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Peace in the World

227. Peace in the World

It seems appropriate to write about peace following a posting about Gandhi. And yet, I have fluttered through this entire day figuring out what to write. It’s such an immense subject. I have read extensively over the last few years: The Great Turning by David Korten; The Moral Imagination—The art and soul of building peace by John Paul Lederach; Every War Has Two Losers—William Stafford On Peace and War, edited by Kim Stafford; and am currently reading A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn; and a number of books by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes about beginning with yourself. A number of the books are hopeful about the possibility of enough people wanting peace that it will make a difference. There are positive things going on all around the world.

I should say something about Walter Wink and his insistence that redemptive violence does not work. We say we’ll just go to war this one more time and then we’ll have peace. We say this is a bad means to get to a good end but it will be worth it in the long run. And it isn’t. The reality is that violence does not work.

Non-violence works—over and over and over again. And each of us has the power within to be non-violent.

Howard Zinn ends his book A Power Governments Cannot Suppress with these words: “The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is in itself a marvelous victory.”

Amen.

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