communicating with one another
by Aggie Perilli
While gun control may treat the symptoms of violence, only a fearless unbridled passion for peace will eliminate violence at its root cause. The school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, is the latest horror to engage and unify the public around strengthened gun regulations. Following are other New Year’s resolutions that would transform violence into an unbridled passion for peace, from the inside out and for the long term.
- Teach your children when it’s essential to say “no.” Support successful child abuse prevention programs, such as Safe and Sure by Camp Fire. Safe and Sure teaches preschool and kindergarten students how to thwart unwanted social pressure, especially related to drugs and sexual abuse.
- Insist that entertainers, the media, and all industries champion peacemaking as what is safe and sexy for us all. The shock value of brutality is no substitute for empathy and wit. When did modern society become like the ancient Romans, who went to The Colosseum and watched the killing of untried citizens and others for entertainment?
- Take loving care of yourself and others. Balance time spent on electronics and your career with exercise and social activities, preferably outdoors. Spend quality time in nature. Play without purpose. Read. Listen to music. Enjoy the creative arts.
- Be authentic and proactive. Apply your passions and abilities to romance a world of peace, however vehemently some might disapprove. Throughout the process, be as forgivingly tolerant and patient with others as you’d like others to be with you. Maintain mutual boundaries and be firm but kind.
- Ignore anyone who attempts to scapegoat or attack others, and join or advance leaders who are informed and inclusive. A 2011 United States survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University found viewers of ideological news programs the least informed citizens, while listeners of National Public Radio and viewers of Sunday morning talk shows were the most informed––followed by viewers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
- Reinforce laws against hate speech and inciting violence. Ignore anyone who attempts to glorify or trivialize what President Dwight Eisenhower called “the horror and lingering sadness of war.” Believe in love, and live the golden rule. Treat yourself as kindly as others and all beings as kindly as yourself.
- Reinforce regulations that ensure public health and safety. Allowing or turning a blind eye to health and safety compromises across virtually all industries is resulting in global warming, and earlier and more frequent cases of cancer and debilitating illnesses, especially among children.
- Join or advance leaders who are honest and trustworthy. Develop faithfully inclusive processes that the people affected agree are for the common good. In an interview with The New York Times interview, Israeli President Shimon Peres said, ”The man with a hammer thinks every problem is a nail. Problems are not nails. When there is good will, they can all be overcome.”
- Accelerate disarmament from illegal weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and immediately halt human rights violations and other war crimes. This includes the targeting of untried citizens for assassination or indefinite detention; the use of WMD bombs or ammunitions made with depleted uranium; and the wiretapping or mining of electronics.
- Stop illegal drone and ground attacks. “After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes in Afghanistan last year, President Hamid Karzai demanded that such attacks end, but they have continued in areas of Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, which are not in any war zone,” wrote former President Jimmy Carter in a New York Times op-ed piece. “We don’t know how many innocent civilians have been killed in attacks…that would have been unthinkable in previous times.”
- Redirect the trillions of dollars that the United States, alone, is spending on unwinnable wars to peacemaking–and the restoration of the infrastructures, resources, and livelihoods devastated by violence. Where you live, shift from calamitous nuclear power and fossil fuels to 100% green energy best suited to your climate and resources, as in Burlington, Vermont, and elsewhere. Research and ensure universally safe and clean drinking water; affordable education and healthcare for all; voluntary independently tested medicines and vaccines; equal taxation; and one person, one vote. Without delay, insist on regenerative agriculture and landscaping; the humane treatment of animals; and 100% organic, GMO- and chemical-free food, clothing, and products, and processes. Transform the violence and desperation that can feed violence into empathetic communication and partnerships that enrich our world community.
“The soldiers who are dead and gone…” sang Curtis Mayfield in the 70s. “If only we could bring back one, he’d say that ‘we’ve got to have peace to keep the world alive.’” Is world peace impossible? Throughout his 89 years on earth, Peres said he has seen faith triumph more often than cynicism or skepticism. For romancing a world of peace, both Peres and Jimmy Carter embody what is truly sexy. Realize and inspire the only true and enduring power of peace and love.
What New Year’s resolutions are you implementing to romance a world of peace?
Safe and Sure
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