Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Posting for Peace

"What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward!"
(Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet I, i, lines 68-69).

And so starts my thoughts on peace, which are many and varied. I type this wearing a light blue wrist band that says "Cultivate Peace The Hunger Site" complete with little peace symbols. I ordered it when I ordered my, very nearly 9year old'’s, new lunch bag, which is the same colour, and says the same Cultivate Peace on top. It wasn't expensive and I order during their ‘shipping sales’ (2 cents shipping). Also with my order, 50 cups of food were donated just for shopping for something I needed anyway. My daughter is thrilled with it and it will send a beautiful message everyday.

Perhaps I should join my disjointed thoughts of my first two paragraphs. I have always been fascinated by these lines of Tybalt'’s, and sadly they seem, in many ways, to mirror today's feelings toward peace. – Is it that no one today has the language? No, it'’s fairly straight forward. I believe it's the honesty of Tybalt's statement that I like. He is a complex character (as Shakespeare'’s ‘villains often are) but he states things plainly enough.

"What, drawn, and talk of peace!"

It is a paradox. How can we talk of peace with our swords drawn?

  • With our guns, our tanks, our missiles "drawn"
  • our nuclear warheads "drawn"
  • With our soldiers "drawn" in pain and dying
  • With children, families, communities dying

Why even call them soldiers, I will call them what they are -our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, our fellow humans "drawn"”. And on what? Or better yet, on who? Sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, our fellow humans.

"and talk of peace"

Hate the word, for this is no talk of peace. It cannot be. You cannot speak of peace with guns, you cannot speak of peace while killing, you cannot speak of peace while innocence is murdered. All who die are innocents, and all who live have innocence murdered. There is no peace in Hell, the one made here, the one that actually exsists, the one we reside over, the one that is our very own proud creation.

So why my daughter's lunchbag? For the same reason I don't drive when I can walk, I don't shop at Walmart (I shop at independent businesses when I can), OR McDonald's, the same reason I buy organic and am vegetarian, buy my clothes at the Goodwill or Cosignment shops. Alone, I can no more stop this war than stand on a railway track and stop a freight train, but with every choice I make, every action I take, and every word I say I make ripples, and they DO have an effect.

My older children (13 & 11) recently had a nasty fight - their consequence? Essays on non-violence. My oldest who is not Christian I gave the extra task of using Jesus' teachings to illustrate her point. (we go to a Unitarian Universalist Church, so they learn about everyone from Buddha to Gandhi) I keep all her essays (can you tell I do this alot?), but this one I really like, and have put some of its highlights here:

"Always treat others as you would like them to treat you. This is the Golden Rule. This proverb did not come from straight from Jesus, but Jesus used it many times in his life .... in a nutshell is: What you hate, don't do to anyone else (note: "What you find hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary" - Judaism) Also Jesus taught to many that "the non-violent" response to hating another requires an amazing amount of personal strength of insight and willpower - that it is no surprise that it is so seldom practiced. That's why violence all over the world is so much more persuasive. Also that is why countries like us and Iraq don't get along because we are using violence to hurt them - they don't live like that (note: non-violently) so they are hurting us back, and that's probably why we have war. We have been arguing with many different countries over our past and I don't think if Jesus was alive now his teaching of the Golden Rule wouldn't have approved of our wars that we have had in the past and are having now because we are not loving are enemies as we should love ourselves.
One of Jesus' ot
her teachings was if you love those who love you and favour those who favour you then it's not teaching anyone anything. What he did teach was anima, referring to the doctrine that you should never harm any living being or thing. This also inspired Gandhi to talk to people about "soul force" and that "non-violence should be and always be the law of all our nations and species"
Moral: return hate to love and don't use violence. . . .an eye for an eye really does make the whole world blind"

This is what I get for talking all that Hippie stuff at them.

Just for interest "The Golden Rule" is not Christianity's alone...

"No one of you is a believer
until he desires for his brother
that which he desires
for himself." ~Islam

"Hurt not others
in ways that you yourself
would find hurtful." ~Buddhism

"Blessed is he
who preferreth his brother
before himself" ~ Baha'i Faith

I do believe and take what she has said seriously, it is too easy to vilify Bush and Cheney, Exxon Mobile and so many other and to hate them. In the end however, hate only brings more hate. Loving your enemies should start right here - at home - if we are going to be able to honestly practice it throughout the world. I don't condone anything that's been done, but I don't believe hate (intolerance, cruelity - the list goes on) is the answer to anything in Iraq or anywhere else in the world, most of all right here, in our own thoughts and words. Thoughts and words have tremendous power. Hating the President will not end the war. Passive, peaceful resistance just may.

Be the change you wish to see in the world- Gandhi

I choose to be that change - the best I can - daily, with the way I live, my thoughts, words I say, and the actions I take. I believe (strongly) in peaceful social action, and - as best I can - push out hate with love.
It is a day by day process, and not an easy one.

Hey, there's that John Lennon song...

"You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one ..."

you never know.


dusty said...

Beautiful post..and you are a good mommy..bless you and thanks for posting 4 peace :)

Callooh said...

it's pretty easy when you've got good kids.

I had lots of fancy words I was going to put down, in the end I liked hers better.

Peacechick Mary said...

A very wise daughter you have there. Good mommy work. Also, I have never seen the Peace Monger sign and definitely must borrow sometime if you don't mind. Otherwise, see you at Goodwill. Thanks.

thepoetryman said...

Eloquent my friend! Pure eloquence!

Roll on Peace Train!

Roll on!

Ghandi's on board!

thepoetryman said...

Gandhi's on board too! :>/

Callooh said...

PCM - use my Northern Sun link, its where I get many of my images, and the odd t-shirt! Children are wise these days, we don't give them enough credit or listen to them enough - thanks!

TPM - Gandhi will always be on board - look to him if you ever need an example of what peace protest can accomplish...

Mary said...

Always the children say it best. I have always loved that bit from DAnte too.

Lily said...

Wow! I am amazed by all the posts for this project...clearly this theme resonates!

Kvatch said...

Be the change you wish to see in the world - Gandhi

I love this quote. It's about commitment. It's about leading by example. It's about changing yourself which is where all the changes should really begin...at least all the ones that matter, peace included...peace most especially.

Donnie McDaniel said...

Another breath taking post along the route of The Peace Train.

Callooh said...

Mary - talk about lazy, just swiped my kid's essay! ha ha

Elizabeth - it's a beauiful feeling today isn't it?

Kvatch - I have it as a fridge magnet - love Gandhi, and external change means nothing unless it starts from within

donnie - it a lovely ride, yes?

glenda said...

What can I say? Beautiful, eloquent, honest, REAL! I love the careful way you craft the look and colors you use. It's a perfectly beautiful example of a post filled with peace and thoughtfullness. Hope you are well. I enjoyed our chats. I am proud you are a part of this. Be well.

Lance Morrison said...

Sure I'm gay... And unavailable... and living in Toronto... and a meat eater. It could still work.

Wonderful post. It is my muse to write my thoughts on peace and humanity. Give it a few days, I'll work on it.

Callooh said...

Glenda - this is because of you - and I thank you for the opportunity, I loved doing it! Can't wait for the Peace Train.

Lance - YES! YES! YES! how could I say no? sure I'm straight, living in Chicago, and am only sorta available (in the legal sense)- but my hair is a mess! and I have no gay men in my life down here.

Can't wait for your musings...

celticfire said...

Great blog!
In solidarity--cf

Callooh said...

cf - thanks! in solidarity...

glenda said...

I had to come look again. You writing rocks, but as an artist, I find your visuals arresting.

Callooh said...

jeepers. thanks! really Glenda - I've been living in no-feed-back-land, an ugly void for writers and artists...

pssst maybe I'll send this along to my "publisher" - I think I just got 'bumped' -sigh....

I keep meaning to add that Lennon sketch, but have been doing gardens for the last few days and haven't had 2 free minutes - can feel every (every every) muscle in my body right now...

thanks again!!

DA said...

Just the most wonderful post. Thx!!

I visited the skinheads home in Mumbai a few months ago. Very impressive little man..

Callooh said...

thank you.

yes he was, I wish the world had him longer.

its wonderful you had the opportunity to visit his home, I envy your travel.

Gary said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful and compelling post. I feel a clear sense of compassion and good living underlying it. I need to be reminded that I too, can hate and foster divisivness if not careful. Peace!

Callooh said...

so can I Gary.
bitter words are so difficult to take back.

"keep your words soft, you never know when you'll have to eat them"

thanks. peace.