11 October 2013

The Story of 100 Thimbles

In July 2011 I was checking my emails when I found an update about Blogblast for Peace 2011:
I have a challenge for you! We say we want peace? Let's put some substance to this movement. What are the reasons you blog for peace? How many reasons can we find?

My brain went blank - I couldn't think of one response, let alone a hundred! I sat for a while, feeling more and more despondent at my utter lack of bright new reasons why we need Peace.
Eventually I  gave up trying.

I moved on to my next email thinking, "What's the point? Can one unknown everyday person really make a difference and change the world?"

I opened my next email, feeling tired and a bit depressed. It was a daily message from: bravegirlsclub.com

Dear Persistent Girl,

There really is something you were born to do. Just you. There is a plan for your life, there is a mission you were created to accomplish, and there is a life that is meant JUST for you.

You were not born randomly. You were not an accident, and you are not a number.
Keep holding on. Stay with it. Have patience and keep listening to your heart.

My very next email was a petition request. It got me thinking... a petition isn't about one important/powerful person making a difference - it's about lots of everyday "little people" working together to make a BIG difference.
There really is something you were born to do. Just you.

You can't bail a flood with a thimble, but what if you got everyone to help you?
Have patience and keep listening to your heart.
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?
Keep holding on. Stay with it.


These are my thimblefuls... I hope they make you think.

30 December 2011

Peace Thimble 110 - Janus at the Door

This last thimble of the year is dedicated to the Roman god Janus, who gave the month of January its name. Janus was the god of doorways, of beginnings and endings... of change and transition. He is depicted as having two faces - one old and bearded looking back... one young and fresh looking forward...

But Janus was the god of something not so often known - he stood between Peace and War as a protector. Because of this the temples of Janus only kept their doors open during war. In times of Peace the doors were closed.


Tomorrow we will stand in the doorway between 2011 and 2012. I don't make New Year resolutions, but I always say a toast - in memory to the year that is passed and the people we have lost, looking back as the old face of Janus does. And then to look forward, as the young face of Janus, to a new year we hope will be filled with good health, happiness and prosperity for everyone.

This year I'll be adding another toast in honour of Janus - to look back at war and look forward to peace. ;-)

And I have the perfect quote, by Maya Angelou, to use for that toast:

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, 
but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

16 December 2011

Thimble 108 - for Adelaide

Today is the day of Saint Adelaide.

Adelaide was born in Switzerland in 932. She was married at 15 to Lothair II, King of Italy. When her husband was killed by Berengar of Ivrea he tried to force her to marry his son. Adelaide refused and tried to flee, but ended up being captured, imprisoned and kept in solitary confinement for months.

According to legends Adelaide managed to escape and asked for help from Otto of Germany. He conquered Italy and married Adelaide. They were both crowned emperor and Empress together, which was unusual for the times. She died on 16 December 999.

Adelaide was passionately involved in promoting helping the poor and Peace during her life. She helped build churches and monasteries. She is the patron saint of abuse victims, exiles, prisoners, brides and widows. I think she'd like being here as a Peace Thimble. :-)

9 December 2011

Thimble 107 - Blessed Be


Blessed Be the Natives,
for they hold the Roots to the Tree of Life,
and Dance our Trails upon the Earth.

Blessed Be the Speakers,
for they hold the Truth for Us All,
and Sing our Songs to the Sky.

Blessed Be the Old Ones,
for they hold the Visions of Wholeness,
and Embrace Us until we Awaken.

~ O'siyo ~

John Roman

1 December 2011

Thimble 106 - Tears for Africa

Today is World AIDS Day. I thought I'd use this to 'thimble' to introduce fellow blogger Zoha Zee Kay. She's involved in a student research project called "HAAC" (HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign). On her blog she says:

"I will be posting links about AIDS and HIV.
Your opinions, participation and questions are welcomed.

Note : This is a volunteer/independent student research project . It is not supported by any organization or people. But If anyone of you want to support and work for this cause with me, you are more then welcome... "

My thimble for Zoha is about war and violence how it has affected the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

You see, two thirds of the world's population who have HIV/AIDS are from Sub-Saharan Africa and about 59% of them are women.

Why are more women than men suffering from HIV/AIDS in Africa? AVERT, the international HIV/AIDS charity, says that:
"In many parts of Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the AIDS epidemic is aggravated by social and economic inequalities between men and women. Women and girls commonly face discrimination in terms of access to education, employment, credit, health care, land and inheritance. These factors can all put women in a position where they are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection."
In any country or culture where a woman has no power she has no ability to educate herself, no ability to protect herself, or seek medical care. She has no way to learn the truths about HIV, no way to stop men from using/abusing her and no way of getting help once she is infected... and
this is always worse in times of war, violence and conflict.

UNAIDS / UNFPA / UNIFEM state that:
"...women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection during conflict and post-conflict periods. This is not only because they are frequently sexually abused by various armed groups, but because they may be fleeing their homes, may have lost their families and their livelihood, and may have little or no access to health care.

Along the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an ongoing civil war has destroyed lives, villages and livelihoods. Now the area is thought to be on the verge of a major HIV epidemic. Some 60 per cent of the militia who roam the countryside raping, torturing and mutilating thousands of women and girls are believed to be HIV-positive, and virtually none of the women have access to services and care. In Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide, hundreds of thousands of women were raped, many by men who were HIV-positive.

Adolescent girls are also prime targets for traffickers or militia groups. Worldwide, it is estimated that 800,000 to 900,000 people—women, men, girls and boys—are trafficked every year into forced labour and sexual exploitation... "

75% of the world’s HIV-positive pregnant women live in Africa.

Gender-based violence is now one of the leading factors for HIV infection.
The statistics and personal stories are truly heart-breaking, but Africa is fighting back and this "war" is one we all need to hear, applaud and support. All over Africa people are working hard to change those tragic statistics. Groups, people and charities - like mothers2mothers, who have 703 sites located in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Ripples of Hope Rescue Centre in Kenya...

Change is happening - lives are being saved, but there's still a lot that needs to be done.

This is one war we really do need to keep on fighting.

25 November 2011

Thimble 105 - Prayer for Advent


Lord, we know what peace is. Peace is a mother
tenderly holding her child. Peace is a firm
handshake of trust between friends. Peace is
complete emotional security. Peace is living
unencumbered with a full sense of joy. Peace
is expressing Thanksgiving for concrete blessings.

For the peace gained from the love and memory
of spouses and children, we thank you ..

For the peace gained from the love and memory
of parents and grandparents, we thank you ..

For the peace gained from the kindness and
support of friends, we thank you ..

For the peace gained when the music of the
Gods is sung, we thank you ..

Peace is elusive. There are raging storms
in every life. Tragedy, grief, and pain will
visit everyone. Yet, each person's life is
graced by moments and periods of
real happiness. For these episodes of
peace and joy .. past, present, & future,
we offer our deepest gratitude.

Help us to understand that peace must
be waged. We must resist the gun, the
bomb, "realistic politics," unkind words,
personal betrayals, anger, depression,
despair, and rage. Give us the strength
to overcome these demons. Help us
maintain personal power within ourselves,
so we can pass this liberating power to others.

Give hope and courage to all who struggle
with debilitating illness, grief, and loneliness.
Help them to understand .. ALL chains WILL

SURSUM CORDA! Lift up your hearts!

QUI POTENS EST! God is great!


advent peace prayer - john devries


18 November 2011

Thimble 104 - TDoR

TDoR... never heard of it? Neither had I until recently. I was looking for an idea for this week and stumbled on a special Day of Remembrance happening this weekend (20th Nov). It was founded in 1998 for the victims of a particular kind of hate crime.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

I'm not sure what's sadder - the fact I never knew there was such a day or the fact there is a need for a day specific to one small group of people who end up being attacked and killed for being different. I went and looked at the memorial page on the TDoR website. There's page after page of memorials; all of them died horrific, brutal deaths.

I used to have a transgender blog friend, "used to" not because she's dead, but because she had to stop blogging after people figured out who she was... and sent her partner death threats.

As a blogger she was one of my favourite weekly reads - insightful and eloquent, caring and deeply spiritual. I miss her blog, but I completely understand the fact she put the safety of those she loved above her own personal needs. That's what a decent human being does...

Decent human beings do not attack and kill others merely because they are different....

11 November 2011

Thimble 103 - Remember...


Great God, who has told us
"Vengeance is mine,"
save us from ourselves,
save us from the vengeance in our hearts
and the acid in our souls.

Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished,
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.

Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge,
to trust rather than to fear,
to try again and again
to make peace even when peace eludes us.

We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision
to be builders of the human community
rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.

We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come
more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes
to care for all the peoples
of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel
as well as for ourselves.

Give us the depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might,
to resist the temptations of power
to refuse to attack the attackable,
to understand
that vengeance begets violence,
and to bring peace--not war--wherever we go.

For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us.
For You, O God, have been gracious to us.

And so may we be merciful
and patient
and gracious
and trusting
with these others whom you also love.

This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart.

This we ask forever and ever.

Prayer for World Peace

sr. Joan Chittister - Benedictine Sisters of Erie


4 November 2011

Thimble 102 - Dona Nobis Pacem

My Peaceglobe for Blogblast for Peace 2011. You can read the full post on my regular blog, CrowsFeet, or above in the Pages under "2011".

Never think you’re too small to make a difference...

'Life's like a movie, write your own ending.
Keep believing, keep pretending.
we’ve done just what we set out to do

Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers…
and you.'

Jim Henson


Can one everyday person really make a difference and change the world? Isn't that a bit like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble?

Maybe... but what if you got everyone to help you?
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?

These are my Thimblefuls for Peace... I hope they make you think.