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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Angel's Collection's 4TH anniversary: A million thoughts and acts of peace

CEBU CAROUSEL - Joe C. Recio - The Philippine Star

When I was still working on the 2013 calendar of Cebu-grown Prosel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. early July, I could not help but notice a tarpaulin prominently displayed in the foyer of their function room.

It said, "A million thoughts and acts of peace for peace" and listed 12 simple ways that one could do to contribute to the culture of peace.

I searched through the internet what the movement was about, if there was any, and found out that TAP, which is short for thoughts and acts of peace, was a campaign ran by the Mindanao Commission on Women and Mothers for Peace in 2008 as part of the celebration of the United Nations Decade of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence to Children of the World (2000-2010) and the Mindanao Week of Peace.

Prosel and one of its founders, Ellen Luna, being actively involved in the Advocates for Living Values Education in Cebu (ALiVE!), an offshoot of the Living Values Education movement initiated and inspired by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, took an active role in the promotion of the campaign. Prosel used its own resources to popularize TAP among its partners and clients.

The campaign was able to generate, not just a million thoughts and acts of peace, but more than 2.6 million commitments for thoughts and acts of peace!

TAP took inspiration from the "Million Minutes for Peace" campaign initiated by the Brahma Kumaris in the 1980s as the latter's contribution to the United Nations International Year of Peace.

Although the TAP campaign already ended, the need to promote the culture of peace remains a reality as discontent and peacelessness spreads globally because of corporate greed and government's apparent lack of concern.

Let me share with you seven of the 12 simple acts of peace outlined in that display.

Smile.

A smile speaks a thousand words. It warms the heart, and it brightens up the atmosphere. Yes, a smile can be that powerful. When I was taking my refresher on Physical Therapy at St. Louis Review Center early this year, our main lecturer, Mr. Joven Tan, used to tell us: "Always wear a smile because it might just be the only smile that the person you'll meet on the road would see that day."

Care for the sick and the elderly

Who wants to care for the sick and the elderly? Almost often we find them to be a burden, both financially and physically. What really saddens me is when people wish that their sick and elderly would die. Truth is there will always come a time in our life when we become dependent on others. When that time comes, would you want your loved ones to wish you dead as well? Caring for the sick and the elderly is a simple act of peace because we help lessen the burden of those who are suffering. Be an angerl and help lighten someone's load, today.

Eat in silence

My late grandmother used to tell me not to talk when my mouth is full. Actually there is a scientific/medical explanation behind this small advice. Our mouth and nose opens to a common compartment, which then divides into two tubes - one going to the lungs (trachea) and the other to our stomach (esophagus). What prevents food from entering the wrong tube is a valve that closes when we swallow, just in the same way that when we breathe in and out or when we talk, the valve to the esophagus closes, making sure that the air goes to the lungs and not to our stomach. If we talk while eating, food may just go to the wrong tube causing choking. But if you ask me, choking is not the main reason to eat in silence. You see, considering our busy lifestyle, eating may just be the only time for us to go into quite meditation, so we better enjoy the silence on the dinner table.

Give your body a break from vices

Our state of health could be a cause of peacelessness. As a physical therapist, I often encounter patients who are grouchy, moody, and a total pain. A family member or two would usually tell me that he or she was not like that before the disability or impairment. This is quite understandable, but somehow, when this happens there is not much that we can do for that person to change. There are times when one's peacelessness and bad attitude is brought about by a brain dysfunction. However, before this happens to us, we better slow down on those vices, which is the culprit for all the troubles that our body is experiencing. You smoke? Smoking is known to cause a myriad of disease including the more obvious and now famous Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD and stroke. How about alcohol? Liver cirrhosis is not a joke. So, before all those preventable lifestyle diseases would catch up on you, take a break from vice.

Conserve water and electricity

It is not just society that peaceless. Even nature is peaceless, the reason why we are experiencing this erratic weather patterns. Man has abused nature for so long that it is beginning to catch up on us. Perhaps we have our ancestors to blame for abusing and misusing our natural resources. Would we want our future generations to blame us as well for leaving them with a planet that is not livable? Loving the environment is one way of spreading peace, also because our natural resources - the abundance and lack thereof - is one of the many causes of conflict. Let us start small in showing our love for nature by conserving water, closing the tap when not in use or reporting any water leakage to the appropriate agency. We can also help by conserving electricity by simply turning all appliances that are not in use, like aircondition, computer, or the television.

Encourage dialogue between friends who are in conflict.

What do you do when someone confides to you a problem? Let's admit it, a problem is not just about some personal thing, but always it involves another person who may have wronged the friend who confided in you. In this instances, what do you usually do? Do you simply listen and agree with your friend further inflaming the conflict? Or would you try to do something to bridge that impending gap. Encourage friends who are in conflict to start a dialogue, and enjoy the feeling of fulfillment in knowing that you helped start a stronger friendship.

Forgive someone.

Peacelessness is rooted from conflicts, which doesn't have to be on a big scale like the one between government and various militant groups. Having a conflict with a family member, a colleague, a neighbor already contributes to peacelessness and could be a cause for even bigger conflicts. Family feuds start from small trivial arguments and could eventually drag the whole community into disarray. Everyday, learn to forgive someone who have wronged you. Remember, it takes humility to forgive, and humility is power.

BRAHMA KUMARIS

BRAHMA KUMARIS WORLD SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATION

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE

CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE

ELLEN LUNA

LIVING VALUES EDUCATION

MILLION MINUTES

MINDANAO COMMISSION

PEACE

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