Personal Update 202311 | 30 Nov 2023


Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well. The photo above is from 22 Oct 2023, looking west at sunset on a bike ride heading home.

Writing Topics

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related context are already present.

Middle East

For the fourth quarter, since October 1, I’ve added only a few new writings to the Resources For Life dot com website, which were mostly relating to the heightened conflict in the Middle East.

I already have existing news posts for this year on Lebanon, Iran, Qatar, and Palestine / Israel, as well as other countries in the region. So, I’ve updated those, but didn’t need to create much new.

On Facebook, a “suggested post” for me with a peace dove and the words “Thankful for Palestinian-Israeli Ceasefire” showed up as the cease fire details were unfolding. It was a post of mine from 21 Nov 2012 that Facebook randomly selected as a previous post on the same day. I decided to accept the suggestion and share the post. The timing was appropriate to share it again.

I’ve followed Middle East news for about 25 years, mostly with an interest in efforts that prevent conflict and violence.

The song “Prayer of the Mothers” by the group Women Wage Peace was made into a video (below) that shows women involved in the peace movement in the Palestine / Israel area. I wrote an article in 2018 about the video and their efforts. [Learn More]

The group Koolulam works to promote peace through music, by inviting people from diverse backgrounds to sing songs together. On 28 Feb 2018 they had an event where a group sang “One Day” by Matisyahu. I wrote an article about the event, and shared the video. I was able to get help from my Arabic and Hebrew speaking contacts for translation assistance to share the lyrics, and Koolulam gave me permission to embed their video on my website — it was otherwise blocked for viewing outside of YouTube. You can watch the video on my original post. [View]

My hope for myself and for others, is that we can grow and expand our sense of compassion. I guess it’s human nature, or the habit of some, to have selective compassion. We hear about tragedies, but for concern to be expressed, we first want to know the race, religion, gender, or nationality of those involved. If the incident feeds into a narrative we’re trying to push, we’ll get involved and march in the streets. If it doesn’t fit our ideology, we go back to binge watching a show or some other activity.

In February this year, a tragedy in a region of predominantly Muslim countries resulted in over 50,000 lives lost in a matter of hours. To me it seemed like a big event, but because it was an earth quake, and people couldn’t blame any popular vilified group of choice, the media was mostly silent after one or two days. I still check the news on conditions in the region.

In 2020, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history took place. It effectively wiped out an entire country that still hasn’t rebuilt three years later. We couldn’t blame any of our preferred vilified groups of choice, so it got a couple days coverage in the news, then everyone forgot about it. I’ve been more closely following the news from Lebanon since that blast in Beirut. [Read More]

These massive tragedies happen, and if there’s nobody to blame, there typically is no marching in the streets, no flag waving, no public mourning, no candlelight vigils.

In the area of the Middle East, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Caspian Sea, there is archeological and cultural heritage dating back thousands of years. If you go back far enough, you’ll discover all of our ancestors are most likely from the cradle of civilization. There are numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites in that area. The entire area is a huge fragile protected outdoor archaeological museum, with people still living there — people who are sort of everyone’s relatives, and it is everyone’s homeland.

If we increase our compassion for humanity to include everyone who suffers, regardless of how or why or who they are, it would make the world a better place, and it would de-politicize our emotions and humanity.

To people who want to know which side I support in the war, I’ll share what I wrote to someone in October, “I strongly support both sides (the innocent people on both sides who are suffering), and strongly condemn both sides (those who are making the situation worse).”

More Next Month

I’m going to skip my usual entries this month for tech writing and how many steps I took. I’ll include more about that next month.


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Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]