued by guilt anytime I see an elderly man like the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher and told the Iraqi police to take him away.

I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worst than Saddam as we forced her from her home.

I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.

We are told we are fighting terrorists. The real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is this occupation.

…Without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

I threw families onto the street in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country in this tragic, tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis.

We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land and not people whose names we don’t know and cultures we don’t understand.

The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable.

…Our enemy is not 5,000 miles away.  They are right here at home.

Short excerpt of speech by US Army Iraq War Veteran Mike Prysner.  Watch the full length speech and wake up to the truth.

Peace on earth.

~

Mike joined the US Army when he was 17, between his junior and senior years in high school. He left for basic training in June 2001 and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, NY. In March 2003, his company was attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade to take part in the initial invasion of Iraq.

“I left this Army with a new understanding of the system under which we all live and the nature of US foreign policy. But, I still had the same drive to fight for freedom, justice and equality as I did when I joined and I understood that fighting for those things meant fighting against the US government, not on behalf of it.”

Upon separating from the US Army in 2005, Mike became an active organizer with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), mobilizing for mass anti-war demonstrations. In 2009, he and other veterans and active-duty troops formed the organization, March Forward! to build the anti-war and social justice movement within the military and among veterans.

He can be reached at www.MarchForward.org

Iraq Veterans Against War http://ivaw.org/

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What do we know about Libya?

To answer the question, let’s be honest: Not a lot. Some of us didn’t even know of the existence of Libya before the invasion.

And now that we think we do, what else do we know besides the name Ghadaffi, his flamboyant style, his platoon of female bodyguards and the label “tyrant”?

The media knows that sensationalism sells. So have we been buying it, lock, stock and barrel? Are we content with flipping channels on tv and pages on newspapers or have we tried to see Libya through the eyes of Libyans?

What do we know of this land not our own, whose people look different from us, dress different from us, talk different from us and live different from us?

Let’s be honest now: Not much and not nearly enough.

But this much we do know, Libya didn’t need a “humanitarian mission” to bomb their University, Hospital, Clinic, Residentials, Food and Water Supplies and City, causing death to massive innocent civilians in the name of  “peace”.

I am surprised and disturbed by the silence all around regarding the plight of Libya.

I’ve also been called many things for having an opinion of my own, and labeled “pro-Ghadaffi” and “pro-Saddam” and “not knowing what I’m doing” and “making a fool of myself” and “not thinking properly” for posting up videos and articles that shows the other side of the story not shown by mainstream media.

How about this. I am pro-Humanity and pro-Justice and pro-Life.

At least I do not claim to know all there is to know about Libya and Ghadaffi and NATO’s true mission for invasion–even though it stinks of greed.

I only know that my heart bleeds at the sight of Libyans crying over the dead bodies of their babies, children, brother, sister, father, mother and fellow Libyans.

I only know that I do not wish to see that look of Fear and Terror that is so apparent on the distressed faces of Libyans, on my own family’s face one day.

I only know that if this can happen to Libya today, it can happen to us.

When it does, do not be surprised by international apathy, as we are now so guilty of. Our tears and rage and loss will just be another foreign conflict in a foreign country–far, far away.

A convenient flick of the TV channel and it’s out of sight and out of mind. A flip of the newspaper page and it’s on to the next headline. A change of YouTube channel and it’s back to Worst Dressed and Best Dressed Celebrities of the day.

I can imagine this to be the natural response by observing our current response to Libya.

But because this blog is about Inspiring a Loving Way of Living, I’m not here to point fingers at anyone but to point out to you, the power that is in your voice.

Speak up for the weak and the powerless–it’s the least YOU CAN do, right now.

SHARE this post or many other posts like these on your facebook / twitter.

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.” – Martin Luther King.
~
Marvel at the life-enhancing possibilities of Libya’s Great Man Made River,  a vision birthed by the “tyrant” Ghadaffi to provide precious water for the African region by 2015, turning the desert green and producing food where there was none. The Libyans calls it the “8th Wonder of the World” and with well deserved pride. Believe it or not, a country can do well without foreign intervention. I have said my Peace.

Love Libya,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Work To Make Love Last

Goldfish are one of the most rewarding pets to keep. Like little puppies, they are always super excited to see you–especially in the morning, they go nuts!

They swim like they’re flying, stage a dance-off for attention, have incredible memory, striking personality and individual food preference too.

I love my goldfish.

Pebs in her quarantine tank back in Sept 2010... Best 1 year 7 months with her.

Pebbles in her quarantine tub

Pebbles is about the size of my palm lengthwise, and her head’s slightly bigger than a golfball. She’s a playful Crystal Ranchu–a type of goldfish with pretty, sparkly scales. With her big, beady black eyes, she makes you think you’re looking at a live anime! I hope she lives forever and I tell her a million I Love Yous everyday cos I do love her…

…or do I?

I realize that inherently, it’s so easy to think I love my goldfish because of how she makes me feel. But when it comes down to practical love, that’s one department challenging me all the time to prove it.

One thing you must know about goldfish is, they’re high maintenance.

If you don’t realize the amount of time and work needed to keep them alive, it’s easy to assume goldfish have very short lifespans. The truth is,  a wild goldfish can live up to 30 years. And a fancy goldfish, up to 12 years. With lack of awareness on proper care, a goldfish may not make it past 3 months.

If you’re planning on buying a goldfish, there’s a lot more to keeping them alive besides feeding them and changing water.

You need to  read up on goldfish healthcare, be aware of the various symptoms of diseases, learn how to treat it, have meds ready stocked,  maintain a balanced water pH, invest in a good filtration system AND keep the filter clean.

Now, cleaning the  filter is TEDIOUS work.

I have to take everything apart, wash each bioballs in tank water, clean off the sponge, empty out all the muck and rinse out the containers in hot water, brush out the pipes and then reassemble everything. This takes FOREVER. By the time it’s done, my body is aching all over.

Everytime I say “I Love You” to my goldfish, I must be ready to put in the work needed to keep her healthy, happy and alive.

What are you willing to do to keep LOVE alive?

This LOVE can be a relationship, a friendship, a significant someone, your friend, your family, your business, your dream or your pet.

Besides enjoying the pleasure and happiness it can bring on a good day, are you willing to put in the time and effort needed to maintain it and make it last?

Out of Faith, Hope and Love, Love is the greatest of all because true love seeks to be a solution to a problem and not just a prayer or hope for a solution.

LOVE is proactive–it does not turn a blind eye, it does not wait till it’s too late.

LOVE is willing to open up that can of worms with the intention of cleaning it.

LOVE is willing to risk discomfort to go through that vital maintenance process.

Do you LOVE, truly?

Or do you want to take the easy way out and assume love won’t last long and let it die prematurely?

WORK to make love last–it’ll be worth it!

Long Live Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Empty

Every so often, the negative voices within will be trippin’ us up with who said what and what they did and how we’ve been wronged and so on and so forth.

When you hear it, it’s so easy to play it on repeat for the purpose of amplifying that pain to the size of the universe.

It’s so easy to forget the 100 things that went right before that 1 thing went wrong.

If you’re as drained and as tired as I am from those voices, today, let us begin to recognise those voices as a deep cry from within, just to be loved.

So allow yourself to be loved.

Don’t hold it in.

Surrender.

Give it Up,

in prayer.

As we release it all–the hurt, the anger, the bitterness, the fears–we become like an empty vessel. In exchange, invite God’s Unfailing Love to come in, to sing you a Love song from Up above, to fill you up where you need to filled, to heal you where you need to be healed, to love you where you need to be loved.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Work Is Love Made Visible

I’ve got a friend who looks like Asia’s version of Ashton Kutcher. Tall, not so dark, but handsome, he’s away on a major Adventure. As of now, he’s holed up in Groningen, “a small town at the northern part of Holland, very close to German’s border” he says.

Next, he’ll be off to Berlin for all of three weeks! We’re talking massive travelling here. Enough to make us all go green with envy! So it came as a surprise that out of anything he could’ve talked about, he chose to open up his heart.

What he said next, is something I’ve been hearing A LOT lately. It doesn’t matter if they’re 18 or 20, 24, 26 or 28, 29, 30 or 32, one by one, everyone’s been more or less saying the same thing to me: “I’m still very lost… I don’t know what I wanna do.” I don’t know why they choose to tell me that. All I know is that I’m very much just as lost as they are.

I hated it at first, but now I’ve embraced being lost with the full curiosity and wonder of a three year old.

But honestly, I did a whole lot of freaking out–half a year of totally freaking out–before being okay with being lost and being okay with freaking out over being lost!

I’ve discovered that it’s all part of the package deal.

I’ve also found that the longer I allowed myself to stay lost, the more I began to see things I never would have otherwise seen had I been on the fast and usual, easy route.

I’ve always gone in and out of the forest of life so quickly. I’ve never been lost long enough to see the hidden secrets of the jungle and the many treasures and adventures just waiting for me in there.

This time, I went in like Alice in Wonderland, not knowing Who I Am, just wanting to find my way home.

But as I ran around frantically trying to find my way out, I’ve slowly begun to see that everything around me was and is my Teacher all along. And they’ve been leaving me clues to Who I Am, all the while.

As I drank from the bottle of Wisdom and ate from the bread of Life, my Fear of the Unknown began to grow smaller and smaller as my Love for New Possibilities began to grow bigger and bigger.

I’ve come to the present conclusion that the answer to the question “Who Am I?” lies in knowing “Whose I am”.

As I began a deeper relationship with my Creator, I began to see that I am Made in Love, Made of Love and Made to Love. But knowing WHY on earth I’m here is not enough. I’ve learnt that we each have a powerful role to play.

And that is to share our Love Story.

The Plucking Of A String, is a Guitarist’s Love Story, strummed out. The Ink on a Canvas, is the Artist’s Love Story, painted out.  The Idea In A Line, is a Poet’s Love Story, crafted out. The Playlist on a Disc, is a DJ’s Love Story, blasted out. The Quiet Listening Heart, is a Therapist’s Love Story, hearing us out. I could go on and on but you know what I mean.

We’re lost because we’ve forgotten Who We Are.

When we rediscover “Who I Am”, we discover Love.

The world is just waiting for You to share You. Are you ready to share your True Love Story?

I’ve read a quote somewhere that sometimes, people need a story more than they need bread! They need it like oxygen. Your Love Story poured out, might just be the ray of Hope they’ve been looking for at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Khalil Gibran, said it so powerfully in poem, “Work Is Love Made Visible.”

Right now, am I still Lost? Very much so.

But it’s been an enriching journey and I know it’s just a matter of time before I find my way out. So while I’m here, I’m going to ENJOY it and learn from it as much as I can, and have fun with it while I can!

ps: Dolphins are one of the best example of Love Made Visible! Look at them doing some really phenomenal things with bubble rings. Who knew they could do something like that?! I didn’t! It’s AMAZINGGGG. And all the Dolphin did was BE a Dolphin. Watch and be Inspired!

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Love More

I went to sleep last night in a pile of tears, nose all stuffed up and with a bad tummy ache like I’ve just been kicked in the stomach–‘cos that’s what hurtful words do. As I reflected on what I could have done to warrant such an angry reaction from someone, I saw my contribution to it, accepted my share of responsibility for it and apologised.

Gotta love Jesus for being so plain about this in Matt 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” It’s so easy to point out the flaw in others but we all need a look in the mirror–beginning with Me, Myself and I.

As I spent some time thinking of the person I have unintentionally but obviously hurt, I asked in prayer, “What can I do, to regain the love and respect from someone I love?” The immediate answer was simply this: “Love more.”

Everyday, we face our own battles. In the midst of that, there will be hurtful things said out of anger. It’s so easy to fight back, but an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. When you’ve done your best to resolve it, the only thing left to do is to “Love More”.

It’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it.

It’s so much easier to hold a grudge, but all it does is keep you stuck. It makes you the prisoner. Let go. Forgive. “Love More.” It’s the best thing you can do for yourself–it sets you free to love and free to live.

This morning, Mariah, an awesome friend of mine, sent me a video link, saying “You will love this! FREEEDOMMM!”

As I watched it, I felt so much Joy from being a witness to something so beautiful so I’m going to share it here! Watch the sheeeeer happiness of the Humpback whale after it’s been set free–that’s what love does! Be inspired! 🙂

Love MORE,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Little Sister

I wrote this song as a call out to all those children whose childhood is taken away through child prostitution. I want to tell them all that they are my little sisters and that they are loved, very much.

Do you wonder what it’s like to be free? Do you wonder if you’ll see your family? Are you five? Are you ten? Or are you seventeen? You live in fear because of someone else’s greed. ‘Though they try to break you ‘though their bodies maim you is there hope?

I don’t know your name and I can’t see your face but you’re my little sister in this tainted human race. Who will fight for you? Who will rescue you? Who will stop those men from hurting you again and again?

Do you wonder what it’s like to feel loved? To be gently hugged and not pushed and shoved? They steal your clothes and your identity. But they won’t take your dignity! ‘Though those men abuse you ‘though their bodies use you there is hope!

And I will know your name and I will see your face ’cause you’re my little sister in this tainted human race and I will fight for you I will rescue you and I will stop those men from ever hurting you again! And will you fight for her? Will you rescue her? Will you stop those men from hurting her again and again? And do you know her name? Do you see her face? ‘Cause she’s your little sister show her mercy, love and grace.”

Much Love,

Ezereve.

****

Ezereve is a Singer/Songwriter. Her album STOP TRAFFIC will be launching soon. Every dollar from album sales will be donated to Servant’s Anonymous Foundation (safoundation.com) who rescue and rehabilitate women from human trafficking. Listen to her Little Sister song: http://ezereve.bandcamp.com/track/little-sister.

She is also the Mother of 3 gorgeous children, a World Vision Australia Ambassador and a fellow Instigator of The Love Culture.

I Love Tea, not Animal Crueltea…

Every day, I love sipping on tea while writing and going through the daily grind. Today, while checking my mails and enjoying a glass of BOH Tea, I received a mail from PETA, informing me of a brand that practices Animal Crueltea, just so more people would drink tea!  We live in a world driven by greed, and this company is not the exception. Question is, what can we do about it? Being aware is one. Spreading awareness is second. In just 2 steps, you can counter a sad situation by being a part of the solution. The Love Culture begins with you and I. Watch this and share it:

Enjoy your Tea! ❤

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Over The Moon

It’s a beautiful full moon tonight… Happy MOONCAKE festival. As a kid, I always loved celebrating with my cousins. We’d bust out the superman or goldfish or bunny or traditional paper lanterns & stroll around the neighbourhood, seeing whose lantern would last the longest without getting burnt. Of course, boys being boys, their agenda IS to let it burnnn! 😉 We don’t do that anymore, but here’s an idea: Consider ourselves A Living Lantern in a world darkened by fear, hate & greed. May the Love and Light within us shine and burn brighter each day. Together, we can light the way–the hope is in the trying!

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture