Peace is Every Child

peacefox7-year-old Fox wanted a history book for his daily reading, so I let him loose in my bookshelves. First, he grabbed my Bible.

“Is this a history book?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s a kind of history book,” I replied.

“Can I have it?” he asked thumbing the vinyl cover.

“Of course,” I said.

Then he grabbed A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., but it had too many big words for him.

“Here is a history about a Vietnamese monk,” I said handing him Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Reading the editor’s introduction, Fox stopped after reading this poem:

Peace is every step.

The Shining red sun is my heart.

Each flower smiles with me.

How green, how fresh all that grows.

How cool the wind blows.

Peace is every step.

It turns the endless path to joy.

“Daddy, can I write this poem out?” asked Fox with wide open eyes.

“Sure,” I said thrilled because his penmanship needed work.

Fox carefully wrote out each line. He smiled when he wrote “each flower smiles with me.” I was stoked that he was learning to spell smile, peace, and heart. At the end he wrote “Love, Fox.”

“Can you make copies?” he said as he handed me the hand written poem.

I gave him two copies. On one he wrote, “Merry Christmas. Thank you. To Mrs. Kraemer and Mrs. Grant” [his second grade teachers].

I almost cried. What a wonderful gesture. I am so grateful that he resonated with Thich Nhat Hanh, even though he had trouble reading the name. When I told a friend the story, he asked, “Who is the teacher and who is the student?”

What poem would you have a child copy?

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Peace Challenge: Taking Action

B4Peace

 

Many of you have been Blogging for Peace with me for over a year and a half now. I have no doubts that our posts have had an effect on countless individuals in ways we may know or never know. I thank you for all you have done for peace.

Now, I’m going to ask you to take a step further. I am inviting you to take action.

Boys with T-shirt

As some of you may know, I’m launching a new website called RaisingCompassionateBoys.com. This is my effort to bring peace back to our schools where violence, bullying, and viral humiliations have run rampant.

So here is my challenge:

  1. Watch the videos on RaisingCompassionateBoys.com about how to cultivate compassion in boys and ourselves.
  2. Find a boy or group of boys to raise, mentor, befriend, coach, or teach. Some of you may have sons. Others might be youth leaders, coaches, counselors, aunts and uncles, neighbors, or teachers who interact with boys on a regular basis.
  3. Practice cultivating compassion in this boy or these boys on a daily basis.
  4. Role Model compassion for any boys in your presence.

I have no doubts that if a critical mass of adults take on this challenge of raising compassionate boys, we can change not only our schools, but also our society, the world, and the future.

Click here to receive the free videos on raising compassionate boys.

I hope you and your friends and followers will join me on this challenge in whatever form you deem feasible.

With Gratitude,

Kozo Hattori

EMERGENCY Peace Challenge: Help Rarasaur!

I skyped with a dinosaur!

Rara Spreading Love like Fire

Those of you who know Rarasaur know in your heart of hearts how loving, generous, and inspiring she is. Bloggers for Peace would be a figment of my imagination without Rarasaur who designed both the logo and the Peacecat t-shirt for free.

Rarasaur Peace Cat

Recently, I’ve realized that at every moment, we have the choice to serve ourselves or serve others. Rarasaur spends a majority of her time serving others.

For those of you who don’t know, Rarasaur was falsely charged with a crime she did not commit. With no resources to defend herself, Rarasaur has become a pawn in the criminal justice system.

I am asking you to reach into your hearts and give to help one of the greatest peacemakers in the blogosphere. If you have ever visited Rarasaur.wordpress.com, please donate to her freedom fund by clicking here: http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/i-didnt-go-to-jail-today-and-other-notes/

bannerI’m also asking all Bloggers for Peace who know Rarasaur to publish a post devoted to Rarasaur that links to this donation page.

We often are unable to see the ramifications of much of the work we do for peace. In this case, every post you publish and every cent you donate has measurable and concrete effects on the peace in the world. Please help Rara now.

May you all find peace and joy. May you be free from suffering. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo Hattori

Monthly Peace Challenge: Empathy Blogging

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To 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.

Sorry this challenge is a bit late; I’ve been having my challenges finding funds to pay off overdue taxes.

For this month’s challenge, I would like to work on empathy. Empathy is being able to step into the shoes of another and see things from their point of view. I challenge you to empathize with other bloggers this month.

  • Write a post in the style of another blogger. What idiosyncrasies do they have that you can emulate? Make sure you link your post to theirs.  “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
  • Publish a post that is in a completely different genre than you usually post. If you usually post prose, then try poetry, art, photography, video.
  • Post something that is includes quotations from another blogger. Maybe you can expand upon the thoughts of another blogger. Or you can start a conversation.
  • Write a post in the voice of your favorite peacemaker. What if you embodied MLK or Gandhi on your blog? Imagine writing a post in the voice of Bob Marley. What would Mother Teresa blog about?
  • Write a post about empathy. When was the last time you really empathized with someone? How has empathy brought peace into your life.

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.

Let It Go Driver

I got an email from an old surfer friend who watched the video about driving I posted on the homepage of PeaceInRelationships.com. He said that his conversion from an offensive driver to a “let it go” driver saved him unnecessary conflict and anger.

My friend’s comment got me thinking. What if we could be not just “let it go” drivers, but “let it go” humans? What if we could “let go” of all our grudges, resentments, hurts, and offenses?

This reminded me of what Deepak Chopra claims turned his life around. Chopra has said that refusing to be offended brought a peace in his life that he had never felt before. Think about the phrase, “I take offense to that.” Read in one way, this means that you are going on the offense. You are becoming an attacker. Where is the peace in this?

Of course, whenever I think I discovered a new secret in life, I realize that thousands of others knew this years ago.

“Whatever will be, will be”~Rumi

How do you remind yourself to “let go”? Please share.

The Compassion Interviews: Dr. Dan Siegel

Dr. Dan Siegel, professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, has given 4 TedTalks, authored the NY Times best-seller Brainstorm, and pioneered the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology.

In this interview, we discuss:

  • How compassion and kindness are as important to the brain as the breath is to life
  • How parenting can lead us towards self-compassion and receptivity as opposed to reactivity
  • How being honest and present in whatever is happening is good for ourselves and the world
  • How we can break the vicious cycle of a lack of compassion in men.
  • How compassion can help us embrace the uncertainty of living in the moment
  • Where and why Dr. Siegel gives away for free awareness and compassion practices–www.drdansiegel.com

If you don’t already know who Dan Siegel is, I suggest checking out his website: drdansiegel.com

 

Monthly Peace Challenge: (Wo)man in the Mirror

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To 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.

As cheesy as it sounds, one of my favorite songs is Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” For this month’s challenge, I want to combine this idea of changing ourselves to change the world with the Power of Intention. I challenge you to post a portrait of your ideal self–something that can remind you of the peaceful being you were born to be. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Post a photo, piece of art, video, song, poem, or story that expresses your true self. It doesn’t have to be on, by, or about you. It could be something like a scene from Gandhi that inspires you to be more peaceful and loving.
  • At Interchange Counseling Institute this weekend, we wrote “self-defining declarations” that consisted of declarative statements that were either true or optimistic (what we wished to be). This statement serves to define and remind us of who we truly want to be. I’ve posted mine below. Feel free to create your own.
  • Post a photo, story, or description of you when you were your best. This might be when you felt the most love and peace in your life, when you acted in a way that made you connect with others, when you felt awe or a connection with nature, God, the Universe, or humanity.
  • Post a photo, drawing, description of who you wish to become. This might be a future self or a role model. Make sure you give us the characteristics that you are trying to emulate.
  • Post anything that expresses you in your grandest form.

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.

 

Kozo Hattori Self-Defining Statement:

Whenever possible I error on the side of love, especially when “disciplining” children.

I treat myself and others kindly even when we make mistakes.

I continue to embody, tend to, and live from the unconditional love, universal consciousness, and godliness that is my true nature.

I release all clinging to “I, Me, and Mine” that appears in the needs to be athletic, attractive, noticed, wanted, and special.

I continue to heal, so that I can heal others.

I follow my heart/direction in the present moment releasing all worries about outcomes, financial security, and what others will think.

I see God, Jesus, and Buddha in the eyes of everyone I meet and treat them accordingly.

I understand that everything that happens in my life is overflowing with the opportunity to awaken if I can embrace the moment without aversion or desire.

I reach out and touch others and myself as much as possible in the form of hugs, tenderness, and presence.

I act, serve, and love like the enlightened being that I was born to be.

 

T-SHIRTS:

The 2013 Bloggers for Peace T-shirts are being printed and due to arrive any day now. If you live in the USA, I will mail shirt to you. If you live overseas, I will contact you about shipping charges. You are going to love these shirts–the woman who took the order said, “Everyone is going to want one of these,” and she didn’t even know what Bloggers for Peace was. 🙂