The Campaign launch is happening on March 24th and we have only 3 weeks to go. This the Pre-Campaign week 2 and this week’s theme is EDUCATION! The previous week’s theme was Family.
We can get involved in many different ways based on how much time you want to give it. Here are some of the things I came up. It was really interesting coming up with it :). Add yours in the comment section.
30 seconds act of kindness
- Give words of encouragement to a student in your community
- Praise a teacher for their service to the community
- Connect with a lost school friend
7 minutes Act of kindess
- Send a thank you letter to oen of your teachers – past or present
- Join and comment on your alumni Facebook page or share it with other people
- Buy a story book for your neighbor’s kid
- Read to a child
- Buy an educational event ticket and donate it to some one
- Post a positive comment on any educational blog
30 minutes act of kindess
- Write a letter to your local congressmen to help secure additional school funding
- Donate old books to your local library
- Assist a kid with their homework
- Mentor a at-risk teen or kid
- Teach someone a new language
Few posts back, I had introduced the campaign started by the Art of Living volunteers to create a Stress-Free and Violence-Free community. Now here are some beautiful videos about people talking about the campaign and asking everyone to SHOW up for it.
First up, Bhargav, a freshman student in San Jose State university shares his vision on what he thinks about a violence free community and why it is important.
Second, Sunita Dash. A mother and employee of Apple, Inc. shares her experiences of the impact of stress and violence in community. She also shares her passion and vision for a community free of stress and violence.
This campaign provides everyone a platform to join hands, come together and create the society that everyone wants to stay in. Stress and Violence are huge problems and it needs every one of us to step in. We need this campaign as much as the campaign needs us. So SHOW UP for the launch event which is inaugurated by World Leader and Humanitarian, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and join thousands of others who have committed themselves for the campaign! Here is another video with people who are showing up!
You can join the campaign here : http://stressfreeviolencefree.org/campaign/join-the-campaign/. If you are not in the bay area or can not attend the campaign – No problem. Help us spread the word in these ways
- Like, Comment and Share our Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/Stressfreeviolencefree.
- We have been tweeting with the tag #peacestarts. Tweet your comment and ideas with the same tag along with our website stressfreeviolencefree.org on Twitter
- Reblog this post or this one in your blog so that your readers know about this campaign
- Ask your friends and relatives to join the campaign if they reside in the Bay Area
- Ask all your other friends to do all of the above :))
It is not every time that we get the chance to make a difference in our society. Here is one. So grab it by SHOWin’ Up to the launch event!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all. Here is a beautiful question asked to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the answer comes in the form a story that wil touch all. Enjoy!
Question : Do we go to the Guru, or does the Guru find us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There was a talented teacher. He was a great orator, who would convince people very well. He had a fair knowledge of scriptures and spiritual techniques also. He was very good, but he was not complete; he was in search of a Master. Everyone used to honor him, but he lacked that final touch. He just wanted to surrender to a Master. He didn’t have a Master at that time. Only when the time comes, the Master also comes.
So, the time had come. He knew who his Master was, and he was in search for him. When he was departing from the kingdom, the king asked, “Where do you want to go”? He said he wanted to meet such and such a Master in such and such and such a place. Then king said, “Oh, it is so far, 300 kilometers away. You cannot walk and go. You can take my palanquin”. So, he sent his palanquin. The teacher sat in the palanquin and started going towards the Master.
And then he arrived in that town. He asked a person carrying the palanquin to take him to the Master, and one of them, who was carrying the palanquin, stood up and said, ” I am him”.
The teacher was so moved that he fell at his feet. He said, “How could you do this?’ How could you carry me? From where you have been carrying me?”
He answered, “Half the way. I heard you were coming to see me, so half the way I came to bring you to me. Now come, Lets go.” So half the way Master came and carried the palanquin of the disciple and brought him to the place and said,” Here I am the person you are looking for.”
Like that God is already carrying you and is right there with you. You take one step towards the Master, and He will take ten steps towards you. But that one step has to be taken. If you take one step back, God will take ten steps back. This is the tradition of Masters. So much humbleness, humility and simplicity is needed.
If you are given an opportunity to make a positive difference in your community, would you take it? I certainly would. If the positive difference is the need of the current hour – even BETTER. Right now the violence in our society and world in general has seen new heights that it is unimaginable sometimes. Be it the Sandy Hook shooting or the Colorado shooting or the Delhi gang rape. Before trying to address this issue, lets take a step back to introspect where does it violence or what are its causes. Violence is the result of a combination of biological, social, and psychological factors, especially those that increase exposure to vulnerability, shame, and humiliation. Preventing violence must involve the opposite: making sure people feel safe, cared about, and connected, while ensuring they have a healthy and realistic sense of self esteem and self-worth.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine where she was suggesting some changes in the law and educational system to remove violence. I was arguing against it citing many people have tried that before and it has never worked because it couldn’t be implemented in mass. Just one person trying to create a revolution against the government to bring about laws can create awareness about the issue but bringing about a change in the underlying attitude requires something more. A “X” factor that will change people’s core values itself. A change so basic that changes their total outlook towards violence. We finally agreed upon that currently there is no way of doing this. But we were so wrong!
It seems that we have solved this problem so many times in the history of man kind. Only that we have forgotten our history and the different ways of doing it. Core values against violence like Love, Affection, Compassion have always been imbibed in spiritual teachings and practices and this is the missing ‘X’ factor according to me. Everyone has to cultivate these core values from a very young age in them and make it a second nature in order to not fall into the trap. Spiritual leaders are here to help us but the problem is help comes after the event in form of disaster recovery or personal counseling or service project to help the victims. Very few proactive steps have been taken to avoid a problem and its sustenance and success trivial in a global scale.
Not anymore! 🙂 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a global humanitarian and a spiritual leader who started the largest non-profit volunteer based organization, The Art of Living, has started a movement called Campaign for a Stress Free Violence Free Community where every individual can contribute towards the idea. The campaign emphasizes on bringing about the change that you want to see in your community in YOU first.
The Wright brothers appeared crazy before they flew. I have this crazy idea – a world without violence. With all the violence in the world this idea may appear to be hoping for a Utopia, but we need to dream, and we will get there. -Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The campaign has got two main components in it. Go Inward and Take Action.
Any change that needs to be brought outside starts with you. Keeping a balanced state of mind and body is important. This is the first step in the campaign. Going inward. It is about how to get that peace and clarity inside of you. How do you do that? Meditate. Sit silently. Art of Living programs, etc.
This is the step which needs action. All of us need to come together to bring our peaceful voices and make it louder than that of violence. It starts with doing good to others individually and as a group. The campaign has got a lot of options for these.
The idea here is to take a pledge to do an activity from each of these components for at least once a week. The campaign will run for 6 months from March until October and each week will have a different theme and a featured organization with whom we can work with or you can work with an organization of your choice. Anyone can get involved in only three easy steps
- Join the campaign in their web site stressfreeviolencefree.org
- Attend the campaign event kick off along with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar(Yay! He is coming to the Bay area. Info in another post!) and other community leaders. You can buy the tickets for the event here – http://stressfreeviolencefree.org/launch/. It is only 25$!
- Follow the campaign and stay engaged.
What is your excuse?
The main excuse that I had for joining such a campaign was TIME. The most famous excuse we all have. Who has got the time to do all these? Well, the campaign has answers to that too. You can make a change even if you have 30 seconds of free time! You can effect a change based on how much free time you have – 30 seconds or 7 minutes or 30 minutes or a whole day. It is totally your choice how you engage yourself. Here is a list of activities you can do – http://stressfreeviolencefree.org/campaign/
It is that simple! Just 3 simple steps to build a stress free and violence community. Can it get better than this?
Will it work?
I had this question in me – Can a small act of kindness by just one individual bring a change in a community of so many? This got answered by this beautiful video that I saw today. Enjoy!
I read this story somewhere and it made so much sense to me that I wanted to share it with all of my friends.
” Once a group of highly educated students visited their university professor. Conversations soon turned into the complaints into stress in work and life. The professor went into the kitchen to make some coffee for his students. He poured the coffee into a pot and kept many different cups made up of porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking and some expensive, some exquisite ones. He asked the students to help themselves with the coffee.
When the students had taken the coffee in their hands, the professor said, “If you all noticed, all the nice expensive cups are taken up, leaving behind the plain ones. While it is normal for you to want the best, that is also the source of your stress. What you really want is coffee, not the cup, but you all still went for the best looking cups and you all were also eyeing each other’s cups! Don’t let your cups drive your life. Enjoy the coffee!”
If life is the coffee, then jobs, money, status in the society are the cups. They are just the tools that are used to hold the life in it. While we all are busy in trying to choose the best of the tools, we totally miss why we want these tools in the first place. We get stressed out when we focus so much on choosing the cups rather than enjoying the coffee in it. The cups will keep changing with time. Dont miss the coffee in it. 🙂