Over the next 3 weeks, we will share with you some of the wisdom gleaned from the women who held conversations with other women concerning topics that are important to them and to the world. As they participate in this ongoing Interfaith Peace Project program may their voices and yours emerge!
From Volcano, California:
We talked about violence in the media, in film and on television, in our communities, in religion, and in the world. We discussed how violence perpetuates an underlying fear in people. We also spoke about communities and families and how an act of kindness can have a ‘ripple effect’ on each other. We came to a conclusion that stress management is very important, first to take care of ourselves in healthy long term ways, and then being able to share that health and peace with others. We are going to look up websites in which we can find something we can do to help those in violent situations. Ideas that came up were helping to pack boxes of needed supplies for those in war torn countries and for those in Africa suffering from the Ebola virus….It occurred to me as we were talking that doing something about violence is a lot less daunting when I could share my thoughts and ideas with someone else.
From Fremont, California
On November 19 we considered “family.” Based on our experiences, family means many things, but always includes a strong bond (for example, biological, emotional, financial, religious,or a combination of factors). We agreed that family is complicated and does not have one definition. It is relative to who you are, what you are, and where you are. Our cultural backgrounds affect how we understand family. The pressures on family life include economic challenges, technology, social media, peer pressure, cultural differences, violent or sexual entertainment, intra-family relationships, and poor communication. We think that religion is valuable in a family. A successful family unit will include these factors: compassion, respect, acceptance, stability, love, strong bonds, forgiveness, support, friendship, and flexibility.
From Pleasanton CA
In response to the question, “Am I able to say no when necessary, to set firm and gentle boundaries”, we all feel that this has been difficult for us, but that we have gotten better at it as we have aged. We agree that we think the difficulty stems from self esteem issues and also traditional expectations for women’s behavior.
In regards to the family, we all feel that younger people do not seem to value marriage as much as past generations (this is a generalization, of course, as there are young people who do value marriage). We all believe marriage is important, but it requires a serious and long lasting commitment and that seems to be something many in the younger generations cannot accomplish or don’t see as valuable. We believe family values consist of love, respect honesty, loyalty and responsibility. Families come in many different forms and do not require a mom, a dad and children. We see women as equal to the husband in the family relationship.