Andrea Harrn Counselling Services

Peace in the Middle East

I have been thinking a lot in the past few days about all the problems in the Middle East and particularly the loss of lives that has occurred this week.   Seeing the fear in the faces of those affected and the grief  expressed by loss of lives on both sides fills me with great sadness and a feeling of helplessness too.  I try in my own way to think about peace for all and in conversations I attempt to reflect this.  
I don’t know enough about the history and the politics of what has occurred over the last hundred years in the Middle East to comment without getting the facts wrong. So I will stay away from that kind of discussion here.   I do know that it cannot be in anyone’s interest to fight wars.  
Fighting war does not bring about peace.
There will be stories from all sides and everyone involved about what has happened between the Israelis and the Palestinians and those stories will differ according to what side you are on, the stories you have been told and the life you live on a day to day basis. 
So other than accounts from historians who are unbiased I believe the hard facts and truth are hard to see.   I would certainly like to hear more from them and for this to be published and widely available for all to see and feel this will be beneficial to all concerned.
However, the reality of personal experience and perception becomes the truth for those involved and this is what also needs to be listened to.  
The danger comes when others who take sides voice their opinions without intimate knowledge of the facts  – this can be harmful especially when those voices gain a lot of media attention.  Hatred, racism and finger-pointing gain momentum which does not bring about peace.
I work with conflict on a weekly basis and find that it is only through empathy and understanding of each other that healing can take place.  But before that can happen it is necessary to uncover the thoughts and feelings from all sides.  This is a difficult process in itself and involves a lot of patience, listening and reflecting.  The first thing I say to people is that they have to take responsibility for the relationship working.  
So with all the goodwill in the world other nations cannot solve the crisis until those involved are ready to sit together and feel each other’s pain with respect and empathy.  
We are all part of the same human race and therefore have the same basic human needs.
I continue to hope for peace in the Middle East with the Israelis and Palestinians coming together as brothers in humanity to work together in the best interests of all their citizens.
Affirmation:  I can play a part in bringing peace to the world by living in peace with those around me

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