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Pulling together a list of the wars most in need of international attention and support in 2016 is challenging for all the wrong reasons. For 20 years after the end of the Cold War, deadly conflict was in decline. Fewer wars were killing fewer people the world over. Five years ago, however, that positive trend went into reverse, and each year since has seen more conflict, more victims, and more people displaced. 2016 is unlikely to bring an improvement from the woes of 2015: It is war - not peace - that has momentum.
That said, there are conflicts whose urgency and importance rise above. This year’s list of 10 is weighted toward wars with the worst humanitarian consequences: Syria and Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Lake Chad basin. It includes those in influential and functioning states, like Turkey, as well as those that have collapsed, like Libya. It features conflicts that are already bad but are poised to get much worse without intelligent intervention, such as Burundi, as well as tensions, such as those in the South China Sea, that are simmering but have yet to boil over. The list also considers the hopeful example presented by Colombia, where considerable progress is being made toward ending a 51-year insurgency.
We cannot control everything that happens to us. But we can control our response to those things.
We cannot control the feelings of others-their fear, their power trips, their issues.
All that we can choose is how we want to respond.
Maybe you have been wronged.
While it’s good to be compassionate, we can become overly compassionate, too.
Don’t work so hard at not judging other people that you forget to pay attention to what you don’t like.
“I know what it feels like to be abandoned and left. I don’t like the feeling, so I’m not going to leave my boyfriend,” Clara says. She’s living with a man who abuses her, emotionally and physically.
. . . Adventure is not made up of distant lands and mountain tops, rather it lies in one’s readiness to exchange the domestic hearth for an uncertain resting place. - Reinhold Messner, Free Spirit
It isn’t necessary for us to travel the world in search of the next High Mountain or wild, desolate place to find an adventure.
Adventure lies in our perspective and in our attitude.
It is our approach to life, rather than the actual circumstances of it, that determines how much adventure we have.
Adventure for one person may mean seeking out a dream that has been long neglected.
Perhaps adventure for another means losing weight, changing an outgrown image, getting sober, learning to be in a love relationship, or simply experiencing joy.
It’s good to make ourselves comfortable, but don’t get so comfortable in front of that hearth that you never want to grow or change.
Water that never moves becomes stagnant and poisoned; so it is with the human spirit.
We are given life to live.
Look at your life and see if there is some area where you, too, can seek out an uncertain resting place.
Maybe work, love, or an area of spiritual growth?
Some new or long-forgotten lesson is waiting to be discovered or rediscovered by you.
Be uncomfortable for a while.
It’s never too late to learn and experience something new.
Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.-Erica Jong
What a frightening prospect it is to take your life into your own hands, to decide whether or not you will accept full responsibility for all of your actions and choices.
What an amazing-and sometimes terrifying-freedom complete responsibility for your actions brings!
Sometimes we make mistakes.
Sometimes we stumble and fall. But, the feeling when you finally get it right, when you decide to take that step and it works!
That’s when you discover that those fragile butterfly wings on your back are not there just for ornamentation.
You can fly!
Take charge of your life.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Ultimately no one chooses what you will do but you, anyway.
Enjoy the freedom.
You’ve had it all along.
MYTH 1: ISIS is crazy and irrational
If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane. Look at the history of ISIS's rise in Iraq and Syria. From the mid-2000s through today, ISIS and its predecessor group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, have had one clear goal: to establish a caliphate governed by an extremist interpretation of Islamic law. ISIS developed strategies for accomplishing that goal - for instance, exploiting the grievances non-extremist Sunni Iraqis have with their Shia-dominated government.
Are you balanced? Do you share your time, your energy, your life, as much with yourself as you do with those around you? We all know how simple it is to say “yes, yes, yes” each time someone makes a request. After all, it makes us feel good, makes us feel needed, and makes us feel loved. And the more we say yes, the more they ask of us. And we tell ourselves this is an example of even more love.