How right they were...
We already know the healthful benefits of riding a bicycle. A great source of low-impact aerobic exercise, biking can help elevate your mood, delay aging, improve your heart’s health, and burn calories. It’s also an eco-friendly form of transportation that’s easy on your body while still giving you a chance to build stamina, reduce your blood pressure and even hang out with friends. Those are some pretty decent reasons to take up biking if you don’t bike already.
But you can also help humanity by biking. Plenty of celebrities, from Lance Armstrong to Matthew McConaughey, have all biked for charity. Now you can, too!
Modern day saints are hard to come by these days, but they do exist. Ammachi is one such woman from southern India who is now hailed across the globe as a great saint and is endorsed by everyone from Oprah to the U.N. and the great peacemakers and religious figures of our modern civilization. Her story is a humble one, beginning in Kerala, India in 1953, in a small fishing town with every strike against her as a low caste, dark-skinned girl in traditional Hindu society. She was constantly in a rapturous state of devotion to Krishna from a very young age which, grew to producing miracles of healing and transformation, manifesting her physicality into the likeness of Krishna during a religious ceremony with many witnesses. There is a wonderful biography about Amma written by Judith Cornell, "Amma: Healing the Heart of the World."
According to the United Nations, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is the “rape capital” of the world. In the past twelve years, 200,000 women and girls have been raped during the violence and genocide that had riddled the country.
Rapists are often Congolese soldiers, which are said to grossly lack discipline as well as pay. During the genocide in the country, more than 500,000 people have been displaced, driven away from their own homes and villages. Villages have been set afire, hundreds have been murdered, and women—and even some men—have been raped in the conflict.
18,000 peacekeepers, diplomatic visits, and peace treaties have done nothing to curb the violence.
Though many of us watched with glee as Bridget Jones interviewed Mark Darcy about his help in freeing his human rights activist client, such warm and fuzzy endings are not always the case. Activists who put their lives on the line for their causes are captured, imprisoned and even killed for trying to create positive change all of the time—and we don’t normally hear about it.
Take, for example, Mohanad Al-Hasani. He is a lawyer as well as a human rights activist from Syria. (Sounds rather like Mark Darcy, right?) He’s also the president of the Syrian Human Rights Organization, or Swasiah, as well as a serving monitor of the State Security Court.
International Peace Day is September 21st and this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a little talk on what he would like this peace day. A day that is honoring a global ceasefire. A day of no bloodshed. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asks for an online and real-life campaign against nuclear weapons and war and bombs. He wants to raise awareness of their cost and devastation and encourage disarming our weapons, worldwide.