“If a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.” ~Greta Thunberg
One of the most important parts of peace is dialogue — the connection we make with those around us, the ideas we share and the education, support and encouragement we give each other. This week is an important one in communities across the world. People the world over, led by our youth are calling for serious commitment and action to reverse and heal the damage our planet is suffering. We at JRPC will be closing on Friday, September 20 and 27 so that we and our employees can support and attend those actions in Missoula. We hope to see you all there.
We are also celebrating the gift that refugees have been to our community as we participate in Welcoming Week with our partners Soft Landing Missoula. I ask you to join us tonight at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. where Robert, Fernanda and I will lead a discussion on the core of peace. We hope to hear your ideas and comments as well. The serious challenges we face in the world require all of us to find our voices and add them to the symphony that is our future. I’ll see you tonight…Betsy
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” ~Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 Pilot
Sept 12, 2019
The violence of our world and the sad events of 9-11-01 cannot be far from anyone’s mind. It is easy to feel insignificant and even hopeless in the face of these thoughts. But, September 11 is another anniversary as well – one that offers us great hope and significance. In 1906 Mohandas Gandhi took his first action of non-violent resistance against a world that he saw as terribly unjust. Here was a man who, despite being trained as a lawyer, was too shy to actually practice law. And yet, he knew that the problems of his day were only being compounded by an “eye for an eye” mentality. And he knew that he must become the change he wanted to see in the world.
We have a responsibility to help each other succeed, to create hope together, and to teach and inspire one another so that our connection is what makes the headlines, not our divisions.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”~Carl Sagan
Each of us has a choice about the way we see the world. We can see the turmoil and look for blame, for enemies. Or we can see beyond that to ask the causes and to seek out the solutions. Why do those we call enemies do what they do? Can we change the narrative from blame and evil to understanding and compassion? I think we can. But it is not easy because everything in our world teaches us to think in terms of a war narrative of blame and evil instead of the peace narrative — winning and losing instead of cooperating and collaborating. However, I believe we can be the change. In times of fear and panic, we can be a force of calm. We can be safety for those who are trembling or the voice of reason for those who question. We can comfort the oppressed and be compassion to those who suffer. Let’s all practice looking first for the things we can do and understand instead of looking first for those to blame and attack. Together we can change the narrative.
PS, at long last, our new database is up and running. At long last, this will be our last newsletter in this format. Next week we will send it from our new database. This should solve many of the problems you all have had viewing this on your phone, etc. But as with any transition, there will be issues to work on. So please let us know if you don’t get next week’s e-news or if you have any problems viewing it. We are grateful to all of you for your support, for staying in touch with us and for helping to make this transition possible…Betsy
“I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” ~Greta Thunberg, 16, Swedish activist
Were you at Downtown Tonight last week? If so you saw the Student action to declare a climate emergency. Michelle Obama once sad that “grief and resilience live together”. Nowhere could that resonate more than in conversations about the climate, the planet we live on. As we watch the horrors in Indonesia and the Amazon, we have to grieve. But we must also reach down and find our will to go forward with what is possible not only what is wrong. JRPC has been meeting with several group in town to organize actions around the global climate strike being held around the world. We are all being asked to strike for the planet on Friday, September 20, to leave work or school, to give our employees the day to leave and go to rallies and actions aimed at finding that resilience and will to act. You can check out all the activities being planned for the week at the Global Climate Strike website. Students from Hellgate, Big Sky, Sentinel, Willard, Loyola, University of Montana, Missoula College and young adults from across Missoula inspired by Greta Thunberg, are also working on a plan to strike for the planet. They have asked us all to sign a pledge for the planet. Now is the time to ask ourselves what we will do to save our planet…Betsy
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience. ~Thomas Merton
Look around you at the heroes in your life. 33 years of Missoula Peacemakers have inspired us with their courage and commitment and strengthened our peace community. Each fall, we ask you to look around you and nominate someone (or some group) to be considered for this prestigious award given each spring by the JRPC and the Missoula Peace Quilters. Who inspires you? Who has a story that needs to be told, and a message that will call others to act? We are looking for that special person or group who consistently makes a professional and/or personal commitment to “walk the walk” of nonviolence, social justice and sustainability and serves as a role model for this community. We particularly want to find and honor the “unsung” among us. A selection committee made up of Missoula Peace Quilters and JRPC Coordinating Council members will have the difficult task of choosing from among the nominations received – a selection that is never easy. This year, the deadline for nominations is October 15, so don’t delay. Make a contribution to peacemaking by honoring someone who inspires you. The nomination form is available on our website or contact us for a paper copy. We’ll be waiting to be inspired yet again…Betsy