Living in Sedona, it is easy to ignore the rest of the world. Many feel a spiritual superiority, it’s true, I hear it all the time even though they wouldn’t call it that. They want to be of the world, not in the world. Being in the world is to face the reality of world events. With pride we say, “I don’t watch the news.”

About a year ago, I made a vow not to be so disconnected from the world. It was hard. There was nothing but killing and accidents on the local news stations. I wanted “good news” knowing that there is SO MUCH good out there in the world. That’s what I wanted. So I searched for good news and found it. I concentrated on it and that became my world.

Well, that changed significantly on my recent trip to Jerusalem, Prague and Krakow.

The trip basically began the day of what we know now to be the 2nd day of the “war” between Gaza and Israel. We were there the night the rockets came to Jerusalem. Now, what I am about to share with you is NOT about being afraid for our own safety, as we were not.

It was more about seeing Israel through the eyes of others. We went to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps in Poland and the next day there was an Anti-Jewish/Israel rally in Krakow…at the same time, watching the news abroad, we discovered 20,000 people in London and Paris having anti-Israeli demonstrations. We read and listened on English news channels that Jews in France were fleeing due to severe anti-semitism. I am left with “we want peace, we want peace, we want peace” chants ringing in my memory, from the small group of Israeli’s that showed up at the Krakow rally.

After seeing the devastation of the death camps, the Jewish quarters in Prague and Krakow, as well as the ‘war’, I came home worn out, confused, feeling bitterness, resentment, anger. How do I find my footing with all of this? I was working on the audio edition of my book, Forgiveness, and I was listening to the St. Francis Prayer at the end of the book: Seek to understand rather than be understood! AHHHH that’s it. I made arrangements to speak to an old dear Palestinian friend about HER perspective! I did learn, I did understand more, and my compassion quotient grew. I appreciate and thank her for this as this was truly a gift for me! (I talk about it in the interview below.)

Here is the interview I had with Judy Anderson from Jazz Up Your Life with Judy…about my personal journey back to peace and forgiveness. AND, I have to be honest, it’s a journey filled with ups and downs, as just days after this interview, Genocide of the Yezidi Christians in Iraq as the world stands by, once again. For some reason, the world can not, will not stand up against extreme Muslim factions that are beheading children, raping and selling women into sexual slavery, hanging and killing men and going town to town, digging mass graves and slaughtering entire townships of people.

This must sound familiar for everyone and it feels like the 30’s in Europe. What will we do as a world? Will we stand by? How do we reconcile not wanting to get involved in another war? If we wait until it is too late… well, these groups want to kill ALL THE INFIDELS and will not stop until the job is done.

About forgiveness…what I teach is safety first, forgiveness second. I stick by that even more today.