Peacemaking Politics

In Peacemaking Among Primates, Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal labels aggression a “social fire.” When ignited, it can be lethal. And yet, de Waal found peacemaking activities are common in the animal kingdom. Ruthless competition is not more prevalent than sharing and peacemaking among our relatives, the primates. There are territorial squabbles, but many primates… Continue reading Peacemaking Politics

Veterans of Pandemic Time

A 74-year-old woman summed up pandemic time: “It limited and slowed down face-to-face interactions while speeding up progress on some projects that had lain dormant…time is precious. Using it wisely is harder when your activities are limited and your schedule falls apart.” T. S. Eliot captured such time distortions with these words: “For most of… Continue reading Veterans of Pandemic Time

Desert Pearls

Is peace hard to find in ANY culture? I may have stumbled onto a peaceful culture last week. While on a birthday trip with a dear gal friend, we visited Tuzigoot National Monument in Arizona. Tuzigoot, a First Nation word for “crooked water,” is a description of the nearby Verde River snaking its path through… Continue reading Desert Pearls

PTSD Pearls

We often focus on the down-side. There is a reason. According to research, a negativity bias starts showing up in your baby brain. While infants initially pay attention to positive facial expression and tone of voice, this changes with the approach of a first birthday. Brain responses to negative stimuli begin showing a surge in… Continue reading PTSD Pearls

Pearls of Resilience

Resilience conveys staying-power in the ability to withstand stressors. What supports resilience? A social support system undergirds resilience. What supportive network kept a piece of pottery intact for 5000+ years? Resilience also has links to having a meaning or purpose. The purpose of pottery sealed into inner protective chambers of Egyptian tombs was to help… Continue reading Pearls of Resilience

Pearls of Possibles

A statue of Eugenio Maria de Hostos (with children dancing overhead) stands in the Plaza de Beneficencia (Charity Square) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sculptor Jose Buscaglia Guillermety honored Hostos’ extensive influence in the region by naming the monument, “The Great Citizen of the Americas.” Hostos believed that independence in Puerto Rico and Cuba was… Continue reading Pearls of Possibles

Weaving Trauma into Beauty

A textile artist born during forced segregation in South Africa, Igshaan Adams’ enmeshed designs may be interpreted to represent familial relationships and generational trauma amidst socio-political discrimination. His art pays tribute to “gaps,” or invisible spaces in his work. Using beads, shells, glass, rope, wire, and “found objects,” his weavings pulse with meaning. One three-dimensional… Continue reading Weaving Trauma into Beauty

Pearls of Creative Problem-solving

We want our children to be creative problem-solvers. U.S. preschools and kindergartens brim with creativity! Then we take most toys out of classrooms of first graders. Perhaps when we do not see much creative problem-solving in adulthood, a creativity drop-off started with misguided educational ideas that toys cannot be learning tools from ages 6-onward. I… Continue reading Pearls of Creative Problem-solving