In the peace movement there is a lot of anger, frustration, and misunderstanding. The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love letter. We need to learn to write a letter to the Congress or to the President of the United States that they will want to read, and not just throw away. The way you speak, the kind of understanding, the kind of language you use should not turn people off. The President is a person like any of us.
Can the peace movement talk in loving speech, showing the way for peace? I think that will depend on whether the people in the peace movement can be peace. Because without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace. If we cannot smile, we cannot help other people to smile. If we are not peaceful, then we cannot contribute to the peace movement.
Thich Nhat Hanh
This morning, after being sucked into the war coverage despite myself, I went into my library in search of … what? Context? A reminder, as Wallace Shawn said in this essay , that since we are each capable of violence and anger, it’s our responsibility to turn to the better angels in order to resist succumbing to inner violence. So I pulled Being Peace off my bookshelf, and headed out to the front porch for a little downtime. A cup of tea. The puppy on my lap (he’s nearly too big), and the words written by this gentle man who has seen so much violence and terror. The world started to feel like it was on its axis once more. A reminder that even small efforts count. A reminder that calling Ari Fleisher a dickwad is not right speech, and doesn’t help the cause. Sigh.