“Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for…” ~John Lennon

Dear friends,
This weekend we will spend time with our families as many of us will have a Memorial Day holiday from work. I urge you to think with compassion about the many families around the world who are mourning loved ones because of war; about the many young people who face life wounded and challenged; the children living without parents and the parents living without children. Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day” because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was started by two Mississippi mothers who laid wreaths on the graves of soldiers both Confederate and Union , because, “after all, they are somebody’s sons.” How far we have strayed from that generosity! Today, we can’t seem to even allow “the other side’s” opinion to have worth, much less decorate the graves of their dead. It seems that Decoration Day was about honor – the type of honor that recognized the humanity in all of us and was concerned with actually binding wounds rather than enlarging them. Today, we spend more on military around the world than all the other nations combined. And as I write this, there are many fears about the possibility of war with Iran and the reality that this is our new normal. We choose to police, occupy and wage war in many nations while we neglect the critical human needs in our own house — while our children go hungry and uneducated. We have many wounds to bind. And yet, we cannot even come together to talk about them in civility and respect. Let us be like those Mississippi mothers and see the humanity on both sides of our political debates – and let us be willing to meet that humanity in the middle. What a challenge it is to honor others despite our philosophical differences with them – it is the foundation of peacemaking…Betsy