On the day of Rosh Hashanah

by mgopin on October 1, 2014 · 2 comments


9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

I thought of this text today. Could not get out of my head for my whole life the pathos of not knowing the left from the right, the basis of mercy being our utter ignorance and aimlessness as human beings, and THAT is why God did not destroy Nineveh (Mosul) despite Jonah


Event Appearance at Johns Hopkins University

by mgopin on September 16, 2014 · 3 comments

This morning, I was privileged to talk at an great event of SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, as one of the speakers.
Please check out the website and the video of this whole event.

September 16, 2014
Conflict Prevention & Resolution Forum
at Kennedy Auditorium, SAIS- Johns Hopkins University

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 4.00.49 PM



Of Gods, Tribes, and Battles

by mgopin on September 16, 2014 · 6 comments

If you cannot find God,
Find the persecuted,
Then you are home.

Tribalism is an infectious disease
Human rights is the antidote
But force feeding can kill the patient

Some battles that you want to win,
Will defeat you if you win.
Some battles if you lose,
Then you will win.
Blessed be reason.



(Photo: A Different Angle)



Encyclopedia Humanica

by mgopin on September 11, 2014 · 5 comments


Water- encyclopedia humanica
Every human being,
Is a walking encyclopedia,
Infinite indigenous knowledge,
Of local realities,
That no one,
Will ever,
Fully know.
Why do we walk past?
We are discoverers,
Above all else,
We wander,
To the farthest reaches,
Of the earth.
Why do we walk past?
Melville, Conrad,
Escaped to the high seas,
To discover the world.
But the boat,
It contained infinite depths,
Even deeper than the sea,
That anyone dared ever discover.
The journey to the strange other,
The darkest, most dangerous,
Most joyous,



This is very important in the ISIS issue.

International New York Time, Escaping Death in Northern Iraq

Ali Hussein Kadhim, an Iraqi soldier and a Shiite, was captured with hundreds of other soldiers by Sunni militants in June and taken to the grounds of a palace complex in Tikrit where Saddam Hussein once lived.

“I saw my daughter in my mind, saying, ‘Father, father,’ ” he said.
He felt a bullet pass by his head, and fell forward into the freshly dug trench.
“I just pretended to be shot,” he said.
A few moments later, Mr. Kadhim said, one of the killers walked among the bodies and saw that one man who had been shot was still breathing.

…The story of the massacre tells as much about the woeful state of the Iraqi military, a force created and trained by the United States at a cost of billions of dollars,


Thoughts on Our War World

by mgopin on September 8, 2014 · 0 comments



How can we listen to sad love songs,
When there are so many starving for love?
Who the hell do we think we are?
What rights for pity do we think we have,
When outside our doorstep,
Is a cosmos of love-starved beings?


We, we are the Higgs boson,
We are elusive,
Impossible to discover,
Yet everywhere.…


Reason and Compassion

by mgopin on August 27, 2014 · 0 comments



Reason and compassion are lovers
That give birth to our humanity,
but only when they engage
Daily, with intensity.
The more one’s mind
is drawn daily to compassion
For all sentient life,
the more it is drawn daily to develop
universal principles of behavior
that apply to all beings
Without exception,
Even very imperfect beings.
The more that reason is developed daily
the more it becomes empirically clear
that we are all the same,
in 99% of our being,
the more it becomes empirically self evident
That where we are different
it is an advantage,
Our diversity is our strength.

compassion and reason are lovers,
So that we can be.


(Photo: Cultivating Leadership)


Customer or employees care concept


An atheist leader
who is rational,
Can be more a messenger,
of God’s mercy for the powerless,
than a leader,
who bows down to God,
over the dead bodies,
of his victims.

‘Less suffering’
Is the tortured scream
of God.

An authentic smile
Is the fleeting face of God,
A single act of kindness,
The touch of Her finger.

Only when you accept death,
Can you become committed
To the renewal of life.
Only when you see democracy die,
Can you plan its rebirth.…


I recently wrote a cover article reflecting on the recent war in Gaza to the newsletter published by School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Practice is a messy, miserable reality that deserves its own independent study. What do we do in times of war? This has dramatically changed for me and many others in just the last year or two, where every war seems to be bringing individuals together online to a level of intimacy, collaboration, and care unprecedented, and others to a level of hatred unprecedented. Then there are shades of gray, where how you frame your disagreements, your texts, your cries, your screams, your pleas, your ruminations in the dead of night, all of it yields surprising communications across enemy lines, in all of the many and variegated enemy systems that overlap in international conflicts. A string of people from one side of the conflict becoming the only


Very important Muslim statement on IS.

Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom have come together to denounce the Islamic militant group ISIS in a video posted by a group called Imams Online, reports the BBC.

A statement on the Imams Online website says, “Senior British imams have come together to emphasize the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.”

Click here to read the whole article.



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