I have a sweet recollection to share, of a particular time long ago when a father wished to purchase for his daughter, a bag she so coveted. Mine. Was this you or perhaps, do you know them? If so, please do let me know.
I had jumped onto the train, all ready to meet friends with my roller-blades tucked away in my brand new sporting bag, that I had purchased especially.
As the tube rattled along and made its course, everyone was either reading the newspaper or dozing off encouraged by the monotonous vibrations of the train. I for one usually contemplated to pass the time.
Someone suddenly but gently tapped me on my knee, I was mildly astonished that someone wanted my attention. He explained that his daughter admired my bag and wanted to enquire as to where he could buy her, the exact same bag. I looked besides him to find his daughter being ever so shy. I remember being as shy as she once. Bless.
I seized the opportunity to draw a detailed map for them, alighting from a specific tube station, directions and the name of the shop. Even, where the bag was in the shop… His daughter seemed silently appreciative whilst her father seemed a little daunted, perhaps at the thought of making his way through crowds of people within the busy streets of London, with his daughter in tow.
My instincts told me he had at least, a little bit of experience with deaf people, knowing how to speak and listen in return. Therefore, I asked him, if he knew anyone that happened to be deaf. Much to his surprise at my evaluation, he then confessed his wife was deaf who remained in the United States whilst he was holidaying here, with their daughter.
Not forgetting the desired bag, their stop was the next one coming up. Mine was not for several stops after. He had shown me patience and kindness as a stranger, “What shall I do? I cannot leave them stranded at the mercy of body pushers” I thought… I decided to listen to my instincts and got off the train with them instead. He seemed to be somewhat surprised yet relieved that I was able to join and guide them through the bustling streets of London, which was heaving with tourists. He was no longer nervous and seemed more at ease; this meant his daughter was relatively more at peace.
Upon arriving at the shop, I showed his daughter through to where there was an identical bag to mine, waiting to be owned, by her. Different shades of gorgeous purple – who could resist? At last, two people were happy, having been looked after, satisfactorily. I explained that I now had to go because I was meeting friends, wisely omitting that I was late. After all, it was my choice.
I bode them well, to take care and to enjoy the rest of their holiday before turning around and leaving them to continue their retail therapy. As soon as they could no longer see me, I ran like the wind to make up for lost time.
My friends at the time was wondering where I was but they could not get annoyed with me once I explained, what I had been up to. Bless their cottons!
Who knows if the ‘six degrees of separation’ reasoning is viable yet my faith and trust in fate will remain. If this somehow reaches you and this has made you smile in reminiscence, being the daughter and/or the father – ‘Twas truly, my pleasure.
When it comes to kindness, there is absolutely no need to discriminate against any identifiable means because it is about humanity in general and acts of giving without any expectations of receiving in return.
For so long there has been a frustration of sorts building within me seeing the simplest things in life being taken for granted. Be it the roof over your heads, certain (branded) clothes being worn, the hot meals and comfy mattresses you lay upon, the NHS and free medicine being provided for us – the list is endless. The extremely close shave I experienced a couple of years ago taught me to take nothing for granted, now cherishing every little thing and being all around me.
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle” – Plato
For this reason, I am now trying my very best to spare a moment to remember those who may have been left outdoors, especially during those cold winter nights. Recently I, via the Tree House, have been able to appease that frustration of helplessness. In true spirit of the Tree House, this has meant this is now starting to catch on with other dwellers through their acts of kindness. So far, we have saved numerous left over meals and received donations of various kinds of cakes with which we approached homeless people and gave.
“Thank you” they gratefully say. And if they have a pet with them, they are more than happy to share with their “best friend” – Without a question.
There are those who had everything and lost it all and there are those who dedicate every minute of their remaining lives to make sure the homeless has a hot drink at least. They are among the unsung heroes of today’s societies. They are trying their very best in being the change they wish to see in the world.
So let us organise café meet ups with CAKE(!) donating to a charity of your choice, perhaps asking cafés to participate in “Suspended Coffee” schemes too. When you have a meal, please save your leftovers and seek out the homeless in order to make their day. Maybe even nominate/challenge your friends to pay it forwards too. Please?
One can only hope this act of compassion and kindness will help to keep them going, to keep the faith and to have hope. That not everyone has a stone cold heart, that they are not oblivious to everyday people. They are still someone’s child who were brought into this world for a reason.
A drop of kindness goes a very long way, much more than you realise.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”― Leo Buscaglia
Carpe Diem – every day by being true to yourselves.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; thats why they call it the present.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt.
On this exceptionally memorable date, I would like to extend my annual show of gratitude to the doctors and nurses of Charing Cross Hospital who several years ago gave me the best birthday present one could ever ask for.
A second chance to cherish life and being able to watch my beautiful children grow up of which I intend to make the most of.
I never ask for much but I would very much appreciate it if you too could show your gratitude to our NHS services, especially the Doctors and Nurses who devote and dedicate so much of their time and passion to ensure we get the best care around the clock – please could you join forces against any NHS closures and get involved?
For if Charing Cross Hospital had closed down then, I would not be around today.
And last but not least, to our beloved Tree House and its dwellers for creating such a unique place without any barriers.
It is what we all make it.
Please accept this dedicated post as a token of my gratitude for being true to yourselves.
Thank YOU, to each and every single one of you, my family and my friends – for putting up with me 😉
Sadly too many people are ill informed regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the governments and the politicians of the West DO know the truth but because of their agendas, they will not act upon it to resolve anything.
No matter what you say about this issue, people will always accuse you of being bias one way or the other, only ignorant people would see it from one side of the fence and show bias with a closed mind and follow their friends just like sheep.
I came across Miko Peled’s very honest speech on YouTube which tells his side of the story about Israel:
(It is an hour long but it is worth watching if you really want to know the truth. You can turn on the captions but bear in mind they are automated subtitles so they naturally have a few mistakes. However the automated subtitles have many errors but with a bit of help and patience I have managed to compile a list of the errors alongside the corrections. This list can be found at the end of this article.)
Miko Peled who is an Israeli Jew and was born into a prominent Zionist military family, his father was a well-known Army General and Miko himself served in the Israeli Army. His sister who lost her daughter to a Palestinian suicide bombing was a friend of Netanyahu (the current Israeli prime minister) and this incident happened while Netanyahu was also the prime minister then.
My introduction of Miko would have you assuming that I am biased already because how can I pick an Israeli Jew to shed a light on the issue of Israeli /Palestinian conflict? Never assume!
Far from it, Miko tells it like it is. Nothing deterred him from telling the truth, telling the truth was his mission and I am sure in the process he must have lost many friends. When you speak out, you have a lot to lose and life can become a lot harder for you and this why I feel he has nothing to gain apart from telling the truth.
Here is a summary of Miko’s book by LUDWIG WATZAL
Miko Peled, The General’s Son, a journey of an Israeli in Palestine.
In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled. His 13-year-old niece Smadar was killed by suicide bombers in Jerusalem. Born into a prominent Zionist military family, his father was a prominent general, who turned after the Israel’s “war of aggression” in 1967, into an advocate of peace with the Palestinians, the real owners of the land of Palestine. The tragic death of his niece served as an “eye-opener”. His personal journey from a Zionist by education, family and societal socialization into an outspoken critic of Israel’s colonial and aggressive policy is convincingly documented in his extraordinary book: “The General’s Son”.
His sister, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, reacted very unusually to the tragic death of her daughter. She did not blame the suicide bombers but the occupation policy of the Israeli governments. At that time, Benyamin Netanyhu served his first term as Israel’s Prime Minister. As a mother, she did not call for revenge because Israel’s long lasting mistreatment of the Palestinian people created people like them. Miko Peled makes it also very clear that Israeli policy has to be blamed. His sister, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, is a well-known professor for language and education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her latest book “Palestine in Israeli Schoolbooks” (or video) shows how Israeli school children are indoctrinated by outright racism and Zionist ideology. This manipulation occurs at different fields like images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbook, The manipulation by education aims at the marginalization of Palestinians and reinforces Jewish-Israeli identity.
The author himself was a victim of Zionist indoctrination that stigmatized a whole people to enemies he has had no opportunity to really know. This insanity ended when Miko Peled met for the first time Palestinians in San Diego. With these meetings began a journey from darkness to enlightenment. Step by step, he stripped himself of the taught ignorance of the so-called “other”.
Forty years later, Miko Peled followed into his father’s footsteps, General Mattiyahu (Matti) Peled. He was the first famous member of the Zionist military establishment who “violated” the esprit de corps. Courageously, he debunked the Zionist mystique about the Six-Day War of June 1967. Everybody, who is not a partisan, knows that it was a war of aggression, planned by the military establishment, the second generation, against the will of the political leadership, the immigrant generation. One should read the statements by Israeli politicians like Menachem Begin or other top brass of the military elite. But neither the US nor European academics incorporate their statements into their analysis because it would destroy the myth about the Six-Day War that Zionist Hasbara (propaganda) has created.
The author combines the exceptional history of his family, the political development of the State of Israel and his personal conversion to a fundamental critic of the policy of the different Israeli governments. As a former soldier he knows what he is talking when it comes to the Israeli army: It is the “best trained, best equipped, best fed terrorist organization in the world”, so Miko Peled in his speech on October 1, 2012 in Seattle. “Their entire purpose is terrorism.” What will the “Israel Lobby” and its fans in the US or Western Europe says against this realistic characterization? They will yell out: “self-hating Jew”; “Anti-Semite” would not work well against a former Israeli soldier, or their other ridiculous accusations. Presumably, they will just hush up. Nevertheless, should it occur to the public that their only argument against Peled’s very convincing arguments might be character assassinations? What Peled writes cannot be confounded by the Zionists all over the world. Even the universal weapon of “anti-Semitism” would go unheard.
Not the so-called anti-Semites or the so-called self-hating Jews have to justify their legitimate criticism of the brutality of the Israeli government policies against a defenseless people but the Zionist crowd in the US and all over the world. Peled stresses that the “Israel Lobby” and their cheerleaders have to explain why a so-called “Jewish and democratic state” colonizes against international law, human and real democratic rights a people and destroy systematically their existence by house demolitions, expulsion, torture, settler and military terrorism, uprooting trees, build Jewish-only roads, establish a different law systems, one for Jews and the others for “barbarians”, or the massacre in the Gaza Strip in 2008/09 that caused the death of more than 1400 people, most of them women and children. How the “Israel Lobby” does explain more than 30 laws that discriminate against Israeli Palestinians who live in Israel proper and are citizens of the State of Israel? More and more Jews with conscience in the US turn their back on Israel. They are fed up that Judaism is taken hostage by Zionist ideology. Norman Finkelstein’s book “Knowing too much” and Peter Beinart’s book “The Crisis of Zionism” are evidence for this theory.
Either the whites in South Africa or the whites in the south of the US did not like equal rights for “blacks”. Both racist regimes were not dissolved “by consensus”, writes Peled and he continues saying: “But Zionism like racism has to go. The Zionist state has to be replaced by a democracy.”
These are just some of the reviews left by readers of this book.
This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Paperback)
I expect like most I previously hadn’t thought too much about the history of Israel or as it turns out, the arcane, arrogant attitudes of the leadership of the Israeli people. This book through the personal story of Miko Peled gave me an insight to both and opened my eyes to the real situation in place today between Israel and Palestine and its people. My views are now more refined and lead me to believe that the Israeli government has serious questions to answer and much for which to atone.
This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Kindle Edition)
Miko Peled takes the reader on a journey across the divide of hate created by Zionism in both Israel and Palestine. In tackling the apocalyptic cruelty of extreme far-right statehood and racial supremacism, his touching humanity towards his Middle Eastern brothers shines through. Great read.
This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Paperback)
Miko Peled’s credentials are impeccable; he was a captain in the Israeli Defence Force, his father was a General in the IDF and his grandfather took part in the declaration of Israeli independence. Despite all of that he has now turned his back on Zionism and explains in the book, with humility and humanity his reasons for doing so. After conducting his own research he also discredits many of the Zionist myths, including the background to the 1967 war and the true circumstances behind the Palestinians leaving their homes and homeland. Probably because of its explosive contents, this book has had little coverage in the UK media, all the more reason to read it.
“I was 39 years old, I was here in United states and that was the very first time I ever met Palestinians, I grew up in Jerusalem, I was born and raised in Jerusalem a mixed city, the first time I ever sat with Palestinians in a normal setting as a completely equal people was here in United states because even though Jerusalem is you know so called united and so on it is completely segregated”
“This country (Israel/Palestine) has a FIFTEEN hundred-year old history of Arab and Muslim rule, it was an Arab and Muslim country more than anything else in history, so that has to be destroyed monuments have to be destroyed names have to be changed the history have to be rewritten to connect once again to King David to today’s Israel and completely disregard the fact that this is in fact an Arab country that is in fact in the centre of the Arab world”
– Miko Peled (extracts as spoken in his video above)
I hope the madness of Israeli leadership will stop one day. They are generating so much hatred towards themselves from the Arab world; they are not doing themselves any favours. If the tables are turned one day and they find themselves pushed to the sea they will only have themselves to blame.
The Jews have hi-jacked the term ‘Semite’ to apply to them, when a ‘Semite’ is basically a definition of the Arab race, there is actually no such thing as the Jewish race, u can have black Jews, Indian Jews Chinese Jews ad nauseum infinitum. A shared belief in a specific religion or philosophy does not constitute a ‘race’, the Jews are in fact the biggest anti-Semites ever who are taking the pith by bombing the Arabs during their holiest month which only goes to show just how oppressive they are – in other words, “Bullies”.
What Israel is imposing is actually an act of crime which the world is turning a blind eye on. If we are bystanders to injustice, we invite injustice our way. Where are the Palestinian’s human rights?? Hitler tried ethnic cleansing on the Jews which is what the Jews are doing to the Arabs. Where is the support world over, for the Palestinians?!
UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION 3013 from 1973:
“The struggles of people under colonial and alien determination and racist regimes for the implementation of their right to self-determination and independence is legitimate and in full accordance with the principals of international law”.
For live updates on Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip, click “here“.
Each and every one of us is someone’s child – How many more can the world ignore? Where is the justice and peace? There is not a parent in this world who could ignore this.
~ SJ (Sara Jae)
The mistakes from the automated captions on Miko Peled’s video and the corrections alongside it:
The very first time this video by Gary Turk appeared on our Facebook group, the consensus was one of which “Ah this is nice, Thank you” as if to say “Thank you for the reminder”.
Whereas the second time it paid a visit, the reaction was somewhat mixed. It provoked thoughts, emotions from within and flashbacks of the past.
A member who shared their thought “He makes a lot of interesting points about the socially isolating aspects of social media and technology, which I agree with, but it is very one-sided, from his point of view. He ignores the positive aspects of it, such as how technology can improve and change people’s lives and how powerful social media can be to share and exchange information rapidly and widely and how people can feel connected and part of an online global community. Nothing will ever replace physical interaction and real-life experiences but social media, if used sensibly and well, can be a very powerful means of communication. The internet has been revolutionary for everyone.”
Another member remarked “The Internet is the best thing to happen to deaf people for centuries. For the first time ever, we can talk to one another on an equal basis with hearing people. It has been hugely empowering and that is why I get so angry when people misuse it for bullying and manipulating others. We have never had a chance before to discuss ideas that matter deeply to us on a national and international basis.”
Before the internet and mobile phones were readily available, many deaf parents had to ask their relative or child who happened to be hearing, for their assistance in making important phone calls for them, translating and so on. The first sign of freedom came in the form of pagers, receiving communication and to be reassured in my mum’s case for example: “I’m on my way home” or “Please can I have a lift?” et cetera. Next came the internet, mobile phones and now smart phones…. Deaf people could now be more independent and sort out their own finances online, correspondence could be sent instantly and we could keep up with one another in real time. No more waiting several days for the postman and no more waiting until the next deaf pub to see friends in order to make arrangements.
Perhaps, the internet has played a part in the decline of deaf pubs – a place where masses of deaf people could commune and catch up with one another which for some, was as little as once a month. People were now able to text one another to make arrangements, use Skype or Facetime to have that crucial face to face chat. We were now on a par with the hearing society. Having access to a visual platform gives us the independence and means we very much needed.
Social media then exploded. I was very hesitant to sign up and in the beginning would only use it for family. Eventually old school friends arrived on scene and with practise came experience and confidence. One day this was quashed by a bully who thought he could manipulate me. The internet and mobile phone services gave him a confidence that he was anonymous to me from behind a screen and a mobile number. Being me, I managed to work out who he was and he fell into a trap by confirming his name. He panicked and relatively sent me death threats. Which I kept as evidence for the police who gave him a warning. Since then, I had learnt to keep most everything as evidence – just in case. I became ultra-cautious of everyone but on the other hand, I have met and made some new friends who I cherish and look forwards to making more although, I believe in quality rather than quantity.
Without the internet, many of us would not have found several of our long lost relatives and childhood friends yet without electricity, this would not have been possible.
But… There are social media groups and people who use social media (in other words is just a platform for them to use) who abuse the guidelines which are there for a reason – to protect the users and the members. Dangerously, the delusions of grandeur and power trips which feed their ego and their characters determine their fate because with actions comes consequences. It is only those who can remain true to themselves and retain a level head that will in time see past the falseness, the drama and people’s manipulative ways, succeed due to experience and honesty – which is the best policy.
For most, the internet has its pros and cons. The cons of which I have mentioned and conclude the internet is a very dangerous place indeed. It has at one point managed to destroy my heart and soul but here comes the pros because as always there is a balance – it has also saved me from disconnecting with my family and friends, some of whom have proved very inspirational to me and are the main reasons behind why the Tree House was built and especially why, it keeps on growing stronger. Healing my heart and soul with love and laughter.
In order to get the best you deserve, you need to give your best otherwise you will get what you give. Fate works in mysterious ways and decrees what we do, who we are and teaches us how to be so “Look Up”, find the balance and enjoy life – it is what you make it.