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Responding Peacefully to Violence

They were humiliated and mistreated, and they couldn’t take it anymore. So they took a stand. They went into extensive training for the fight. They knew it would be hard and long. They had to be mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared. When the day of confrontation arrived, every hour of training was worth it. Although they were shouted at, pushed, spat upon, and beaten, they did not fight back with angry words or fists, but with love. They won, peacefully.

50 years later: The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Divine providence brought me to Atlanta, Georgia today, April 4, 2018, exactly 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was born, raised and buried in Atlanta, although he became a civil rights activist in Montgomery, Alabama. I read his book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, in preparation for this trip. It describes the formation and application of his nonviolent resistance philosophy in the civil rights movement’s first major action, the Montgomery bus boycott demanding desegregation of public transportation.

Mother of a Columbine school shooter analyses the cause (video)

Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the youth who committed murder/suicide in Cobumbine on April 20, 1999. In this transparent reflection, Sue shares, "It was appallingly easy for a 17-year-old boy to buy guns both legally and illegally without my permission or knowledge and somehow, 17 years and many school shootings later, it is still appallingly easy.”

Storytelling transforms violence into hope in Chicago

I love spending Saturday mornings with a cup of tea listening to the radio. That's how I heard an excellent program on CBC called Day 6 recently. In 30 minutes it covered diverse aspects of peace, from a journalist sharing how to distill the real versus propoganda in the siege of Aleppo, to a mother leaving a gang to give her unborn child a better life, to ways Chicago mirrors a war zone, with over 4,000 gunshot wounds resulting in over 700 deaths in 2016 alone.

Peace in Politics

I love the writings of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who lived in America during the post-nuclear cold war. He wrote prolifically on topics including personal sanctity, nature’s praise of God (of which humans contribute the most conscious, but no means solo, voices), and the responsibility of all people of peace, and faith, to protect the earth from war.

 

Peace in Politics

I love the writings of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who lived in America during the post-nuclear cold war. He wrote prolifically on topics including personal sanctity, nature’s praise of God (of which humans contribute the most conscious, but no means solo, voices), and the responsibility of all people of peace, and faith, to protect the earth from war.

 

"Will you marry me?" Something wrong, and right, in prison communications

I’ve been involved in communications for development for many years, and have heard many inspiring stories, but so far, this one has touched me most. I was listening to Podcast Playlist on CBC Radio, a weekly show that curates great podcasts from everywhere, and they were playing a podcast about the WMMT radio station in Appalachia, USA.

It all started with a jazz station that evolved into a hip hop show. As it was unusual for the region, a listener sent a letter of appreciation to the DJ. It was from an inmate in prison.

How do you lose "three layers of tension"?

I work with a global team of colleagues at World Vision International. One of them is John Locke from California. Like many of our staff, John works with people from around the world, often spanning 12 hour time zones in long days of meetings and deadlines. To destress after a busy day, he goes to the martial arts studio to exercise body and mind. John attributes meditation for reducing "three layers of tension."

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