Last year I wrote the below in support of a hopeful project called Pacifism21. Named as such to rescue the word’s essence INTO the twenty first century, Pacifism21 believes that the only future that includes survival, is that of one free of war and milatarism and violence. This week as we reflect on the profound actions of Daniel Berrigan, poet, Jesuit priest and brave peace activist of the twentieth century, let us also reflect upon, and get thinking creatively about how WE can take action for peace in our century…The twenty FIRST century. And peace be with YOU!!
Another hungry mouth. Another empirically failing system. Another calloused hand reaching out. Another explosion. Another bomb dropped. Another tired refugee. Another gaping wound. Another civil right subtracted from the horizon. Another marginalized person, city, culture, pushed farther out into the hinterlands of hope. How much longer will we toil in the same patterns, anxiously pressing against oppression and violence with more oppression and violence? Have we unraveled every solution? What’s working for this world?
Many of us live counter-culture to oppression and violence every day in small acts of kindness and recognition. Many of us live non-violently. We press against violence and oppression. We use reconciliation on the streets of our communities, in the face to face, eye to eye, and soul to soul contact we have with other people in our very small worlds. Little by little, minute by minute, encounter by encounter, and person to person, the mending of our communities happens in a peaceful, counter-to-current-culture way.
Have you ever wondered what that counter pressing could look like against a broader landscape like, a global one? Some believe it looks like pacifism.
My friend (writer, literary blogger and peace activist) Marc Eliot Stein, believes it could mean mending. He believes it could mean the kind of mending that will work. But for it to work there needs to be a larger place to get started. There needs to be a place where a collective like-mindedness for peace can take shape, and then…..get acting. He’s calling that collective like-mindedness project, Pacifism21.
Pacifism21 is a fascinating and hopeful project that could spurn the call for peaceful action and healing in the twenty-first century. But it isn’t there yet. In fact, it is just getting started. Pacifism21’s goals are big. And to get closer to reaching them they need help building it up. That means time, awareness, facebook shares, interacting, and donations.
Think about how peace can be threaded into the mending of this world, and what you might be able to do today. Check out the story of P21 here and consider that even a small action can ripple widely towards peace