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Archive for the ‘Friends Without Borders’ Category

photo courtesy of Steve Goldsmith (fm lt to rt: Valerio, me, Kalyan, Jyotsana, Rahul, Mira)

On Monday, I gave a talk at Cal State Long Beach’s South Asia day called The Law of Love which traced the journey of Friends Without Borders’ friendship efforts in South Asia between 2005-7. The true message was about practicing the process of placing empathy and love at the center of what you do in the world. Many of the students who attended were doing so for extra credit, and so the energy level in the room wasn’t so high when I started. Of course, one of the methods of practice I shared were smile cards, and some of the ripples that have radiated from this. While it felt great to rouse some enthusiasm around this and see all my smile cards disappear with at least a dozen personal requests on how to get more :-), it was more gratifying to learn that the Indian Student Union of CSULB sent links to Ekatva tickets to their member lists. The best part were these 9 & 10 year old kids of faculty who came up afterwards to ask for my autograph 🙂 I made them give me theirs first, and the sweet notes they wrote are pinned up at my office. Priceless little joys!

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In 1999, peace activist Michiko Pumpian got children from around the world to create a crane 120 feet tall and 215 feet wide. All over it were handwritten messages of peace. It was displayed in Seattle’s Kingdome and holds a spot in the Guinness Book of Records.

“When people sit down to make something with their hands, when they work together and think about peace together, they can’t help but become friends,” said Pumpian, who immigrated to Los Angeles in 1981 and later moved to this small town east of Seattle with her husband and three children.

While antiwar demonstrators block intersections a few miles from her home and make speeches on nearby university campuses, Pumpian represents another side of the movement — one that predates the Iraq war and takes a longer-term and understated approach.

Check out another pro-peace campaign powered by kids.

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Check out my latest 5 minute video on the campaign that’s rocking South Asia.

(migrated from my original Livejournal post)

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