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Peace and Harmony
June 12, 2011

On Thursday, all students were invited to attend a conference hosted by UIndy, Athens that included a panel discussion of various Asian diplomats and Greek public officials. I had no idea what I was walking into, but I went because the musical one-third of my triad of professors was performing, and our class was invited. It was held at the UIndy Cultural Center, which is a beautiful facility, and was nicely decorated in an Asian motif for the day. I arrived just in time for the morning coffee break and before I knew it, I was shakng hands and having my photo taken with the Indonesian ambassador to Greece. The official from Viet Nam was sweet and friendly and gave me his card and invited me to email. Everyone was welcoming and friendly and seemed happy to meet a US citizen. I suppose I would have been nervous if I had known what I was getting into, but I didn’t and it was fun.

I didn’t completley understand the panel discussion, but it was fascinating. Each official had his/her 10-minute opportunity to present their views about how to deal with the ASEAN (that’s an acrnym for something, I’m not mis-spelling Asian) community “in a challenging world.” All seemed concerned about world realities of inequality, population, and alternate sources of energy. Much of it I didn’t understand, but the process was interesting and the mood of the entire event was one of countires cooperating, working toward peace, stability, and harmony with an emphasis on looking to youth for the answers. During the final Q&A, students were encouraged to take a microphone and ask questions or provide input.

One comment, made by a Greek public official that I did understand, and totally agree with, was this: “Poverty and inequality equal alienation.” He went on to say that we don’t live in a poor world, but one where poverty and great inequalities exist. I got the idea that capitalism was the bad guy, but admittedly, no one really has a viable alternative. There was mention of “sustainable human development” and cooperation with neighbors. In the end, the panel leader presented a call to action that included a plea “to look to our neighbors to the East” for solutions to “this global crisis,” with a reminder of Europe’s link with Asia. A statement was made about not looking to one “super power,” for answers, but that Europe and Asia must work together toward a solution. It was not so much the content of the speeches that I appreciated, but was honored to witness the tone of facing reality and cooperation toward a solution that gave me hope for this world.

The conference closed with harmony–an impressive, moving, piano/violin duet performed by my professor and one of his grad students. All were invited to the rooftop for an abundant Asian buffet. I was completely blown away by the entire event. I do not consider myself politically enlightened or knowledgable, but I optimistically, choose to believe that events like this might lead us toward peace.


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1 Comment

  1. I am enjoying your blog so much. Currently on a train to Paris … wow … I can't believe it myself.


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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