In a society where violence is extolled, entertaining, and filmed endlessly, where the strongest and the meanest are the ones who win power struggles, where violence and war are the norm, this is a website for regular women and men who yearn for peace, who hate to hear the “breaking news” of killings and more war-making, who believe peacemaking is the answer. We need a place to share how, when, where, who, why, and what works and what doesn’t work in real life. We want to grow in courage, deepen our commitment to creating a peaceful world for our children and grandchildren, network, plant seeds, and celebrate the fruits of our efforts. Ultimately, we want to do what we can do for peace on earth, and let it begin with us in our every-day decisions and actions.
Gregory Daddis of The National Interest, June, 2015 explains what we are up against:
We are not just entranced by war. We have come to a point where we fear we can’t live without it. War has become a means to deal with our fears, while our fears have become a justification for more war. War no longer punctuates our history. It has become a deep-seated part of who we are and how we define ourselves. Even if only a fraction of Americans participate in war, too many segments of our society now see war as essential for the good of all. Thus, former secretary of defense Chuck Hagel can speak of “nonstop war” with few Americans flinching or even considering more peaceful alternatives. In short, we have become more afraid of peace than we are of war.
I want this website to be part of the conversational response to “breaking news” about war and violence, and a place that excellent insights are preserved long enough to be accessible for people to have time to digest them and even take action on them. For instance, here is a wonderful letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune that appeared the week of June 22, 2015:
“The Charleston, S.C. shooting has moved us all, but in a different way than other horrible massacres. The victims and the families of the victims have completely raised the bar on humanity, and they should be an example for the entire population. Yes, this awful tragedy serves as a reminder of how deeply racism and senseless hatred continue to exist in our world. It also illustrates to what extremes a person is capable. There is nothing in the world that could truly explain why someone would do something so evil.
I am struck by how the victims’ families were so quick to forgive and pray for the shooter’s forgiveness. I don’t know if I could be so strong. Most commentators are spewing anger and calling for political figures to be sure to use words like racism and terrorism and even calling people who don’t use those words terrorist sympathizers. The victims’ family members are only using words like love, forgiveness, and mercy – barely intelligible in their tears. Reminiscent of the great Martin Luther King Jr., they are peaceful and forgiving. They are trying to counter with extreme love, the hatred that took their loved ones.
I have been worried for my children that our society is growing too hateful and angry I want to focus on these amazingly strong and loving families who have shown us all how humanity should act.”
– Elizabeth Joo, Naperville