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I'm Mark & I've Been a Fame fan since 1982. This blog is dedicated to the incredibly talented cast of the show and is a place to share music, videos and pictures. To contact me please send emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thursday, 2 October 2014
Erica Gimpel's Thoughts On Peace
September 21st 2014 was International Peace Day and Erica Gimpel left the following message on her Facebook to express her own thoughts on Peace!
"PEACE IS POSSIBILE!
WE JUST HAVE TO WANT IT BAD ENOUGH!
Peace is not a passive act of singing Kumbaya and holding hands around a campfire. Peace is a passionate stance where we declare that all people, animals, plant life, bodies of water and the earth itself... every living being is entitled to live out its natural life’s journey without a premature ending by the ravages of war and violence.
We as a culture have yet to master the art of non-violent communication: learning how to uncover and identify the underlying need that is present between two people or two different cultures engaged in conflict. I think the basic needs all people share are to be honored, celebrated and respected for who we truly are.
The task at hand is finding a way for all of us to co-exist together while honoring our differences and learning to identify the gifts each culture has to offer rather than being afraid of each other, and then vilifying each other. One doesn’t look at a field of wild flowers and see the many different types of flowers and say, “Those orange flowers deserve to die because of their color.” Every being and every living thing has the right to live. There needs to be an awareness and conscious choice of letting go of the need to dominate. That’s where the delicate dance lies. How can all the different races and ethnicities live freely, fully expressing their cultures and religious practices, with an awareness and collective commitment that whatever one practices they will not cause harm to any other living being on the planet? How can we awaken that desire in all people? There has got to be a way that we, the human family, can cultivate that vision. Because we are here sharing this ONE planet… We are here to trying to live together, co-exist together. Can we take a strong stance? A passionate stance for peace?
As much as there is heroism in war and acts of courage in war, can we find the heroism and the acts of courage in peace? I will never forget the picture of the young man standing in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square, or the young men and women sitting at lunch counters in the south wanting their freedom and equality, desiring to be seen and treated as human beings with equal rights. And currently, this summer watching the people demonstrating and migrating to Ferguson, calling for an end to the violence and injustices committed against African Americans here in the United States. We all have the right to exist and play out our dance of life freely and with utmost respect.
My main question is how can peace be courageous, passionate, alive and vibrant? Peace is not boring; actually it’s the most alive, vibrant and life affirming way to live! Let’s celebrate one act of Peace this International Peace Day and I believe on this day… Sept. 21st… Peace can be possible. All we have to do as the majority of human beings on this precious planet, and I’m not talking about the handful of people in power who want to dominate… I’m talking about WE THE PEOPLE. WE who are the majority… But here’s the thing… We have to want it. We have to deeply WANT PEACE… Haven’t we gotten to the point where we are tired of our family members going off to war, of losing our sons and daughters? Has any lasting solution been achieved to the conflicts they so willingly gave their lives for? Has any concrete lasting solution put an end to the violence? I don’t think so.
Now is the time we must come up with new solutions. I believe we are capable of these solutions because collectively we have created the state we are in, so therefore, the solutions reside within us. Here’s the thing, we’ve got to be able to create peace here at home, in United States. How can we become more united when we’re not trained or educated on how to bring about peaceful resolutions? Or have clear enough communication to diffuse arguments, misunderstandings or acts of aggression? How can we develop a new perspective on conflict itself? Conflict I believe is simply an opportunity for a new solution aching to be born. Just like when two stars collide in the galaxy something new is created. There is so much collision on planet earth, so much potential for creative solutions; and these solutions are what I am interested in. I have faith that we human beings can come up with the answers.
Maybe I view things this way because I am the child of an African American mother and a Slavic father; however, to me, simply mom and dad, who by the way recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced and seen first hand what love can do, that love can be the connecting force of two seemingly different cultures, cultures whose history has been wrought with acts of aggression and violence. But with the presence of love, they can come together and have their union shine as an example that Peace is Possible.
I’ll admit I’ve done my own racial profiling. When I hear a southern accent coming out of a Caucasian person something in my spirit toughens up. My natural, warm accepting nature recedes. This happened so clearly one summer, when I had gone to Belize. After spending much of the day in the water snorkeling, I was having lemonade at the bar located on the beach. When some girls rolled up onto the shore stepping out of a boat and I heard their Texas twang. A Belizean man sitting next to me leaned over and whispered how a lot of Texan’s had been buying up the land in Belize. Automatically, I looked at these entitled young rich white girls and all my judgments started raging. I happened to see my snorkeling instructor sitting at the bar, when a young Texan girl looked his way and I thought, “Here we go; privileged white girl wants to have a fling with the natives.” And right then she starts speaking in Creole and the snorkel instructor greets her with this big smile, picks her up and they hug and sit next to each other having a drink. The man sitting next to me leans in again saying, “Those two grew up together; she’s been coming here since she was a kid. They were childhood sweethearts.” In that moment I became aware of my own prejudging; me, the person coming from a mixed background.
That was a great lesson for me that day because it revealed that my strong issue is classism. Life is so beautiful when it does that. People cross your path and if you’re open enough you can be transformed. Your perspective can change and all the prejudging melts away.
On this International Peace Day let’s reach out to someone we might never talk to. Let’s ask them about their culture, share something about ours we’ve never shared…. Let’s try to go beyond what is comfortable by doing one act of Peace... And then maybe, just maybe… that one act can turn into something we do on a daily basis. Wouldn’t that be incredible? Cause guess what? I truly believe PEACE IS POSSIBLE. We just have to want it bad enough!
Actor, Singer-Songwriter, Writer and Lover of Peace"