How to Win An Argument

“If you think you are truly enlightened, go spend a weekend with your parents”~Ram Dass

I’ve found that my greatest teachers on the path to awakening are my closest family members. The other day  at a family gathering, I mentioned how I attended a seminar with Dr. Dan Siegel who mentioned a new study  that reveals how the college you choose for undergrad has no effect on your future success, happiness, or well-being.

“I don’t believe it,” said my cousin’s wife.

“Google and Facebook will not even think about hiring you if you don’t come from one of the top schools,” said another cousin.

I tried to counter with “you don’t have to work at Google or Facebook to be successful or happy,” but it fell on deaf ears. I found myself getting activated–my shoulders tensed, my heart-rate jumped.

After an antagonistic argument, I felt disconnected. I confessed my frustration to one of my cousins, who said, “every study has a different study that argues the exact opposite.”

I realized that if people aren’t ready to hear something, it doesn’t matter how much research, documentation, or authority you have, they won’t hear it. This reminded me of the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

My biggest realization was that I was egotistically trying to be the teacher to “students” who were not ready. I often make this mistake in blogging, writing, and everyday life. I try to “enlighten” other with my point of view. This might stem from some insecurity or need for attention, but what really matters is to become aware of this tendency and to stop.

I am dedicating myself to “be the change I wish to see in the world” and “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” I want this blog to be about serving others, not telling them what to do or how to live. Please let me know if I ever start preaching to you in any manner or imposing my point of view as the Truth. You are all my family. You are all my gurus. I appreciate your wisdom and guidance.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

This post is for the Monthly Peace Challenge: We Are Family. Specifically, it answers the prompt: “Tell a story about a family event that included “necessary suffering” and healing/forgiveness.”

Check out these other brave posts for peace:

Bad Dreams–A Letter to My Mother

Letter to My Mom

A Letter to Me


Monthly Peace Challenge: We Are Family

bannerTo help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges in 2014 will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Yes, I’ve decided to offer the second annual Bloggers for Peace T-shirt as a prize. I envision a day when we will all gather for a Bloggers for Peace Conference donning our various Bloggers for Peace T-shirts.

We’ve been blogging for peace for over a year, so I’m going to push you with this challenge. This month, I want you to focus on your family. Is there anyone you don’t fully embrace in your family? Do you feel resentment, shame, or anger towards someone blood-related?

Yep, I went there. Let’s deal with it. This months challenge is to make peace in yourself with someone close to you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Write a letter to someone that begins “I resent…” Explain exactly how you feel about this resentment in this letter. Let your anger out if you have any. Release all the negative energy surrounding this person. Sending the letter or reading the letter out loud to the person is optional.
  • Write a letter confessing all the secrets you have been withholding from someone close. Check out a book called Radical Honesty for examples. You might also want to listen to some Byron Katie CDs to find the courage to do this “work.”
  • Write a love letter to someone in your family who you can’t seem to connect with. Tell them all the wonderful things that they have brought into your life. What events do you remember that you enjoyed with them?
  • Describe an event from more than one perspective where someone caused you misery.
  • Tell a story about a family event that included “necessary suffering” and healing/forgiveness.

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Last Chance for 2013 Bloggers for Peace T-shirt

Everyone who completed all the 2013 Monthly Peace Challenges make sure you email me your shirt size, blog name, and address to by February 15, 2014. I want to place the order for t-shirts. Once I place the order, you cannot receive your free t-shirt if you did not email me. Thank you.

On the Road to Healing

I’m guestblogging today at Black Box Warnings—“a collective of bloggers who share their personal stories about mental and physical health, parenting, daily tribulations, and life’s little moments. An on-line community built around support, respect, and compassion.”

screen shot of black box warnings

Check out the post “Why Most Men Hate Depression, Especially in Others” by clicking here.

May you be free from suffering. May you find Peace and Joy.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers

I watched my wife give birth to both our sons. For birth alone, mothers should be honored throughout their lives.

What do you mean Mommy is not coming home for dinner?

You’ll do for now, Daddy, but we want Mommy.

I know a lot of my readers are mothers and grandmothers. I bow down to you and hope you enjoy this holiday in your honor. I know that many of you work, raise children, and blog which is like having three full-time jobs at once. You are my heroes and you inspire me to make the world a better place. Continue reading

Spare the Child

He popped into our lives like a bee sting on the foot while running barefoot in the park: sudden, unexpected, and painful.

His name was Richard, but Mum said to call him “Dad.”

I was only 5 at the time.

My first memories of him consist of me yelling, “You’re not me Dad,” over and over. Maybe this defiance started the beatings; I don’t remember. Continue reading