I began this blog on August 6, 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima; three days later, Nagasaki. The only nation who has used the atomic bomb – twice! Today, no matter where we live, violence affects us; violence pervades our surroundings, between people, within countries and throughout our planet. From the threat of nuclear weapons escalation hovering over us, civil wars in Congo, El Salvador, countries in the Middle East to a four year old little girl in Cincinnati getting shot in the head by a drive by shooting, the spectrum of brutal acts spirals upward: Within the U.S. data and cell phones demonstrate police brutality is witnessed repeatedly against black males – the latest, again in Cincinnati, against an unarmed black man stopped for not having a front license plate and, ultimately, shot in the head. Violence against women manifests itself in domestic violence, human trafficking, and rape along with myriad ways of demeaning women’s value.
In the past and presently I frequently reflect on the flip side of the above and recount for myself all the people and organizations I know who are involved in stemming the tide; who have their finger in the dike. I think of a world where they wouldn’t be present and active and am so grateful they exist – faith filled people and groups who believe there is a better way and that way comes closer as they continue the struggle. For it is in the struggle that transformation of ourselves and others are transformed. For Christian believers we name this reality ‘the people of God’, which is an all inclusive description. At its best this people is quite a diverse group that strives for dialogue, inclusivity and collaboration rather than armed combat, competitive debate and exclusivity. I invite you to identify persons and groups with whom you are involved.
Which approach have you tried? In your experience which have you found to be more effective? Which one is about the common good? Do you believe the collaborative option is really viable? Think of persons/groups that have tried it and been successful! Individuals and organizations CAN and DO make a difference! Ask yourself: Where do I stand? With whom do I stand? Who stands with me? Solidarity is a remarkable transformative experience! Try it, you’ll like it!
AND IT HELPS SHIFT THE PARADIGM!