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People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges

>> 31 July 2008

Politics are not my forte. I am generally aware of what is going on in the world and why. but I must admit that I was surprised when I heard about THE WALL Israel is building.

I had of course heard about it, but was ignorant about the details. When I heard that the wall is supposed to be 703 kilometres once finished and that approximately 58% has already been constructed, my jaw dropped.

Isn't this the world upside down? Isn't this World War II all over again but upside down?

“You don’t simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away…I prefer to advocate a positive policy, to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave.” – Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel

Large areas of fertile Palestinian farmland have been destroyed or seized by the Israeli army to make way for the wall and other larger areas have been cut off from the rest of the West Bank. When completed, the wall will cut off more than 15% of the West Bank land from the rest of the West Bank and some 270,000 Palestinians living in these areas will be trapped in closed military areas between the wall and the Green Line or in enclaves encircled by the wall.

The route of the wall has been designed so as to encompass a large number of Israeli settlements inside the Occupied Territories, which have been built and continue to be expanded in violation of international law.

The Wall will be standing in 50 and even in 100 years, if the reasons for it are not removed - Erich Honecker

The International Court of Justice has concluded that the barrier violates international law. Despite this violation, the international community has done nothing to stop the “transfer” from happening.
Rather, the international community has continued to finance Israel’s expansionist actions: Israel has received $85 billion from the U.S. alone since 1948; more than the aid received by the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined.
George W. Bush said in a letter to Sharon on April 14, 2004 that it "should be a security rather than political barrier, should be temporary rather than permanent'. Who is he kidding? How can a solid, concrete wall be temporary? At the cost of 12 million NIS or 2.8 million USD per km, the wall is cannot be called a “temporary” measure.
Palestinian terrorism has to be rejected and condemned, yes. But it should not be translated defacto into a policy of support for a really increasingly brutal repression, colonial settlements and a new wall - Zbigniew Brzezinski
Professor Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories says that "the policies being pursued, in Gaza in particular, have holocaustal implications if they are not changed. And the mind-set of holding an entire people responsible for opposition and resistance embodies a kind of collective punishment psychology that was very characteristic of the way the Nazis justified what they did to the Jewish people."

I do not want to discuss the pro and cons of this wall - it seems a very controversial and sensitive issue that cannot be solved. I just find it incredible that after all the past wars (and especially WWII) have taught us, we continue to make the same mistakes. We should remember:


Sources and reference material:
Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre
Anarchists against the wall
Professor Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories
A conversation with Richard Falk
The UN and human rights - a screaming start
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Israel and the Occupied Territories: The place of the fence/wall in international law
In the war of words, The Times is Israel's ally

See also:
United States-Mexico barrier
Berlin Wall


10 things to do when it's too hot (to go outside)

>> 30 July 2008

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, 
always bring your own sunshine -- Anthony J. D'Angelo

  1. Go to the pool/beach
  2. Go for a walk in the woods
  3. Be lazy, sleep
  4. Read a book or watch some television
  5. Wear a skimpy dress and flipflops
  6. Turn the hose into a shower in the garden and play under the sprinkle with your kids
  7. Remember all the times you have complained about bad weather and enjoy the heat
  8. Build a pergola
  9. Paint a summer painting, naked
  10. Visit a place that is usually crowded (like a museum) - with this heat everyone is at home doing the above mentioned things ;-)


Nothing's beautiful from every point of view - Horace

>> 22 July 2008

She says: the rain is beautiful

He thinks: I hate getting wet

She says: let's go for hot chocolate

He thinks: I just want to go home

She says: we should go hiking tomorrow

He thinks: I loathe crawling through the woods

She says: I love you

He thinks: she is beautiful


He says: yes it has its charm

She thinks: he is romantic

He says: that will warm us up

She thinks: he does everything I want

He says: anything you'd like my dear

She thinks: I'm so lucky we like the same things

He says: I love you too

She thinks: he is ugly

(c) Mindful Mimi - July 2008
Thanks to Weekend Wordsmith for triggering this post about Point of View.


Do you consciously or unconsiously adjust your judgement and actions

>> 18 July 2008

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails 
-- Bertha Calloway

This morning the word ADJUST popped into my mind.

According to the Free Dictionary it means:
  1. To change so as to match or fit; cause to correspond.
  2. To bring into proper relationship.
  3. To adapt or conform, as to new conditions: "unable to adjust themselves to their environment"
  4. To bring the components of into a more effective or efficient calibration or state: adjust the timing of a car's engine.
  5. To adapt oneself; conform.
  6. To achieve a psychological balance with regard to one's external environment, one's needs, and the demands of others.
And my thought took the train:
  • A tree adjusts the growth of its branches to twist around an obstacle. It adapts its growth path if planted askew on a cliff and finds its balance.
  • The earth adjusts to the ever changing course of the swelling river.
  • The virus adjusts to the medication human invent to counter it.
  • The animal adjusts to its changing habitat and climate by adopting new ways of living.
  • The shore adjusts its pattern according to the waves that hit it.
Adjusting means CHANGE. And humans are known to fear change. And our amazing ego's always cry out 'Why should I change?'

Whenever we encounter a situation or person that is, at first glance, different from what we believe in, what we think we are, what we stand for, we have the immediate tendency to judge. If we meet someone who we know is a teacher, a bus driver or CEO of a big company, we are influenced by or lead to expect things according to their social position because of what this position means in our society.

And once a situation or person judged, we find it difficult to change this preconception. It becomes a prejudice and means that we are making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. Sometimes we were taught such prejudices by our parents and social surrounding. Sometimes we simply judge people or situations because of our bad mood that morning, because we are stressed, because we do not have the time to listen to them.

More often than not, we find out that we were wrong.

So why do we have this tendency to put a stamp on everything we see or meet? Do we do this consciously or unconsciously?

According to Freud, the mind can be divided into two main parts:

The conscious mind includes everything that we are aware of. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. A part of this includes our memory, which is not always part of consciousness but can be retrieved easily at any time and brought into our awareness. Freud called this ordinary memory the preconscious.

The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences.

Whether we do this consciously or not, we should try to enter each situation and encounter each person with an OPEN MIND. What is our role in this encounter? One of the major reference points when thinking about role is our appreciation of ourselves. We need to consider the sorts of values that we should be appealing to e.g. respect for persons, the promotion of well-being, a commitment to the search for truth, the fostering of democracy, and embracing fairness and equality. It also entails thinking about our intention – which may be different in each situaiton – and the sort of environment that needs to be cultivated.

Do we need to and can we adjust our point of view, our thoughts and behaviour enough in order to really HEAR the other person? Can we open up our minds enough to really listen, to not judge? Do we want to just win an argument or are we really looking for the facts? Do we speak our minds? Do we know our minds? Do we have (conscious or unconscious) preconceived ideas about a subject or person?

It is well known that people don't always 'speak their minds', and it is suspected that people don't always 'know their minds'.

Go to Project Implicit where you will have the opportunity to assess your conscious and unconscious preferences for over 90 different topics ranging from pets to political issues, ethnic groups to sports teams, and entertainers to styles of music. At the same time, you will be assisting psychological research on thoughts and feelings.

Take a demo test.


When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded - Stephen Wright

>> 11 July 2008

When I paint or try to be otherwise creative, I try to get the right, creative side of my brain going (see drawing with the right side of the brain website and other information). It is, however, not always easy to switch off the verbal, analytical left brain.

My inner eye tries to see the final painting as a whole and I try to mix and match colors, structures simultaneously. My left brain needs to kick in from time to time to critically look at the painting and tell me if something needs to be changed. But if the left brain is crowded with stuff, it is hard to switch it off.

I regularly check out Christine Kane's blog and first heard about The Artist's Way (book, website)on her recommended reading list.

I have received the book last week and have been leafin through it. The author, Julia Cameron recommends that one write what she calls the Morning Pages. Every morning one should write 3 pages (long-hand) of whatever comes to your mind (see Julia explain this in a video interview). One should see it as decluttering your mind, like a morning shower. Apparently you become much more efficient during the day as it keeps you from being distracted. You put all your ordinary life stuff on a page and leave it there instead of carrying it with you on your conscience all day.

I have a crowded brain (left and right) and would love to be more creative and find my real creative path. That is why I bought the book. So for the last few days I have been thinking about how the hell I am going to write these 3 pages every morning... I already get up earlier than anyone in the house (i.e. 6:30 am) in order to prepare for the day and not be late for work. Does that mean I have to get up even earlier? Oh my...

On the other hand, the fact of decluttering my crowded brain appeals to me highly :-) And I like the promise of the morning pages being the first step to increasing your creative being.

I wonder: does Christine write her morning pages every day?

So I will continue this quest and keep you informed.

P.S.: I just found out about Wordle and wordled this post. I quite like the result

(c) Mindful Mimi -July 2008
Thanks to
Weekend Wordsmith for triggering this post about Crowded.

Drawing is made by Wardomatic.


We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round - Edward Cole in The Bucket List

>> 9 July 2008

The Apron Queen at Confessions of the Apron Queen has triggered today's post.

Have you seen the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?

If you haven't seen it yourself, the general jist of the movie is that two men- one a rich billionaire (Nicholson) and one a blue collar mechanic (Freeman) - meet in the hospital as they both find out they have terminal cancer. They make a Bucket List - a list of things they want to do before they die. And then they proceed to do all the things on the list together and mark them off as they go along.

Their Bucket List:

  • Witness something truly majestic
  • Help a complete stranger for a common good
  • Laugh till I cry
  • Drive a Shelby mustang
  • Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
  • Get a tattoo
  • Skydiving
  • See the pyramids
  • Get back in touch with...
  • Hunt the big cat
  • See Rome

The deal is to post your own bucket list and link back to the Apron Queen.

So here is my bucket list:

  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Hike through Nepal (see example)
  • Climb Kilimanjaro
  • See Machu Picchu
  • Write a book
  • Open a bookshop
  • Set up a charity - help people
  • Do something scary like skydiving
  • RUV across the US and see the most remote and deserted areas and states (far away from the beaten path)
  • Give up the complaining habit
  • Live simple
  • Visit my friend Sabine in Spain for a few days to talk, talk, talk and help her refurbish their new house and turn it into a lovely bed and breakfast
  • Make a difference in someone's life
  • Paint, sing, write and be creative
  • Find a creative, stimulating, motivating job with a purpose
  • Make my kids and husband happy every day
  • See my kids grow up (but that is not in my hands)


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