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the spectrum of peace

This post from earlier this year was recently reposted on a UU blog that I follow.  As I ponder the recent beating death of Derrion Albert, this lesson learned made my heart ache even more.

Are we teaching our children to practice non-violence? Are we teaching them to wage peace? To love their neighbors as themselves? Are we even teaching them that even though they may have to finish a fight, they should never, ever start it? Are we setting this example for them with our actions AND our words? Or are we all just too deeply intenched in our culture of violence

In the 1960s, my father’s heroes and mine included two men. One said, “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. ”

The other said, “I don’t call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.”

My dad thought Martin Luther King was one of the bravest men alive, but for pursuing justice, Dad preferred El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the former Malcolm X. When Mom taught me Jesus’s advice to turn the other cheek, Dad taught me Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code: “The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.” Dad believed that if someone hit you, you hit back. If you couldn’t win, you made losing so hard for your enemy that he would never want to win again.

read the rest at it’s all one thing: the spectrum of peace: what my father taught me

originally posted at paxpac


: the spectrum of peace: what my father taught me.

  1. October 3, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    I try to talk about resolving conflict and handling anger a lot with my kids. The weird thing is that no one ever had to do that with my husband or myself. We are not angry people. Even as a married couple, we rarely fight. Why are they struggling with this? Honestly, the first time I felt true anger in my life was after I had kids and a toddler did something horrible, like bite me. LOL. I wrote a blog about a class my daughter has to take beause she got into a fight at school. The teacher was talking about how parents can resolve conflicts with your kids. They were to fight fair and negotiate. We do not fight with our children. They are not allowed to come at us screaming. We listen and make decisions. We are grown and know how to control difficult situations. So, that is their example. But, they still struggle with conflict resolution. Oy!

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