Give Peace a Year – Meeting Two

The people places and things that change our state by existing, by being and sometimes doing.

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 two

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

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

 

Examples up for transformation from the 2nd meeting

Starting first with what’s heartwarming because it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy!

The heartwarming, smile inducing, the sublime, producers of the unstoppable moan of pleasure and appreciation.
The people places and things that change our state by existing, by being and sometimes doing.

Those that make it possible, once we are filled with beauty, love, appreciation, with moaning sighs of pleasure, to also be with that which jars, and chips away at us, which irritates and slowly disfigures as we tense imperceptibly in protective reaction.
And not be cowed.

Beauty

Surprised every year, as delighted every year as if seeing them bloom for the first time…
their beauty has the power to stop me in my tracks, stunned, at a loss for words with only my adoring gaze and deep sigh to offer in thanks
Magnolias!
Love. magnolias.

Connection

Deciding to participate in a group, to assist, and finding unexpected connection there, finding others open, honest and willing to be vulnerable.

Then where there is violence in the language we consume, or deeds we’re subject to
Our examples

1. Politics as a fight.

Jeremy Hunt taking up the fight and imposing a contract on junior doctors

Would like politicians and the government to have as their aim to resolve issues, not to win a fight
Not to fight where there is a winner and a loser but to aim to resolve where there is an intent to understand and meet the needs of all concerned.

Very much liking Jeremy Corbyn’s new politics.

2. Domination of a public space

A group of middle aged men coming out of a pub, walking side by side, spanning the pavement with arms out wide of their bodies leaving no room on the pavement for a woman and a man in a wheelchair. Didn’t feel frightened, did feel very annoyed and found there were many assumptions about them churning around contributing to an ill feeling brewing.

Would like consideration and moving over to allow the space to be used by all at the same time without needing to wait to one side

Realise what could have done would be to talk to them, to say good evening gentlemen, are you having a good night out tonight?
Can imagine that changing things completely.

3. Fighting food waste

“We want EU wide law banning supermarket food waste. The battle is only just beginning. We now have to fight food waste in restaurants, bakeries, school and company canteens”.

The impact I see that framing things as a fight has on me is to build, just a little each time, to physical tension in my stomach, neck and lower back.

I do want to see food waste reduced, I would like to see more people being able to eat and to see a time when no-one would go hungry.

Would like to see that rather than framing it as a fight, to instead describe the benefits that could be possible if this were to happen, encouraging participation in such a scheme.

A possible translation…. The work has begun on food waste and we want to see the ban on waste extended to restaurants, bakeries etc.
If this were achieved, we estimate that 80 % (fictional figure for illustration) of those currently in food poverty, 100% of those children arriving at school without having eaten breakfast could be fed.

Having become aware of it, what to do…
Options
Influence the mainstream media – feels too big and my contacts and influential reach small
This is maybe not mine to influence, instead just to keep the personal impact low
I could avoid mainstream media and not read the papers.
I do however want to be know what’s happening, and don’t want to ignore or be blind to issues affecting people and planet.
I can do that by just scanning the headlines of an online newspaper. No newspapers or tv or radio news.

Focus –

Still on words, the language we consume and adding the language we use to talk to others or ourselves.

Examples of violence in the language we are surrounded by and consume which we would like to be otherwise.

Bring

– examples of violent language
– the translation if you already know how you’d like it to be
-examples of the heartwarming, so as to remember that love and peace are there in the world

Bring the heartwarming in whatever balance is good for your heart. Your feel fine balance might be one heartwarming example for ten violent examples, you might need ten heartwarming ones for every one violent one, or in equal measure… adjust according to your heart’s needs. I think that my heart has grown very heavy looking at the state of the world this past few years, I may need to bring many more heartwarming examples for some time to rebalance my nervous system and lift my heart again.

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