Happy Day and Hello!

From the very beginning, redeeming a social condition is not an easy task. I have spent careful time investing into an arts-based peace-building non-profit. My work with 1948 has presented many lessons that needed to be learned both, personally and professionally. At times, I have had a cheer squad that said, "Keep going," and other times I have had to endure the betrayal of false friends. I have learned that when you win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, the negative opinions and comments seem to fade with the sun.

As a 28 year old,  I have learned to speak with unparalleled excellence and beauty. As I continue to walk a narrow path, one with integrity, as if all eyes are watching. I know that the decisions I make directly effect other people. I am responsible for communal reconciliation in a post-conflicted society. I take my responsibility seriously. It is one that will bring nations together and will alleviate the divide between them. 

When we appreciate the beauty in others, we find our best selves, and we leave the world a better place in which to grow...whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; our most basic human rights are to be heard, loved, and cared for. I think our culture strongly influences a person.  It is obviously not a static and cemented influence.  If culture influenced us in entirety, then there would be no opportunity for any newness.  The new happens! 

There are cultural jumps.  

Sometimes that comes from other cultural influences, and sometimes it is a radical shift in response to a culture as a whole, and sometimes one figure presents such a compelling view, that s/he influences the culture, group or society in a way that it is never the same again.  And a part of this beauty, is realizing where people are. And when we accept the change in others...we are able to move from conflict toward a more sustainable peace. Our project is to build peace among the betrayal of false friends. Our "Cup of Peace" curriculum is helping young adults, a generation that grew up with the aftermath of war as neighbor betrayed neighbor in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Our hope is that neighbors will one day drink coffee together, again. 

And...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived this is the meaning of success. And this my friends, is the leader that I will continue to be as Project 1948 moves with intention into our next steps. So, our team (Jen, Lauren & Hans) at Project 1948 would like to announce our next step: we have agreed to be collaborate our "Cup of Peace" arts-based peace-building project with the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

To smile, laugh often and much, 

Jen

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