AMERICA HAS SPOKEN. 4 MORE YEARS OF THE
BE THE GUIDE
Today, I received an email (below) from a
peacebuilder who was feeling some despair and anger following the U.S.
election, in which barely a majority of Americans voted directly or
indirectly for the "Bush Doctrine".
Since the Bush Doctrine forebodes a strong continuation of a culture of war
and violence (not that the alternative was pushing a Culture of Peace) I
suspect this person's feelings are shared by many of us. I took the
opportunity to get my own thoughts together (following the original message).
----- Original Message -----
From: (name withheld)
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 10:33 AM
Hello again. I e-mailed you about 2
months ago, asking permission to use your works at our voter awareness
concerts. I must say, a lot of people stopped to read "50
Ways..." I'm sorry I can't remember the entire name but I am at
my wit's end right now.
As you know, the US just elected George
Bush as president. I don't understand this, I can hardly see straight
between my eyes filling with tears and the anger and frustration I am
feeling towards others living in this country.
I am writing to you to tell you not
everyone in the US is an idiot. There are so many of us fighting the
fight for peace, for justice, for common sense to be returned to so many.
Please accept my apology for the millions of idiots that voted so
selfishly yesterday. Tell others you know that we are not all bad.
Thank you for all you do,
I very much sympathize with you. I am sure
that the results of the vote has been very depressing for many people in the
U.S. and abroad, myself included. It is a sad state of affairs, and a
period of mourning and reflection is appropriate.
ending of things is almost inevitably traumatic, particularly when that
ending comes for persons, organizations, ways of life, or whole countries.
Say what you will about ending being a part of the natural order, when it
comes there is pain, caused by those earthquakes of our existence which
tear life into pieces. In such moments, the Peacebuilder is called to the
epicenter of the evolving drama, not to eliminate the pain or reverse the
course of events, for neither are possible, or probably desirable. The
role is a deeper one – to be the guide and support as one of the great,
natural processes of human life unfolds. At stake is the
continuance of life, not as it was – but as it may become. For the
Peacebuilder, this is the heart and soul of the task."
The point of all this is that we peacebuilders
are needed more now than ever. We must be strong and creative.
The vast majority of peoples in the U.S. and the world do want peace - they
just do not know 'How'. Our challenge is to work smarter, not
harder. We are empowered people, and critical thinkers, and the price
we pay is that we can see the dysfunctions and violence. It is
worrisome and frustrating to have
much knowledge but lack power (we all lose some sleep
over world and community affairs; we empathize and hence we can not help but
share the needless suffering of millions). The way we cope is
through a support structure of like-minded people, helping each other.
Solidarity is one of the cornerstones to building a Culture of Peace, and to
building a public power base to advance change.
So it is even more important now for each of us
to come to terms with world events, and be the guide and support for others
as this next phase of life unfolds. We need to have the mindset
of most professional peacebuilders and be systemic optimists - those who
believe that life can get better when, collectively, we fundamentally alter
the way we think and do things (and specifically get our leaders to
fundamentally alter the way they think and do things).
Look to the silver lining of the current clouds
of war. More peace education has taken place since 9/11 and the Bush
Doctrine than ever before in the history of mankind. There is a new
and growing awareness of the dysfunctions (starting with Leadership
and a Culture of Violence ), and the need for change.
"If it does not kill you, it will make you stronger." I urge
you to become stronger, and renew the good fight for peace, justice and
"The world is dangerous not because of
those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing
anything." - Albert Einstein
WHAT FUTURE WILL YOU CREATE?
Making an Impact: Your gift to the Canadian
Peace Education Foundation will do much to reduce the human cost of violence
in our communities and world through education about peace and the future in
classrooms. Your gift will have a critical impact on future
generations. You will enable youngsters to widen their sights by
exploring alternate paths to transforming conflicts and building a better
world. Gifts of cash, securities, and planned gifts are welcome and
may be sent to the Canadian Peace Education Foundation, Box 70, Okotoks, AB,
Canada, T1S 1A4. For more information, visit the website at http://www.peace.ca/foundation.htm