Platitudes of peace and unity in Korea and one Latvian’s view on it

The 2018 Winter Olympics are called "Peace games" but somehow this message does not stick easily. As my blog page tells, I am all for using every and any platform for peace building, common good, diplomacy, solidarity and sports is one of those forms of fun and entertainment which brings people together. Just like kicking…Read more Platitudes of peace and unity in Korea and one Latvian’s view on it

Season of Advent reminds us why universal declaration of human rights still matters

Universal declaration of human rights? United nations? International cooperation? International order? Preventing wars? Striving for peace? Respecting human dignity? It is almost 70 years since this declaration was proclaimed and yet it is hard to shake the impression that many people/nations/leaders could care less... I look up at the calendar on my kitchen wall and…Read more Season of Advent reminds us why universal declaration of human rights still matters

Lustration and flushing out the Soviet poison for good

I belong to two generations. Gen X - Nirvana, grunge, MTV, The Cure, flannel shirts, cynicism... but also a generation between two worlds and two truths. Born in the USSR, I  became an adult in free and independent Latvia. The feature photo was taken at a former Soviet military facility in western Latvia which used…Read more Lustration and flushing out the Soviet poison for good

Beware of narrow vocabularies and two-dimensional world

The great "back to school" migration has begun... public transport packed with excited or anxious children, proud or worried parents and other happy or annoyed passengers who observe this happy noise and energy. In fact I am building up my own excitement for continued studies in Latvia University which begins on Monday. In Latvia (and…Read more Beware of narrow vocabularies and two-dimensional world

Helpful or harmful to talk about painful national past?

This is a common and valid question. When do the wounds, losses and memories from time ago truly become things of the past? When does it heal and hurt no more? When does dwelling on the past become harmful and we get stuck in it? Increasingly many people in my global circle of friends are…Read more Helpful or harmful to talk about painful national past?

Time to bridge the chasm of dividing memories in my own nation… Latvia

Does time heal all wounds? Few months ago I was asked by an American how much more time we need in Latvia to bridge our ethnic and historical divides and to have a real sense of 'one nation'. 30 years? 40 years? More? Wait a few decades when the older people will be gone and…Read more Time to bridge the chasm of dividing memories in my own nation… Latvia

More than a Wikipedia fact in postcard from Latvia

Do you have a wish list of influential people you would like to meet? High on my list is Vaclav Havel. I wish I could have met him as his prophetic wisdom is on my mind ... This goes out to everyone flirting with authoritative regimes and ideas where truth does not matter, where freedoms…Read more More than a Wikipedia fact in postcard from Latvia

I don’t want to be another brick in the wall

Few days ago I was giving a lecture on peace building and reconciliation and our group had a very good discussion about some of the issues and challenges that our societies are facing. It was in a religious context but the principles of good and healthy relationships vs bad and broken ones are the same…Read more I don’t want to be another brick in the wall

What I learned from pilgrimage of trust in Rīga

Hope is on my mind. Hope is different from simple optimism or positive thinking because hope is living both in the reality of "now and here" and in "not yet and not there yet". It all depends on the ultimate truth and purpose of life you believe in. Few weeks ago the capital of Latvia…Read more What I learned from pilgrimage of trust in Rīga

Navigating through fake news, stupid news and no news

Honestly I feel very challenged. This is getting harder and harder and some days my brain simply revolts and screams at me. "Stop stretching me so thin! Stop feeding me this stuff! Give me something good to chew and digest that will bring life! Give me a break... period." We are taught to be critical…Read more Navigating through fake news, stupid news and no news