An old friend of mine, Suzanne Maxwell, is working on the Building a Culture of Peace Conference this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico (www.santafescribe.typepad.com/world_peace_conference_sa). Louise Diamond shares these thoughts on the peace community with us from her Peace Report Issue #6. –JGR
Who or what exactly is ‘the peace community,’ or for that matter, ‘the peace movement?’ Are people involved with reducing teen violence or promoting peer mediation in the schools part of ‘the peace community?’
What about mediators who manage divorce processes or multi-stakeholder environmental problems?
And peace musicians and artists, are they in the same movement as anti-war activists?
Are international peacebuilders who work in war zones in the same arena as business innovators who create jobs and products related to peace, or as spiritual teachers who provide pathways to inner peace?
How about the foundations that fund the many non-profit organizations? Or the religious groups that work for social and economic justice around the world?
The psychologists who help relieve the trauma of violence?
The human rights advocates who hold nations accountable for their oppressive regimes?
The development workers who seek an end to poverty?
The professors who teach about racism,?
And let’s hear it for that small handful of national politicians (you know who they are) who have stood up for the ways of peace in the midst of a stampede to war.
We are a vast and intricate network, those of us who care about making ‘peace on earth’ more than a greeting card sentiment. We are a diverse and motley collection that cuts across age, race, gender, ethnicity, sector – in fact, all the usual labels we put on our identity.
We have different perspectives and passions unique to our own smaller sub-sets, yet ultimately we aim for the same goal, and all of us are necessary for its realization. I often imagine what our collective power could be should we ever understand that we are a single force for good on this planet, and pool our resources for strategic action….
There are (at least two) distinct approaches to working for peace. These can be seen, somewhat simplistically, in the anti-war movement and the pro-peace movement. I happen to believe that both are useful, for the one calls attention to the evils of war, oppression, and injustice and says ‘NO!’ while the other calls attention to the new and better ways of living together on this planet that would make those systems obsolete, and says ‘YES!’
…Let this be a call out, then, for those of us in the various streams of ‘the peace community/peace movement’ to reach out to each other, find greater common ground, and discover how we can build on our various strengths and shared goals to make this world a place where peace does indeed prevail, starting with (where else?) ourselves.
Louise Diamond, a global peace builder, offers consulting, training, books and other resources to individuals, organizations and communities seeking a more peaceful world. You can contact her at:
Louise Diamond 266 Moody Rd. Lincoln, VT 05443