Daniel Zopoula

The Digital Musings of a Bushman, Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor.

Category: Emotional Life (page 2 of 2)

Our human quest for self-knowledge, self-awareness, social sensitivity, empathy and ability to communicate successfully with others. It corresponds to heart.

Traditions for a change?

Traditions…

Because of our traditions,
we’ve kept our balance for many, many years.
And because of our traditions,
every one of us knows who he is
and what God expects him to do. – Words from  a fiddler on the roof:

Hum….
I wonder what we might need to learn from the people of Anatevka, in “Fiddler on the Roof” for our generation

Think about this for a minute:
Without traditions, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof
How does that sit with you? As a people, how do we keep our balance? are traditions synonymous with ‘balance?’ what signs, what rituals & what symbols characterizes your life? What does  the rhythms of our lives say about us? How should we care?

Musings of the Soul

I need God’s grace; I crave His perspective of things below the heavens, and tremble when his presence becomes manifest.

I wonder how to live close enough to  what is important and how to attend to what is most important to  the Lord our Father, without feeding anything that is not most conductive to elevated health and helpfulness at the highest level.

I ask for divine fortitude to travel this journey called hope, with my brothers and sisters. Oh, that I may always be  most mindful of where I begin and where I end, where the human ends as the Divine encircles us all. Oh Lord, bid me not boast in my understanding; I know that it is in you alone that ,I can we find understanding and in your hands I entrust my humble understanding and let you validate all thing – We understand in part, we know in part and we speak in part –

As Divine fortitude permits, Oh Lord, bid me be found diligent in finding my part, owning my part, saying my part and doing my part, and making my life available to others as best as I know and as best as I am able. I know this full well, this is where I will be held accountable at the highest level.

Prayerfully,
Daniel Zopoula

“Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?”

Rape after rape,  count seventeen children later as a result… This world has gone crazier than crazy. When I talk about this,  you casually tell me you are outraged! Let me ask you: ‘you  outraged?  that  ain’t  how outraged people show up!  that is not how outraged people talk, that is not how outraged people walk, shat is not how outraged people say, and do what they live!

Let me tell you what outraged people are like: At the risk of their own lives, they actually use their influence to change the status quo; they pick up arms, they destroy the system that keeps producing so much violence, injustice and inhumaneness,   in the world of ‘soundless scream where all things scream ever so silently above the thousand buried there’ in the under grounds of our streets.

It is high time someone bust open those undergrounds, for these are not trademarks of so called enlightened societies like ours! it is time every neighborhood stands up against the invasion of evil and reclaim the lost grounds. Enough is enough. Sister, thou are loose, thou shalt be heard. We shall tell the whole world about thee. It is high time to stand up and be counted for it; for we can all hear the cry of the oppressed – “am I not a woman and a sister?”

On January 27, 1998, Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, delivered a speech to the German Bundestag in which he said “I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world. Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.” Truly, the time has come to engage with all our might with all our hearts, with all our strength-

Thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never be a bystander

From Despair to Hope – Amina’s story

Overwhelmed by her domestic chores and responsibilities which has become too much for her to endure, a young lady, Joliatta who is only 22 yeas of age decided to forcefully share her marital duty to her younger sister, Amina, 10 years old with her husband. Amina was living with her sister Joliatta in the town as there was no school in her father’s village. Amina is terrified, and the encounter with this older man left her wounded, in blood and irreparable damage to her body and her mind. Amina had dreams to finish her education and become a doctor. Now all her dreams are shattered and her hope gone. Who would hear her tears? who would defend her rights? who would not shame her if she was to share the story and the victimization she is suffering?

Her teachers noticed Amina attends school less and less. When she is in school, she cries and put her head down. The teacher is unable to put is hand on the cause of Amina’s despair; she could only silently cry for help and for the strength to endure. But hope was not too far away. That is, because Mama Niala had come by the school, tipped by someone. Mama Niala is our resident advocate for young girls, with a mandate to secure justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. After countless hours of listening to the young girl’s story, documenting and monitors the conditions of abuse and oppression, medical examination was conducted and the judge issued an arrests warrant against the perpetrators; to bring them to justice.

Unfortunately, the perpetrator was tipped by the head of police as they were related. He is now at large, somewhere in Ivory coast. As for Amina, a foster home welcomed her, and she is now back to school, in Grade 6.

“I knew it was not easy for her to tell me, a stranger, about an experience she would much rather hide from and forget about.”Niala told us. It suddenly dawned on me as I listened to her story that I and my colleagues, along with our partners, had become the answer to this young girl’s silent plea for help. My work can be frustrating at times, but whenever I talk to girls like Amina and think about the countless others whose cries have yet to be heard, I cannot help but realize what an incredible privilege it is to be able to help them. When I think of these girls, I am able to look beyond each difficulty and welcome it as an opportunity.

The girls I represent have all been emotionally and physically abused, some for many years, and each one’s past affects them differently. As a result of her abuse, a girl can one day be cooperative and courageous, the next hostile and withdrawn. Despite the frustrations these variations may cause, I realize my girls are this way because they are, after all, ordinary people who have suffered under extraordinary pressure. Daniel, I am so glad you care to stand up with us in this fight to speak on behalf of the poor, the oppressed and the needy, those who cannot speak on their own behalf.

Through speaking up on behalf of the poor, the oppressed and the needy; those who cannot speak for themselves, I am committed to seeing similar stories of redemption lived out in the lives of thousands upon thousands of children as well, witnessing the personal investment of other extreme advocates in the like of Mama Niala who gave this young girl the opportunity to be and become.

My intention in sharing these stories with my readers is to mobilize them to become socially engaged for the welfare of all who are weak, oppressed and sold to poverty pimps who only count on the silence of us all to put an end to the hope of countless orphans and vulnerable children around our world.

Above all, “Thou shalt not be a victim, thous shalt not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” – Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Thanks for caring

I am thinking about you

Child, in 18 years you will understand that for twenty-seven cents a meal, I and all my friends have been investing in your life and that of many more! I am determined that this year, 100,000 children can receive the greatest gift anyone can give: a life with a future and a hope.

For this child, that mean a life where he receives an education, food, clean drinking water, books, medicine, and access to medical care.

Hey son, we got you covered! I am not going to let you down! I know many people who would care for you. In just a little while, by the grace of God, me and every one I know, we are going to turn the lives of 1,000,000 children like you from beneficiaries to benefactors. The streets of your neighborhood will come alive once more! not with brutal soldiers, oh no, not this time, but with opportunity. Surely goodness, and mercy, and opportunity, and hope will hunt and stock you and hunt you down all the days of your life, for you are special and I and my friends, we all love you.

To all the orphans and vulnerable children of the world, there is hope.; I have tasted it ! Very soon, Justice and mercy will roll on your streets like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! our long day of struggle… gonna be over soon – justice wont be long now…

Thanks for caring – July 2010

Dear friends!

Hello to all you who care for the poor.

Once more, on behalf of the Bridges of Hope Ministry Team and myself, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your continued commitment to breaking the yoke of poverty from the shoulders of children around the world.

I just returned from a remarkable trip to Burkina Faso, West Africa, together with eight others advocates from the USA and Canada. I am moved by the impact being generated by our indigenous leaders with your generous contributions, especially in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.

We were confronted with many of the ongoing challenges: war, famine, diseases, disaster, etc. and we observed how our local team is facing these with courage and endurance.

Indeed, we heard much about burdens growing greater, labors increasing, multiplied trials, added afflictions and depleting resources, much like what many of us may have been experiencing here in our own country.

The needs were evident in so many places and the suffering of thousands of children transcends understanding. The laborers are few and the demands are greater. Nonetheless, we found great satisfaction with the rhythm of progress being made towards our 2010-2011 goal to raise 26,000,000 meals, provide education for 100,000 children, as well as raise the necessary funds to sustain all our projects through business creation. It is incredible when we remember that it only costs 27 cents to provide one meal for one child.

It is increasingly clear that the sustainable way forward is through our vision of focusing resources to create medium to large scale businesses (as a hub industry) in the region. By utilizing our banking and credit structure, we will provide financing to medium and small business that can support the social service, education, and health sectors even as we create space for each of us to exercise our hearts to contribute our highest help.

Our contribution does not necessarily mean that you or I need to give cash, but it does mean we each utilize our influence and the resources entrusted to us to execute the vision.

I continue at every opportunity to step up speaking on behalf of all those who cannot speak for themselves. At every opportunity I am going to put their case forward. I cannot back down now.

I am so glad that you care. As William Lloyd Garrison, a major abolitionist in his discourse of January 1 1831 observed, sometime ” The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.”

I appreciate you just for caring. I pledge to use my utmost care to have the most good come from the seed you planted into the poor and the oppressed; to nurture it carefully, using those seeds to grow as much seed as possible.

As such I am always seeking wise counsel from farmers, specialists and common sense leaders; people of all walks like you to guide and advise me and my team in places we have no experience and expertise and need more council to implement my vision to its fruition.

When an individual is helped out of poverty and despair, the possibilities are infinite; they move from beneficiary to benefactor. I am so glad you cared enough to invest in me, to help me achieve the long tedious journey, from beneficiary to benefactor – now, thousands of children are following my footsteps, out of their own poverty and I am so glad you care!

We humbly thank you for allowing us to represent you. Along with our gratitude we endeavor to be wise stewards of the resources you have provided. Together we press on with the essential initiatives to those most in need. Your partnership is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for your contribution! You took the time to invest in lives and communities the furthest away and the deepest in need. Beyond your gracious contribution, we have experienced a devotion and outpouring of love, especially for our brothers and sisters who need a helping hand up. We are truly thankful.

P.S. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas, questions or concerns. I enjoy hearing from you. All details will receive a prompt and personal reply.

Appreciatively,

Daniel Zopoula

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