Thursday, December 24, 2009
There's been a lot of discussion on Brad Warner's blog about war and peace since he made some comments suggesting war is a solution that "works" in the world sometimes. His latest post, which has nothing to do with war, has broken out in another war/peace debate. I've grown tired of the myriad of defenses of war, as well as the "let's all just get along" kind of counter arguments. I'd rather do my best to embody non-violence in the world, and let the chips fall as they will.
In response to all the banter, and a few people asking what to do about war, I wrote the following list, impromptu, of possible peaceful actions. Please feel free to add more, or disagree, or whatever. Peace to you all this holiday season.
1. Be kind to a stranger. Many strangers.
2. Stop watching hours of TV and believing the stories about our supposed "enemies" coming to get "us."
3. Do Metta meditation for yourself, your friends and family, the community, nation and world.
4. Get out in your community, volunteer, help build organizations that address systemic poverty, racism, classism, and all the other isms that are destroying lives and leading to wars.
5. To those who think state-sanctioned warfare (very different from an individual defending himself/herself) is somehow necessary, admit to yourself that you might be wrong.
6. To those who are pacifists, or non-violent actionists, remember that brow beating and inflamed arguing that condemns others is also a form a violence.
7. Raise your children in non-violent ways, and teach them how to solve conflicts without violence.
8. Stop defending the past.
9. Go out of your way to read about people and groups doing peace-promoting actions.
10. Join those groups, or talk to those people, and learn what they're doing and how it might be effective.
11. Stop using the sutras, the Bible, the Koran, or any other spiritual text to defend warfare.
12. Learn all you can from veterans of war. Even if you disagree with their views of it, you can learn a lot about what happens to people in actual combat.
13. Stop believing in enemies coming to get you, even if there might be people who want to kill people like you.
14. Use your imagination to see a world without war, and how we might get there, knowing it's not going to happen anytime soon. (i.e. put that vow to liberate all beings into action in your mind first, and then work from what vision comes, letting go of all possibility of fruition.)
15. Stop thinking you have all the answers, and that nothing will ever change.
16. Do your best, but don't assume that anything you do will ultimately help.
17. Love the one(s) your with. Right now.
18. Use civil disobedience, wisely.
19. Don't assume that any vision you'll ever have of a peaceful world is what it is. Visions, like teachings, are only pointers.
20. Disagree with others passionately, but kindly.
Posted by Nathan at 11:18 AM