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| Unsung Heroes
Here are some unsung, or not-sung-enough, heroes/heroines of Planet Earth - people that are blessings and inspirations. I am very thankful that they are alive or have lived. Although they may have flaws - and the sun is a better role model - they still have value. Perhaps we need to celebrate them more?
Dr Denis Mukwege
Dr Denis Mukwege is a humanitarian and regarded as the world's leading expert in female genital reconstructive surgery due to gang rape. He has performed tens of thousands of such operations. He offers free and complete care - physical, psychological, social and legal - to female victims of rape and war crimes. He does this in Panzi Hospital, which he founded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He also campaigns for the protection of women in DRC, which made him the target of an assassination attempt in 2012. He is the godfather of V-Men, part of Eve Ensler's V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls. See also here. In 2014 he was awarded the Sakharov Prize. As at 2016 thankfully he is being sung, being named by TIME as one of The 100 Most Influential People.
"To be a V-man is to denounce sexual violence in all forms and to know how to cherish the vagina."
"Rapes and violence based on gender will cease the day the men will understand the ugliness of sexual violence, the day they will understand that rapes and sexual violence simply degrade their masculinity."
Denise Stephani is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, author and community activist. She has been involved with community upliftment projects from a very young age. Her 2012 book In the Wings tells her courageous and compelling story of growing up with a psychopathic father and Stockholm Syndromed mother in Apartheid South Africa and her astounding ability to cope with the physical and mental torture. There are glamorous theatre anecdotes and plenty of humour to offset the dark abuse. She founded the first Kids Can Free the Children chapters in South Africa. Since relocating to Scotland in 2007, she continues to be involved in various upliftment projects, particularly aimed at improving the plight of children and women. She is an Advisor and Member of the Board of Directors of OABI (Organisation for Abused and Battered Individuals). Learn more at Denise Stephani's website.
"My message to the world is that it doesn't have to be like this. There is way too much unnecessary suffering in this world even if you go with the theory that it is a 'Soul University' and that God works in mysterious ways. We could be co-creating something so much better, and in many ways it is just a matter of a mind shift and reaching out to each other. We need to make the world a place where women and children and the good guys, the global majority, can live and thrive in the way they would like to... It is enough people. Let's draw a line and do something different!"
Tim Larkin & Chris Ranck-Buhr
The founders of Target Focus Training.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
A spiritual philosopher who lived from 1900-1986. He talked of an emerging Solar Culture. Watching the sunrise was integral to his Initiatic School in the south of France. He emphasised the need for us all to have a high ideal, and gave many self-improvement methods - see here and here. He taught us what is true magic. He believed that the mother can beneficially influence the unborn child with her thoughts, feelings and actions. His vision is that we all must become living treasures, so that God's world may come to Earth.
Learn more about him here or here. Watch videos of his talks here. Read and/or subscribe to a free daily thought here.
Anandamayi Ma lived in India from 1896-1982.
She was an ecstatic child of ecstatic parents.
She lived in a state of divine joy and bliss.
Anandamayi means 'joy-infused' and Ma is 'mother'.
Visit her website.
Read her love and wisdom.
She was a Goddess Among Us, living simply and very identified with divine consciousness.
"For one who knows me, I am one with him;
for one who wants to know me,
I am very near to him;
and for one who does not know me,
I am a beggar before him."
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi lived in India from 1879-1950. He was a living embodiment of the Divine Self that we all truly are. He lived very simply, only owning a loin cloth and a towel. Many recognise him as an outstanding enlightened being. He seemed to radiate such Light and Love. Watch here and here. Yet do we continue to follow his example? Do we self-enquire? Do we devote ourselves to God? Or is technology and science and celebrity more attractive? Ramana Maharshi's song has been sung a bit, but are we forgetting to sing his message?
"It cannot be anywhere else. There is always nowhere to go. You are already home. You are always already home."
His book Autobiography of a Yogi is a classic, modern spiritual text. He seemed to have such a tender heart.
"Practise meditation. You'll find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise."
From his poem God God God:
No matter where I go, the spotlight of my mind
Ever keeps turning on Thee;
And in the battle din of activity my silent war-cry will be:
God! God! God!
Although Mother Teresa of Calcutta is well-known, having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, I was disappointed that, at the time of her death (5 September 1997), the death of Princess Diana (31 August) took precedence in the media. So, I would like to sing of Mother Teresa's exceptional dedication to helping others. Although she adhered to the damaging Catholic anti-contraception/anti-abortion stance and more, she did so much good. She may be a very human role model, but she helped so many that were oppressed and suffering.
"I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive [the Nobel] in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared-for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." (Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech excerpt, cited here, accessed 12 April 2014)
"Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families. If we want to spread joy, we need for every family to have joy. Today, nations put too much effort and money into defending their borders. They know very little about the poverty and the suffering that exist in the countries where those bordering on destitution live. If they would only defend these defenceless people with food, shelter, and clothing, I think the world would be a happier place. The poor must know that we love them, that they are wanted. They themselves have nothing to give but love. We are concerned with how to get this message of love and compassion across. We are trying to bring peace to the world through our work. But the work is the gift of God." (See here, accessed 12 April 2014)
"What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."
Funny that a Musician can be 'unsung'! This balladeer needs far more recognition. Listening to Asha's music can really link you to the divine world, remind you of your real nature, heal you. On his website, he says his music is 'spiritually themed, intimate and heart-centered'. Watch his videos. One of my favourite songs is Love is the Only Prayer - listen here or here.
"My faith is in Spirit, rather than in religion. I have no creed. My teachers have been Sufis, shamans and mystics. The Christ for me is also the Dao... the bridge from the apparent to the real."
Lilla Bek is an intuitive Researcher. She is also Author, Teacher, Lecturer, Counsellor. Although her website says that she is well-respected by the medical and scientific worlds for her insights and research, I don't feel the world really recognises or respects her talents.
Around the 1980s she created a series of about 50 audio cassettes which describe her as having the ability to 'see' the energies around people which indicate their inner state of physical, mental and spiritual well-being'. In this way, she can help people to be more whole. She can also see into very small and very large structures such as atoms and cells to galaxies - and describe these in a direct and non-technical language.
The subjects covered include the aura, the energy centres, thought forms, entities, cording, elementals, angels, breathing, reincarnation, healing, levitation.
Because the world cannot explain her intuitive ability, I feel a great treasure has been neglected.
"Volunteering work represents billions of unrecorded dollars across the world. Without it, the world would not function." (Rachel Lapierre cited at BBC, posted and accessed 30 October 2017)
Thank you volunteers!
'Carers are the foundation and the heart of a humane and compassionate world. 'Everyone Cares' offers 15 short videos to support Carers.
This is a thank you to all those who care for others. Often underpaid or not paid at all. Hugely undervalued by society. Rights neglected. This includes the 'Silence Breakers'. They are the backbone of any (health) system. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!