Category: Inspirational

Statement of Secretary General of Religions for Peace, Dr. Azza Karam on Violence Against Civilians in Gaza and Jerusalem

May 12, 2020
The violence against civilians in Gaza and in Jerusalem must stop. Violence breeds more violence, increases human suffering, and delays the long, hard work of building a just peace. This violence is – further and deadly – evidence of failed leadership, in every sense.
Religions for Peace believes that peace can be achieved only by honoring the rights of each, and both, of the Palestinians and the Israelis; facilitating painful but honorable compromises through sustained dialogue; and engaging the moral convictions shared by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, who know the Holy Land to be their common home.
Neither the suffering of so many innocent Palestinians nor the attacks targeting innocent Israelis can be justified. These acts fuel cycles of violence and produce no productive nor sustainable solutions.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims, supported by the goodwill of believers of all faiths, must unite in the calls and efforts to build peace. Religions for Peace knows from it’s half a century of multi-religious peace building efforts, that real security is shared security.
There will be no peace for anyone, unless there is peace and security for each and all, in the Holy Land.
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A Spark of Hope

“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse.” – Mark 5:25 26 NASB

This woman had every reason to feel hopeless. For twelve years, she had done everything possible to stop her hemorrhaging. She had gone to physicians and tried their cures. In the process, she “had spent all that she had,” but nothing worked. Instead of getting better, she “rather had grown worse.”

But she had a spark of hope when she heard about Jesus. She sought Him out, working her way through the throng until she could touch His cloak. She had the faith to believe that “if I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Her faith was rewarded, and instantly she was healed.

Many people are like this woman. They may have struggled with health issues or finances, illnesses or crippling habits, family or relationship problems. In the process, they may have read every book, been to countless doctors, watched every TV show, and tried every solution they could find. Yet nothing seemed to work.

Faced with this frustration, some give up and feel hopeless and discouraged. But others are like this woman and realize that there is hope in Jesus. Instead of giving up, they reach out to touch Him with every ounce of faith they can muster.

Today, do you need a New Beginning in your life? Have you struggled with problems without success? Have you tried “everything” and nothing seems to work? Cry out to Jesus. Tell Him your needs, frustrations, and problems. Obey His Word and believe that He can meet your needs. In every area of your life, He can give you a New Beginning.

Prayer:

Father, I commit these situations to You: _________. I reach out in faith and trust in You. Thank You for the answers I need. I believe that You can do all things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leadership Characteristics to Build

Leadership is not just about being a manager or a boss. Being a leader is about having the skills, qualities, and attributes to inspire as well as mobilize other people to bring an idea or project to fruition.

Leadership skills are important to develop, whether you are a student, at entry level, or a senior executive moving up the career-ladder. The ability to take ownership of something and bringing forward momentum to ensure that goals are achieved is a key differentiator wherever you are in your career.

So even if you are at the very beginning of your professional life, it is important to start displaying leadership as soon as possible. You are going to want to demonstrate to your boss or superiors that you have the initiative, drive, staying power, and the vision to take on more responsibility or even qualify for promotion.

That said, a true leader does not just look to developing his or her skill set in order to achieve rewards. You will end up disappointed when expectations are not met.  True leadership is built on authenticity, integrity, and a body of core competencies that drive success in every area of life – from management, to research, to the simple accomplishment of everyday tasks, to how you manage your private life.

Being able to display leadership qualities requires a robust set of skills to be proficient in and have become part of your personality. Below we have broken them down and given brief explanations. As you go about with your day-to-day, look for opportunities to develop all of these skills and actively work to improve your abilities.

20 Leadership Qualities to Develop

Problem Solving Ability: Leaders are adept at solving problems – identifying the challenge, breaking it down into its constituent parts, and devising the processes as well as the approaches that lead to a workable solution.

Having an Open Mindset: Part of effective problem solving is being open to try new ideas, new approaches, new angles – wherever they come from. Knowing that you do not know everything is a key leadership attribute and opens the door to insight and solutions from a broader range of sources, influences, and cultures.

Ability to Inspire: Managing other people’s input does not have to be overt or official –the badge of manager is not required to lead others on your team. Leaders are those people that inspire and motivate others, by a variety of means to pull together effectively to get something done.

Intuition: Good leaders trust their instincts. They learn from experience. As well as from listening to others and being guided by their peers, who in turn inspire them.

Innovative Mindset: Seeing things from a different angle. Trying new ideas out. Being open to input and suggestions from diverse sources. Experimenting. Failing and trying again. These creative qualities are fundamental to good leadership.

Positive Mindset: Maintaining a positive approach and learning not be side-tracked by the negative has a strong impact on teams and individuals. It’s very easy in work environments to get sucked into negativity that can quickly turn toxic. Good leaders know how to side-step this trap and keep focused on the objectives and tasks that yield results.

Confidence: Believing in yourself, knowing you do not know everything but have the right attitude and the open-mindedness to find solutions.  As well as embracing diversity in thought and learning from experience. Working towards positive results – all of this generates an inner-confidence that reaches and inspires other people.

Robust Communication Skills: Part of leading is being able to share and articulate what you think, need, or want to achieve. Building strong communication skills so that other people can understand and buy into your vision or idea is key.

Ability to Delegate: It is impossible to do everything yourself. And most people hate to be micro-managed in their work. Learning to delegate and to recognize other people’s strengths is a core leadership skill that helps inspire and motivate as well as leverage diverse skills.

Trustworthiness: Transparency is key. Along with strong communication skills, you need to demonstrate to others that you have integrity and you can be trusted to deliver. You are the kind of person that says what they mean and mean what they say. As well as being reliable to not take credit away from those who work alongside you.

Determination: You have a clear idea of what you want, how to get there and how to overcome the roadblocks you might encounter along the way.

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the interpersonal ability to forge or work with other people, in teams, or on a one-to-one. You take the time to understand others and build the skills to connect.

Persistence: You are not a quitter. No matter how difficult a job is or how long it takes to accomplish, you have your eyes on the prize. Being able to endure and continuing, despite obstacles is a key indicator of a leader.

Reliability: You stick to a schedule, you arrive on time, you deliver what as well as when you say you will deliver. Other people know they can depend on you.

Developer of Relationships: You take the time and the effort to see other people’s strengths (and weaknesses). As you develop the inter-personal relationships to develop these strengths in order to build synergies and get things done more efficiently.

Ability to Think Strategically: You understand why you are doing something. You grasp the necessity behind the task and how it fits into an over-arching goal. You think about how best to utilize resources to reach your goal. You are able to make the connections between the different stages of a plan.

Being Organized: From time-keeping to planning to reporting, good organization ensures that things go to plan in the allocated time.

Meticulousness: Good enough is not enough for you. You pay attention to the smallest detail. You are a holistic thinker – thorough and particular in your approach to everything.

Being Humble: Good leaders are those who have the humility to listen to others, recognize and reward them and in doing so, inspire, and motivate them to work together around a shared vision.

Authenticity: It is easier than you think to spot someone who is insincere or prone to “schmoozing.” Real leaders are just that – they are real. They believe in what they do and say. Your charm is genuine.

Take a moment to reflect on how many of these attributes you say are innate to your personality? And how many do you have to work on developing? Leadership, like all other skills, is something that can be actively refined, developed, and improved over time.

2021: Your Destiny is in Your Hands

“A young chap went to a soothsayer to inquire about the hope of his future.

Right before his eyes, the soothsayer drew two circles. One in white and the other in black.

He then put a millipede in between the circles, saying “if the millipede crawls into the white circle, your future will be bright and very great, but if it crawls into the black circle, then you are finished and doomed! No future at all!”.

As soon as the insect was dropped in between the circles, it began crawling towards the white circle.

This chap was super-excited.

But suddenly, as it got to the edge of the circle, it turned back and began crawling away from the white circle towards the black one.

The boy watched as the insect progressively moved farther away from his desire to his doom.

Then, just when the insect got to the edge of the black circle, this chap stretched his hands, picked it up and quickly but carefully dropped it in the white circle.

The soothsayer was in shock, never seen anyone intervenes in his own matter, watching all the while, asked the chap what he did and why he did what he did.

The boy smiled and simply replied by saying “I cannot sit and watch insect determine and allow my destiny go down the gloom doom! While I can still do something about it and to change its course. My destiny is in my hands”.

He got up and left.”

Lesson:
This year, get the hell up, pick up the damn millipede and drop it where you want. The power to design and pilot your life is in your hands. You either sit down there, complain and feel someone owes you something or get up and determine the flow of your life. It’s up to you.

This is not the year to look for miracles, create your miracles, conjure your own magic.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ONCE AGAIN!!!