Peace Log, Feb. 25, 2018 - If someone you know had a heart attack, would placing a band aid on his/her chest help heal the body? Of course not. That’s what is happening with our national dialogue — our re-action — to gun control. Hear me out…
With the continuing incidences of violence across America, many people, including our youth, are getting mad enough to stand up and say “No more!” As a peace activist and peace journalist since 2013, I applaud their passion and am excited that people have finally reached a turning point. We do need to take action now. It’s been a long time coming.
Choosing the Path of Peace, Rather Than the Deadly Road of Deterrence
Face it. We live in a violent, warring culture. Our children are born into perpetual war. The U.S. Congress has just given even more money to militarization — toward war, weapons and guns. And even in our communities, local police forces in the U.S. have been heavily militarized.
When there’s a disagreement or crisis, it seems the U.S. response is to use violence. We can no longer afford to conveniently forget that war breeds war, violence breeds violence. It trickles down every second of every day.
Based on what I’ve learned about the direct relationship between inner peace and outer peace, I encourage everyone to look at the larger picture and respond (rather than react) to this unacceptable situation from a deeper, higher perspective.
The fact that we continue to add weapons to our nation’s arsenal is directly connected to the violence we are seeing in our communities.
If we want to do more than put a band aid on the issue of violence, let’s join together and do something that will address school violence — and so much more in the process…
We must make peace the #1 priority for U.S. policy and for the planet. It’s the one issue that as we work for advances together — through real dialogue — will address all of the other social injustices along with it.
As a wise one once said: “There is no path to peace. Peace is the way.”
Just a few ideas… How about if we arm our teachers with peace education materials and mediation support — instead of guns — at all levels, from kindergarten through graduate school? How about if we sponsor social entrepreneurial grants and funding for peace action? How about if we use dialogue methods like Open Space Technology (OST) — on Zoom (videoconferencing) and in person — to hold round table peace discussions of the people? How about if we use technology, including VR and AR, for good — for peace? We are more than capable of this.
We must build rapport — not walls and weapon systems.
We must reduce arms and guns — not add more firepower to the mix, and continue down the Deadly Road of Deterrence that says that whoever has the most or biggest guns wins.
I have had enough of war, of weapons and guns. We can and must turn this around.
We Are Deciding What Our Species Will Become
Today, I overheard a few friends talking about who/what human beings will become in the future….about the conscious evolution of our species. Their conclusion: If we keep going down the road we’re on, we’ll get more of the same: dead children, dead soldiers, destruction, death, injuries, PTSD, refugees, etc., etc., etc. What is our legacy?
United in heart and mind, let us choose the peace path. Let us insist that our leaders make peace the #1 priority on Earth — or elect new leaders who will.
And, let us use our voices and our technology for good — for peace, not war and division. Let us arm our children with the nonviolent communication, negotiation and mediation skills that will serve to resolve conflict — within our families, in our local communities, between nations, across our planet and into space — now and into the coming decades. Let us teach and practice meditation with our youth.
We stand at a pivotal time in history to change our course to one of peace. What we do (or fail to do) now will affect the daily lives of our kids, grandkids, and ancestors many years in the future.
So, let us take off our blinders right now and admit that militarism and war is the root cause of violence in our streets and in our schools. While getting tougher on gun registration and banning assault weapons can relieve some of the symptoms in the meantime (and it can), we must work for peace now.
Together, we can change the dialogue — and our shared reality —to a world where we’ll never even consider war, weapons or guns as an answer to any situation. As A Course in Miracles states: “All attack is self attack.” When we attack each other, we hurt ourselves, too. As a species, we are better than this.
Let us rise up for peace together.
Follow us from the road, beginning March 27, as #TripForPeace, travels across America, bringing you eyewitness reports of peacebuilders in action, and the many awesome peacebuilding projects that are happening now in our midst. Let’s truly present and have a dialogue on the challenges we face and on peace solutions. Let everyone come to the peace table.