Reflections in ENGLISH
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One Life, One Voice
Most people that know me know that if there is one single issue that makes me move is Human Rights.
And that I am a person that tries to use modern technologies as doors that could open opportunities to intervene, opening apparently closed doors.
This is why I leave an invitation! I forward a challenge!
Humans are born with the right to exist, the right to be free, to love and be loved, to respect and be respected.
But, day after day, those rights are taken, by unfair imprisonment, incoherent judicial systems, inequality in treatment, persecution, massacres, and genocides.
This is the reason, this is the goal: to create an active network that shows our general dissatisfaction with this.
On December 10th, International Day for Human Rights, I’d like to have us all working together, as One World, One Life, in such a way that our readers could bear in mind that we are, in fact, One World and One Life.
For those who have a blog and whish to be a part of this, it is very simple: There are no limits to your imaginations (simply because unity should be achieved through diversity!).
Those without blogs, but whishing to have an active participation, should not forget that technology is a means and not an end.
Should one single member of the human body suffer, I'd suffer too.
Our main goal is to remember that we are all One Body, One Life.
So, if you want to take part of this initiative:
You should choose (at least) one of the logos, developed by Lino Resende, in case you choose to join this adventure for human existence.Thank you all!
Friday, April 13, 2007
Head in the sky
When we put our heads in the sky, flying around systematically, we can develop mental health problems (psychotic episodes, lack of contact with reality, ...).
This is the result of an investigation published in The Lancet, a British scientific weekly. After the analysis of more than half a thousand articles on flying and health, they have found reports of weak cognitive performance and mental health problems. The investigators became also aware that the female crew can suffer from perturbation of their menstruation cycle.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Sad day for psychology...
I've just read this news and I thought most of you might not have heard the news yet, since it happened only a few time ago. Personally, I am sad because this great specialists in our field, Paul Watzlawick, like so many others are going away, at the same time I am concerned with the carrying out of their legacy, because it is in our hands: day after day we should remember our precious duty!
This is my way of paying respects to his family, his friends, his colleagues and all our "psychological society".
Paul Watzlawick, psychology theorist
STANFORD PROFESSOR IN BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Article Launched: 04/05/2007 01:39:04 AM PDT
Paul Watzlawick, a pioneering Stanford University family therapist and communications theorist who believed people create their own suffering in the very act of trying to fix their emotional problems, has died. He was 85.
Mr. Watzlawick died Saturday of a heart attack at his home in Palo Alto, according to colleagues.
Born in Austria, Mr. Watzlawick gained fame for parting with Freudian psychoanalysis in favor of an approach to therapy that emphasized relationships over introspection. He trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and in 1960 joined the staff of the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto.
As a scholar and a practicing therapist, Mr. Watzlawick wrote 22 books translated into 80 languages for both academic and general audiences. Emotional health, he believed, hinged on abandoning the ego and achieving well-being through effective communication with others.
In popular books like "The Situation is Hopeless, but not Serious" and "Ultra-Solutions: How to Fail Most Successfully," Mr. Watzlawick playfully promotes his theory that the worst way to find happiness is to actively seek it.
Mr. Watzlawick's research into the processes and principles of communication formed the foundation of the outward-looking therapeutic approach he developed with his Mental Research Institute colleagues, known as MRI Brief Therapy.
Mr. Watzlawick became a licensed psychologist in 1969. He stopped seeing patients in 1998.
In 1967, he became a member of the clinical faculty in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University Medical Center and was clinical professor emeritus at the time of his death.
He retired from the Mental Research Institute in late 2006.
Mr. Watzlawick donated his body to science and requested that no services be held.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
10-20 % of adolescents have mental health problems
Neuropsichiatric problem is the most common illness (right after cardiovascular) at the European nations, and mental health issues are affecting one in every four European citizens (at least once in a lifetime).
And, according to Erio Ziglio (head of WHO's European Regional OfficeHead of Investment for Health and Development"), around ONE MILLION youth in Europe suffer from some sort of mental ills.
Suicide is the main cause of death among young adults (overwhelmed only by traffic accident), from 15 to 35! And 9 of the 10 list countries with higher suicide rate are in Europe!!!
Rank Country Suicides per 100,000 inhabitants per year:
1 Lithuania 42.0
2 Russia 37.4
3 Belarus 35.0
4 Latvia 34.3
5 Estonia 33.2
6 Hungary 32.1
7 Slovenia 30.9
8 Ukraine 29.4
9 Kazakhstan 28.7
10 Finland 24.3
What can be done?
I vote for real measures that make us, as European citizens (and world citizen) to stop concerning and start acting. Peseschkian would say we should start changing ourselves first. Frankl would say mankind should revive its sense of meaning. But what we really need is to give attention to our youth population, hear their thoughts and help them improve their self-steam, making them aware of their manifold potentials and helping them make their limitations a target of improvement, because we should see:
Man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom
(Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 161).
Monday, March 26, 2007
The world is but one country
Iran and the rest of the world are in constant dispute... But, amazingly the Associated Press just published a text that starts this way: "The Christian concepts of heaven and hell originate in Iran. The Jewish holy Talmud is littered with Iranian words and ideas. And some Iranians cherish the Israeli city of Haifa as a sacred place".
Another sentence you can find in the same text is: "Concepts such as the survival of a person's soul after death, the Day of Judgment, heaven and hell, and holy angels all derive from Iran's surviving Zoroastrian faith, a 3,000-year-old religion that predates Islam and Christianity"
Attention: this is not a glorification of the History of Persia, or Iran, or anything else. It is just one of the many things that show us, humans, that our bonds are stronger than we think, that our reality is one, that our world is so strangely interconnected that we cannot deny our co-existence.
This is a way of reminding that the Earth is, indeed, one country and humankind its citizen!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Recreating Eden - Baha'i Gardens - Haifa
Friday, March 09, 2007
As some people know, in
After international pressure, the Islamic Government decided to stop the policy of asking for religion on the exams to enter Universities. This way, Bahá’í youth was able to apply and access the University.
Then, a new process started. Universities didn’t accept them, despite their marks being far superior to others. At the end, from the thousands accepted only approximately 100 got in.
And now? Seventy (after other seventy during this year) of them were expelled! According to the Povo of Bahá (a Portuguese blog), the Iranian Government has denied the allegation of religious grounds on the expulsion! Asked by Reuters (published on February, 28th), a member of the Iranian delegation in the United Nations affirmed: "No one in
But, then again, we also find out information (written, printed, and signed information!) about Iranian Leaders. Issued on November, 2nd 2006 by the direction of the Payame Noor University you can read the following document:
Central Protection Office
Protection Office of Region 5
(Provinces of Fárs [Fars], Búshihr [Bushehr], KahKílúyih [Kahkiluyeh] and Buyr-A:mad
To the honourable directors of all the centres,
With respect, according to the ruling of the Cultural Revolutionary Council and the instructions of the Ministry of Information and the Head Protection Office of the Central Organization of Payám-i-Núr University, Bahá’ís cannot enrol in universities and higher education centres.
Therefore, such cases if encountered should be reported, their enrolment should be strictly avoided, and if they are already enrolled they should be expelled.
Confirmation comes from God alone.
Central Protection Office of Payám-i-Núr University
Protection Officer of Payám-i-Núr University, region 5
(Provinces of Fárs, Búshihr, KahKílúyih and Buyr- A:mad)
Samti chap-Payám-i-Núr University, region 5
Post Office Box: 1774
Telephone: (0711) 628323809
The Bahá’í International Community Representative, Ms. Dugal makes the following remark, with which we must agree:
"In its public face, Iran claims that it has finally opened the doors to Baha'i students, after some 25 years of keeping them out of public and private universities in Iran. But, as evidenced by this confidential memorandum from the Payame Noor central office, the real policy is apparently to simply expel Baha'is as soon as they can be identified".
And… The questions lied ahead: What are we doing to stop this Educational Genocide?
Thursday, March 08, 2007
A bird named Mankind
“The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly”
(‘Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace).
Woman’s emancipation and the total equality between genders, is essential for humans progress and the transformation of society.
Inequality slows not only the advancement of woman, but the whole progress of all human species. And, worse, our insistence in amputate the rights of more than a half of the world’s population is not only an insulte to the dignity of our species but a cancer that destroys us from inside, leaving unbearable sequels in our familiar, social and universal tissue.
And, even worse, still today, in some parts of the world, women are seen as fragile and, therefore, inferiors. Diverse cultures from yesterday and today have an approach on this issue and we, human, haven’t still understood that they all say the same!
Notice that according to Hinduism (religion with manifold millennia of existence!), human population depends of the chastity and fidelity of women and, just like children they could “be unleaded, women have similarly the propensity to degradation. This is why women, just like children, need constant protection of the family” (A. C. Prabhupáda). Krishna Himself speaks of men saying they could occupy themselves with “prejudicial and horrible works destined to destroy the world” (Bhagavat-Gita), but He doesn’t say that of women …
At the Jewish-Christian Theology, woman is that one who has conceded “the right of redemption by the glorification of Mary’s virginity” (Carr, A.,
And, of course, we could not approach this subject without talking about the Islamic World. In Iran, for instance, a country that, unfortunately as so many others, women lack basic and simple human rights (even though we can feel some progresses), it aroused a young poet, Táhirih, that “marked [her] century (…) with heroic transcendence” Conjugated beauty, wisdom and eloquence such, that attracted multitudes of men and women, inclusively awaking the interest of the Shah of Persia himself. Abandoning the use of the veil, despite the millenary costume of her motherland (…) and partaking hot debates on mystical and spiritual themes, accumulated victories after victories against the male exponents and best representatives of the thought of her age”. It was exactly because of that that the Government arrested her, lapidated her on the streets, exiled her city to city: because she defended, feverously, the rights of her sisters, women. Finally, she was sentenced to death and, according to the testimonies of that age, she was incisive: You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women!” (Araújo, W., 1994).
Táhirih’s inspiration came from the Bahá’í teachings that so bravely embraced. “The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Selections from the Writings). Appearing that we are encouraged to go back to that one un-sexual being, from whom the rib was taken. It is also said that “the education of girls is even more important than that of boys, for in time these girls will become mothers, and, as mothers, they will be the first teachers of the next generation” (Esslemont, J.; 1975). Showing itself adapted to the requisites of our times, we can also find on their writings:
“According to the spirit of this age, women must advance and fulfill their mission in all departments of life, becoming equal to men. They must be on the same level as men and enjoy equal rights. This is my earnest prayer” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II).
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Can we fight our Chromosomes?
At V. Willour, P. Zandi, J. Badner, J. Steele, K. Miao, V. Lopez, D. MacKinnon, F. Mondimore, B. Schweizer, M. McInnis (2007). "Attempted Suicide in Bipolar Disorder Pedigrees: Evidence for Linkage to 2p12" in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 61, Issue 5 (pp. 725-727) one can read that there might be a genetic disposition to attempt suicide.
Investigations held by the University of John Hopkins (Maryland, USA) and others seem to agree with the idea that there is a relationship between Chromosone 2 (the 2p12 area of the Chromosone) and suicide.
These studies have tried to scan a pattern between bipolars with known attempts of suicide and their families, examining the data of 162 families and including 417 people with diagnosed schizoafective or bipolar ills.
These findings can serve to identify people at risk of suicide, according to the main investigator Virginia Willour, but then again... Once more we seem to find deterministic ways of seeing people, forgetting that we can have our last decision, despite our biological conditionings...
Or can't we?
Thursday, February 22, 2007
St. Valentine, frustration and meaning
I’ve just read, on Europe Press, that the seeing all those hearts on the shops, all that publicity on TV with lovers offering gifts to each others, and all those movies with love and romance abounding during St. Valentine Season, can provoke some anguish and frustration to those who want to have partners but, simply, don’t.
At least that’s what Leonor Casalins said.
She said that “all this stimulation offered day after day” could lead to a bigger desire and need of having a partner, “frustrating” those who don’t have but want. According to her, “there is a need to share life with someone e some moment” and “most people need a partner”, among other “biological needs”.
This reminds me, once more, of Viktor Frankl, who once said:
By his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of the what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.
This is a fact: by loving we allow ourselves to show our potentialities. And, usually people is unaware of that. We know that love is good, and relationships amazing, but we just don’t know why.
And we keep searching and searching for this true love to come, to make ourselves more complete, more unique, more humans. Like Majnun searching for Layli everywhere:
It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, “What doest thou?” He said, “I seek for Layli.” They cried, “Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!” He said, “I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her.”
Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6.
Maybe we should be aware our Layli could be everywhere. But should we be looking for her everywhere? I don’t recall reading Majnun ever finding her, just like the poem from Saná’í:
Never the covetous heart shall come to the stealer of hearts,
Never the shrouded soul unite with beauty's rose.
Frankl explains us that by searching pleasure by itself we shall end up frustrating both the will of pleasure and the will of meaning. Furthermore he adds that pleasure should be the secondary effect of our meaningful actions. Only this way, the “covetous heart” can progress to a degree where it shall attain the hearts, and the “shrouded soul” “unite with beauty's rose”.