Give Peace a Year posts are the notes from in person meetings aiming to transform the surprising levels of violence I found had crept into my everyday suburban life. I invited people to join me to Give Peace a Year. We started in February 2016 and ran for 3 years. Many surprising transformations to our stress levels, health and relationships were had. You can read the whole story of how it all began with my hair conditioner here.
The first meeting
In person group – Thursday 11th February 2016
Online group starts today – details at the end of these examples from the in person group.
Where there is violence in the language we consume, translating it to how we would like it to be.
A selection of our examples
1. Political party members saying they want to ‘smash the ……….’ (other party)
New people are joining the party looking for new politics but where the language used is still old politics.
Would like the energy to go into the issues and causes for society not into fighting the other party/ies.
Would like the language to be highlighting the issues and what could be done about them.
2. Health care – talk of fighting disease
I don’t really want to be imagining my body as a battle ground or, in doing so, to generate extra tension that further aggravates the health condition.
Often what is happening is a natural thing that would be happening anyway and fighting the process isn’t what is needed.
Instead what may be needed could be to have more or less of a process or substance.
Instead to say reduce or increase the levels, to heal, to rebalance.
And to notice what that does to your physical and emotional response when those are the words used.
3. Gender – womens bodies
“Look at the tits on that.”
People objected to the word tits in that statement.
And didn’t object to the woman being called ‘that’.
Would like language that doesn’t objectify any person.
– a desire for more co-operative rather than combative ways of living
5. Protest – campaign language
One campaign group called for support to ‘take down google’
I have no desire to take anyone down.
Would like them to pay their taxes.
Would like a fairer distribution of wealth and more equality of contributions.
6. Radio station
Setting up for a phone in programme – ‘tell us what made you miserable in mid life and how you fought back’
I’d like to view neither aging nor something you feel miserable about as things to be fought.
Instead I’d like to be focused on embracing life
Instead asking “ how are you embracing midlife, and how are you handling the features that you’re finding less than desirable’ (not quite there : ) but better)
And for balance
so that we see the peace that is there all along,
Following asylum seeker arrests over sexual assault complaints in Cologne,
Refugee men handed flowers to German women in gestures of peace
German women handed flowers to men in a recprocal gesture.