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 physical and emotional violence into peace, from the inside out and for the long term.
- Teach your children when it’s appropriate and, indeed, 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 pressure, especially related to sexual abuse.
- Insist that entertainers, the media, and all industries champion peacemaking as what is truly safe and sexy. The shock value of violence is no substitute for creative warmth and wit. When did we become like the ancient Romans, who went to The Colosseum and watched killing for entertainment?
- Take excellent care of yourself. Balance time spent on electronics and work with exercise and social activities, preferably outdoors. Spend quality time in nature. Play without purpose. Read. Listen to music. Enjoy the creative arts.
- Be true to yourself and others. 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 would 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 survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University found viewers of ideological news programs the least informed citizens, and listeners of National Public Radio and viewers of Sunday morning talk shows 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 and 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.
- Vote or petition to reinforce regulations that ensure public health and safety. Denying or turning a blind eye to value compromises and corruption across industries is resulting in earlier and more frequent cases of cancer and multiple illnesses, especially among children.
- Join or advance leaders who insist on openness and honesty in government and industry, and who end and prevent conflicts of interest. Develop playfully 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 WMDs, and immediately halt human rights violations and other war crimes that include the targeting of untried citizens for assassination or indefinite detention; the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that include 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 considered unthinkable in previous times.”
- Redirect the trillions of dollars that the United States, alone, is spending on unwinnable suicidal wars to peacemaking, and the restoration of the infrastructures, resources, and livelihoods destroyed by violence. Without delay, assure an urgent shift from calamitous nuclear power and fossil fuels to green energy best suited to your climate and resources, as in Burlington, Vermont, and elsewhere. Research and ensure universally safe and clean drinking water; independently tested voluntary medicines and vaccines; economic equality and social justice; and quality education and healthcare for all. Insist on regenerative agriculture and landscaping; the humane treatment of animals; and 100% organic or GMO- and chemical-free food, clothing, and products and processes today. Transform the violence and desperation that can feed violence into empathetic #CommunicationAndPartnerships 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. Realize and inspire the only true and enduring power of peace or oneness and love.
What New Year’s resolutions are you implementing to romance a world of peace?
Safe and Sure
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