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.
Meeting number ten
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.
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 30th June
1.Post referendum racist hate crime
Shops burned down, people being asked to ‘go home’, being asked loudly to ‘get off the tram’.
Wanting to find a response should we encounter it in person.
A response that isn’t stand by and do nothing
and that doesn’t appear to condone it
but that also doesn’t fuel the fire
offers a hand of support
and is safe for us too.
We spent a long time considering what the unmet needs of the person might be, but couldn’t be sure of any of the guesses. And pretty sure that there are layers and layers over decades all needing heard, understood and cared about. Political neglect of the needs of society now at boiling point.
A teacher of mine once, when encountering a man behaving aggressively towards someone else on a bus, asked the man whether when he felt that way, he would be willing instead, to come down the bus and talk to her, tell her what was going on for him.
Should courage and faith be with me in the moment, I suspect this is as close as I might get to a response that has a chance of being effective.
Outside of volatile incidents, when all is relatively calm, making a point of talking to people with different views to listen and really understand.
A warm welcome and wish for the wholehearted in everyone to be found and brought out into the world. Changing the quality of emotional climate for the good of all.
And here’s the poetic form that the wish took
Make the space, for the truth to safely surface
for what’s really wholehearted, to be safely felt
for what’s tight in there to unfurl a little
a little, a breath, a little more
it’s ok – it really is
what is there, in there, what is it that’s needed
it’s alright – truly it is
take care with it, take care of it
unfurling, the beauty, the space
it can be, you can be
breathing again, deeper now, feeling the expansion
of the space, where you can be
where you can unfurl and be seen, seen, by yourself at least
what wants to be, to be seen
what wants to be taken into the world
the world needs it
needs it especially now