“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
An 1868 US-Sioux Treaty granted the tribe the Black Hills of South Dakota in exchange for peace. Eight years later, the US passed a law taking that land away because gold was discovered there. Four hundred years ago this month, the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia aboard a Dutch ship. Hold these people in mind as we hear the stories from concentration camps along our border. So many opportunities we have had to learn to choose generosity and altruism over selfishness and hatred. And so many times we’ve failed to do so. Peace knows neither color nor border. Recently in my own life, a neighbor asked us for a favor. And I, living on land stolen from indigenous people with all the privilege of my race and color had the opportunity to choose generosity over selfishness. It won’t undo any wrong, but hopefully it will teach me to walk that way…Betsy
“The first step in getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don’t.” ~Unknown
Many of you know that my husband and I are getting ready to make a move to a smaller house that will better fit our lifestyle. So our lives are full to the brim with making decisions about what to get rid of and what to keep — what gives us meaning and what provides clutter. I was pondering what to write about today and Rusty (who is often quite wise) said, “getting rid of things”! It actually fits quite well with the times we are in. I sat in a crowd at Har Shalom last Saturday and listened to Laurie Franklin call us to exercise our “unity muscles” and speaker after speaker call us to love. In order to do that we must find the courage to look deep inside and get rid of the things in our own souls that stand as obstacles to love and unity.
A hundred years ago, our grandparents celebrated what they wanted — a world without war, believing they had ended the “war to end all wars”. But they failed to do the work of getting rid of the oppressive ideas and attitudes that would not only keep war with us but grow it into the largest industry we support. We can do better — on small scales in our individual lives and in bigger ways in our voting booths and communities. Your work matters and your vote matters. Thanks for joining me in the work for unity and love…Betsy
The color of truth is gray.” ~Andre Gide
Much has been written about the political divide in this country and our need to find ways of understanding and getting along with those who have ideas and perspectives that are radically different from ours. There are two events that JRPC is hosting next week that get to this point well. Both are on Wednesday evening and both will give you much to think about. Janice Springer’s book I Know We Are All Welcome At The Table, But Do I Have To Sit Next To You? is already one of the most sought after books in our store and we don’t even have it in yet!! The title grabs us and invites us inside where Janice outlines the tools we need to make peace happen — and it’s not as hard as you might think. Continue reading
“All we are saying, is Give Peace a Chance” ~John Lennon and Yoko Ono
I recently returned from a peacebuilding summit hosted by Rotary International. One of the sessions was a workshop exploring the 8 pillars of positive peace developed by the Institute of Economics and Peace, a leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyze peace and quantify its economic value.
You’re Invited! Peace and Conflict Social Study Group – Tuesdays at noon at JRPC.
Peace and Conflict are two concepts that we are all familiar with. But often the idea of identifying a universal concept of peace is quite difficult. That is why I would like to invite you, the peace community, to explore these concepts together.
Every Tuesday at noon there will be a study group at JRPC where we explore different terminology, methods, and brainstorm to educate ourselves on the topics and issues revolving around Peace and Conflict. Continue reading