Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What if? Thoughts on the Newtown, CT massacre and peace

(El castellano sigue el inglés)
I mourn the deaths of the children and adults in Newtown, CT, killed in a Rambo-style massacre by an American. I mourn the deaths of children and adults everywhere who have been killed by weapons made in the United States, sold by the United States. I mourn the loss of dignity of people trying to make a living, and US culture offers them jobs as accessories to mass-murder -- working for defense contractors, the military, as a politician supporting war, or as an artist developing movies, video games, even novels, which teach and glorify mass-murder. I mourn being part of a culture which lives on the American continent only because our fore-fathers mass-murdered millions of indigenous people (including some of my native Algonquian relatives) and stole the land.

To end the cycle of violence that is systemic in US society, what would happen if the government sets an example by withdrawing the military from everywhere except military bases in the 50 states and stops making and selling weapons for export? What if US tax dollars, instead of paying for mass-murder, were used for humanitarian projects such as housing, education, health, community gardens, parks, arts and music?

As Gandhi and other pacifists have demonstrated throughout history, we can resolve conflicts in other ways, without violence. I mourn. And I have hope -- for any problem created by humans, can be solved by humans.

There are myriads of paths of learning how to live without violence. One path is improving communication skills and the art of dialog. Compassionate communication, also known as "nonviolent communication," is a skill we can learn through books and classes and practice. Lots of practice. It involves expressing our observations, feelings, needs and requests in respectful ways, and to learn how to better listen with empathy.

US former president Jimmy Carter is an expert mediator of international conflicts. In a talk he gave at Royce Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles, he said that all international conflicts are based on the same issues as any disagreement in a family. The scale is the only difference. What if the family is filled with domestic abuse, as our entire society seems to be?
Global domestic abuse? There are excellent books and programs for victims of abuse (everyone in the world), as well as programs for the abusers to learn how to change.

The key is to self-reflect, with the help of a skilled guide, on ones own beliefs, and to embrace other beliefs that are more respectful of life. Like Nichiren Daishonin wrote many centuries ago, "You must quickly reform the tenets you hold in your heart."

Nothing is impossible.

Article first published as What if? Thoughts on the Newton, CT Massacre and Peace on Blogcritics.

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Yo duelo la muerte de los niños y adultos en Newtown, CT, muerto en una masacre al estilo Rambo por un estadounidense. Yo duelo la muerte de niños y adultos de todo el mundo que han sido asesinados por armas fabricadas en Estados Unidos, que se vende por los Estados Unidos. Yo duelo la pérdida de la dignidad de las personas que tratan de ganarse la vida y cultura de los EE.UU. les ofrece puestos de trabajo como cómplices de asesinato masivo - que trabajan para los contratistas de defensa, las fuerzas armadas, como una guerra político de apoyo, o como un artista en desarrollo películas, video juegos, incluso novelas, que enseñan y glorificar el asesinato masivo. Yo duelo ser parte de una cultura que se vive en el continente americano sólo porque nuestros antepasados asesinaron en masa millones de personas indígenas (entre ellos algunos de mis parientes nativos algonquinos) y robaron la tierra.

Para poner fin al ciclo de violencia que es sistémica en la sociedad estadounidense, ¿qué pasaría si el gobierno pone el ejemplo al retirar a los militares de todas partes, excepto las bases militares en los 50 estados, y deja de producir y vender y exportar armas ? ¿Qué pasaría si los impuestos, en lugar de pagar por el asesinato masivo de guerra, se utilizaron para proyectos humanitarios, como la vivienda, la educación, la salud, jardines comunitarios, parques, artes y música?

Como Gandhi y otros pacifistas han demostrado a lo largo de la historia, podemos resolver los conflictos de otra manera, sin violencia. Yo duelo. Y yo tengo la esperanza - que cualquier problema creado por los seres humanos, puede ser resuelto por los humanos.

Hay una infinidad de rutas de aprender a vivir sin violencia. Un camino es mejorar las habilidades de comunicación y el arte del diálogo. Comunicación compasiva, también conocido como "comunicación no violenta", es una habilidad que se puede aprender a través de libros y las clases y la práctica. Un montón de práctica. Se trata de expresar nuestras observaciones, sentimientos, necesidades y demandas de manera respetuosa, y aprender a escuchar mejor con empatía.

El ex presidente estadounidense Jimmy Carter es un mediador experto de los conflictos internacionales. En una charla que el dio en el Royce Hall de la Universidad de California, Los Angeles, dijo que todos los conflictos internacionales se basan en los mismos problemas que cualquier desacuerdo en la familia. La escala es la única diferencia. ¿Y si la familia está llena de violencia doméstica, como toda de nuestra sociedad también parece ser? ¿Es abuso doméstico Global?

Hay excelentes libros y programas para las víctimas de abuso (todo el mundo), así como programas para los abusadores para aprender a cambiar.

La clave es la auto-reflexión, con la ayuda de un guía experto, en las propias creencias, y abrazar otras creencias que son más respetuosos de la vida. Al igual que Nichiren Daishonin escribió hace muchos siglos, "Usted debe reformar rápidamente los principios que tienen en su corazón."

Nada es imposible.

4 comments:

  1. One reader emailed me this comment, "Yes! Thank you for putting the violence into context."

    Thank you, Amy!

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  2. I think I fixed the comment thing, so you can post your comments here. I look forward to hearing what you think about this blog.
    Creo que he reparado el mecanismo para comentarios. Puedes escribir tus comentarios aca. Estoy esperando leer lo que piensas de este blog.

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  3. I so love your article on this very important issue Lynette:) I also believe that violence can be prevented; self regulation is an inherent skill that adults can help children establish during the formative years birth-3. Unfortunately; people don't invest in this area, to raise their kids. Instead, they give kids stuff, to overcompensate for either not being there, or not knowing how to provide appropriate limits, consequently the current generations in this consumer/global society are the products of excess, they are the result of 'guilt based' parenting of the previous decades; and they are pissed off. Combined with the 'war' mentality societies of the time, which sell violent ideas for consumption; kids today are in trouble. I think people need to start making better choices; start leaving more responsibly, and less dependent on products to fill the voids in their lives.
    The adult world needs to snap out of it, and start empowering their kids through example; make lifestyle changes to lead dignified lives, that allow them to be a family above everything else.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I hope you will share this blog with your friends.

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