Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Presentation: My Journey to Compassion and Inner Peace

The possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake." (Yoganda)

I would like to convey a heartfelt appreciation to the MSA of Columbia University for inviting me to speak about my journey to inner peace through compassion/service to orphans and sex workers in Ethiopia. My journey began with the story of an impoverished 5 year-old girl yearning for some symbol of a better life and the stories of teenage girls selling their bodies as a means of survival. Their reality resonated in my soul and plated the first seeds of ALIF and subsequently, led me on a path of internal tranquility. I’m a firm believer that inner peace is found through service to others, and by service I mean showing compassion to others.

This universal principle is simple, yet profound: by showing compassion to ones brother and sister in humanity one will begin to experience inner peace.

I’ll close in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Again, I thank the MSA of Columbia for affording me the opportunity to present.


*The following are ALIF videos shown during the presentation:
Title: A Father's Struggle: "I just want to be able to send her to school." {Video Part 1}
Location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeXVTg1pp0w

Title: A Father's Struggle: "I just want to be able to send her to school." {Video Part 2}
Location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w13JU1aPdwY

Overview: Mr. Tekle is a single father of two children and day laborer at a construction site in which he earns 10 Birr (1.08 USD) a day. He lives in an extremely small dwelling with his two children, one of which is 6 year old Beti.

Title: Sex Work for HIV/AIDS Treatment {Video 1}
Location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3-EoXKztJo
Overview: Hiwot is a double orphan and the eldest sibling of three. Due to the death of her parents she dropped out of school in the 8th grade in order to find work to support her younger siblings. Thus, she is now the financially responsible for four people: herself, her daughter, her sister and brother.

Unable to secure enough money to support the family, she turned to sex work. She works everyday, at night, and her daily income ranges from 10 to 50 birr (1.08 to 5.40 USD). However, there are nights when she does not earn anything.


Khawaja M. said...

Thanks for sharing these videos...

It is a shame on humanity not to be able to help these unfortunate areas of the world.

Anonymous said...

Dr Taylor says: I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be.