Give Peace a Year – Meeting sixteen




With the aim of peace, everywhere, starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts.


Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 6th October


1.Violence as entertainment.

Given our discussions here, I’ve been noticing more where there’s violence around me.

This time it’s been violence in films and tv programmes – as entertainment!

Smashing up cars and guns everywhere It’s become totally normal to see this and we’re just accepting it as normal. And more than that, enjoying the violence as entertainment.

Violence for fun!

I’ve recently seen the army at school fairs and town ‘fun’ days inviting young children to handle guns and point them at targets as part of a fun day out.

How has this come to be?  That having guns, killing people or smashing up cars has become a thing that is done for fun?



We’re all human – film helping us to see we’re the same

One film, The Soloist, lets us get to know, as a person, one particular homeless man, as he is spotted playing a violin, coaxing music from its remaining strings.

Being able to see as human, to be helped to see past the outer, see past the circumstances to the human qualities and gifts.

To see the way in which he has qualities, to see how he’s a person, to see what about him that I recognise.

Might that play a part in helping us extend compassion to those that we don’t know… to ‘the other’.


Catherine Henderson of Herts Welcomes Syrian Families, (as well as other humanitarian groups) has been concerned, and raising awareness about the plight of refugees.

There is much concern about the bulldozing of the site at Calais and what will happen to the estimated 1000, many unaccompanied, children there. Last time the site was bulldozed, hundreds of children just disappeared.

The question of whether we care, what blocks a compassionate response, and to what extent our care or lack of it is linked to the extent to which we feel connected to or the same as refugees.

Whether coming to know someone, to see how we are the same, could be instrumental in helping the situation. Whenever we hear from an individual person and that their job in Syria was a cameraman, or a tailor… hearing things that have us come to know them a little…

Might that, education, telling human stories be a help?


Where are the men?

This meeting, the get together in Welwyn Garden City, as well this Give Peace a Year meetings have been taking place regularly, with an active, engaged, lively and fiercely interested audience. Wonderful. And it’s an audience of entirely women.

We were curious…  why no interest from men?




Season of stunning colours outside

Season of curling up with books inside.

Both of which, for me, are an absolute delight.


When I was in primary school, in Scotland, way back when…

Our teacher read to us, for a whole afternoon, every week.

We’d rest our chins on our hands on the desk in front of us and listen to him read to us. Wow… what a gift… we had no idea how much of a gift that was.

We didn’t then have to write an essay about it, or a critical review or analysis of the style… nothing required of us.

It was just for the pleasure of it.

I particularly remember The Hobbit.

Curling up with a book, just for the pleasure of it.

WHAT a joy.

Thank you Scottish 60’s education system that allowed that.


Next in person meeting

Thursday 20th October, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.



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