Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘community’

A Circle of Love

images17Communion: The Female Search for Love by Bell Hooks.

One of my favorite passages from one of my favorite books.

Witness to Love

Women and men, girls and boys, must restructure how we spend our time if we want to be loving. We cannot be overachievers and perfectionist performers from kindergarten on in our public lives (the world of school and work) if we are to learn how to love, if we want to practice the art of loving. Genuine love requires time and commitment. And this is simply the case for love in the context of partnership. Self-love takes times and commitment, particularly on the part of those who are wounded in the space where we would know love in our childhoods. New women today, the late-twenties and thirty-something crew, are as reluctant as their patriarchal male counterparts to make time for love. Wise aging women know that one of the keenest regrets a large number of females experience in their lives is failure to understand early the power and meaning of love. Not only would that knowledge have afforded an understanding that would have prevented them from ending up emotionally abused and battered, it would have ushered true love in to their lives sooner rather than later.

My hope for younger generations of women is that they will examine the unfulfilled spaces of their lives soon and boldly, unabashedly choosing to do the work of love, placing it above everything. Again and again it must be stated that when I talk about doing the work of love, I am not talking simply about partnerships; I am talking about the work of self-love in conjunction with the work of relational love. Visionary feminist thinkers were among the first group of people to call attention to the disservice we women do to ourselves when we act as though it were important only to find the right partner, someone to love, rather than to choose a circle of love. When we place emphasis on building a beloved community, of which having a partner may be an essential part but not the whole, we free ourselves to lead joyous lives as single folks, (in or out of partnership with another).

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Trust Me

A shaky excerpt from Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

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Master Tova was traveling with Sister Sun and Sister Moon to visit one of the community centers. They came upon a narrow rope bridge which crossed a deep gorge and raging river below.

“I’ll wait here until you return,” Sister Sun said, shaking in her boots every time she looked towards the walkway.

“Nonsense,” Master Tova replied. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“I’ll stay with Sister Sun,” Sister Moon added, holding on to her companion for dear life.

“We must cross,” Master Tova replied. “They are waiting for us and Sister Star needs our assistance. You know she is very ill and may not have much time left.”

“We feel deeply for Sister Star,” Sister Sun trembled, “but it will do her no good if we parish before we see her.”

“This bridge has been here for centuries,” Master Tova explained.

“Exactly,” Sister Moon exclaimed.

“Thousands upon thousands have safely made their way upon its planks and rope handrails,” Master Tova reassured. Both sisters stood frozen, shaking their heads. “Look,” Master Tova said, as she walked onto the bridge and turned around. “See, it’s as strong as a rock.” She jumped up and down several times. The bridge bobbed and swayed side to side. Master Tova returned to her reluctant students and said, “You must trust in life or you will never get anywhere.”

The Master took hold of Sister Sun and Sister Moon’s hands and led them toward the structure. Just as Master Tova was about to step on the bridge, Sister Sun coughed. Her cough caused a loud crack. They watched in horror as the ropes snapped, the wooden planks broke, and the walkway plummeted into the gorge below with a deathly crash.

Sister Sun and Sister Moon’s eyes were as large as saucers, as they pulled Master Tova back from the edge and fell to the ground.

As they got up and dusted themselves off, Master Tova turned and spoke. “Like I said, it’s always good to consider alternatives, and cough before proceeding. We’ll have to walk upstream and wade across the shallow portion of the river. It will take longer, but we’ll get their safe and sound.”

Many honest and trusted stories at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

No-tie Charity Ball

You can join an elite group of individuals fundraising for a difference in the global community – all without leaving your seat. This month, FINCA is hosting our first-ever no-tie charity ball. And you’re invited!

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We believe in supporting low-income entrepreneurs with life-changing loans, so much so that nearly 96 cents of every dollar donated directly support our programs. We don’t believe in pomp and circumstance; we believe in results, and making a lasting impact where it matters.

By “attending” FINCA’s first no-tie charity ball, you’re standing with an organization dedicated to empowering individuals and improving the quality of life across all communities.

Change a life today; you can do it all without leaving your seat.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,
Soledad Gompf
Vice President FINCA

Why Shop Indie?

logoFrom Indie Bound

Why shop Indie?

When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:

The Economy

Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.

Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.

More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.

Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.

More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

Better Than Commerical Banks

Better Than Commercial Banks

We have always been proud of our FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) clients and the success they achieve. After all, they have an astounding on-time loan repayment rate of over 98 percent – as good or better than many commercial banks expect.

But today, we’re writing to you with a very special message: Our client success is now the best we’ve ever seen!

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When our over one million micro-entrepreneurs get the hand up they need, we never cease to be amazed at how far they go – entrepreneurs like Victoria Banda of Zambia. A 36-year-old woman who never finished primary school, she is now the main income earner for herself, her parents, and her two sisters. Starting with a loan of just $20, she now operates her own store and helps her younger sister through college.

That’s a lot to accomplish for someone who started with just $20!

We’re blown away by FINCA clients like Victoria – and hers is just one of many incredible success stories. They do the hard work to get ahead, but that first step towards success would never have been possible without people like you. When you provide an entrepreneur with a microloan, you are the turning point on their path to independence and opportunity.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

Religions for Peace World Assembly

Every 5-6 years, Religions for Peace convenes a World Assembly of senior-most religious leaders for the purpose of forging a deep moral consensus on contemporary challenges, electing a new World Council, and advancing multi-religious action across and beyond the Religions for Peace network. Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed and Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi represented ISNA at the World Assembly. Dr. Syeed was elected Vice President for the World Council along with Shaikh Ben Beyyah to be the new Muslim representatives on the Council.

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During the Assembly, Syeed served on the Committee to draft the final declaration which was approved by the general assembly. Here is the declaration:

The Vienna Declaration
Welcoming the Other – A Multi-Religious Vision of Peace

Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances
Islamic Society of North America
Phone 202-544-5656 Fax 202-544-6636
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 304
Washington DC 20002
www.ISNA.net

Smack Dab In the Middle

Smack Dab in the Middle

My name is Donna Branham and I live in Mingo County, WV — smack dab in the middle of coal mining country. I’m a registered nurse and I’ve seen firsthand how mining hurts the health of my community. I’ve seen how it is making my community sick1 and year after year it’s only getting worse.

Mountaintop-removal coal mining blows off the tops of mountains to extract the coal that fuels our nation’s power plants. It has already leveled 500 mountains and buried over 1,200 miles of streams — but it gets worse. It raises my community’s risk of birth defects, cancer, and heart disease.

Right now, dozens of permits are pending for new mines and the Obama Administration could approve them any day. If they get approved, it will mean more people get sick and more mountains get destroyed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any more families to suffer the effects of Big Coal’s pollution.

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Send a message to the White House before it’s too late. I’m tired of seeing families get sick just so Big Coal can increase its profits. Tell the Obama Administration to put our health first: no more mountaintop-removal coal mines.

A few years ago, Island Creek Coal Company opened a mountaintop-removal coal mine two miles from the house where I grew up and where my Mom and Dad still lived. Because of the danger, my parents had to leave their home so that they could have a reasonable life. My Mom never felt at home again.

After that, I knew I had to act. The coal companies are putting a burden on us, and it isn’t fair. I’ve got grandchildren, and I want them to live in a better world. That’s why I’m calling on the Obama Administration to put our health first, and why I’m asking you to take action.

There have been many times where folks, like us, worked together to make change happen. If it weren’t for mothers demanding a right to vote, women would still not be allowed at the polls. It takes people like you and me who get fed up enough to take action to make a change.

I can’t do it alone, but I know that if we stand together we can create a better life for our children and grandchildren! Tell the Obama Administration to protect families from mountaintop-removal coal mining today.

Thanks for all you do to protect our environment!

Sincerely,

Donna Branham
Sierra Club Volunteer
Mingo County, WV

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