We lay flowers and plant flags on their graves to remember... and to hope that these tragedies will not occur again.
This Memorial Day, let's do more than honor those who have fallen.
Let's make today the day that we stand up and say “War is still too frequent” and work for a world where there are less combat veterans and less combat casualties because there is less combat.
It’s time to make a change. We can no longer focus on whether we are justified in putting boots on the ground or sending drones into the air. When violent events have gone that far, we have already lost. Instead, let us focus on how we can promote a more just and peaceable society where every nation and every people group flourishes together.
It begins in peacetime, with how we treat our own poor, with how just our own society is, with who we vote for in the next election. It begins with our international relations, with our foreign aid. We must keep our promises, we must never exploit the disadvantaged, we must encourage healthy sustainable growth, we must build trust and use our power to heal. A rising tide raises all ships: the way forward is not found in policies isolationism, tariffs and closed borders. To make the world a better place for ourselves, we must make it better for others.
The late Dr. Glen Stassen, my former ethics professor, coined the term “Just Peacemaking” to describe this way of acting in the world. He learned nonviolence marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who learned it from Gandhi… whose nonviolent revolution in India was based on the Sermon on the Mount.
These are the ten practices of Just Peacemaking, as taken from Sojo.net:
- 1. Support nonviolent direct action.
- 2. Take independent initiatives to reduce threat.
- 3. Use cooperative conflict resolution.
- 4. Acknowledge responsibility for conflict and injustice and seek repentance and forgiveness.
- 5. Advance democracy, human rights, and religious liberty.
- 6. Foster just and sustainable economic development.
- 7. Work with emerging cooperative forces in the international system.
- 8. Strengthen the United Nations and international efforts for cooperation and human rights.
- 9. Reduce offensive weapons and weapons trade.
- 10. Encourage grassroots peacemaking groups and voluntary associations.
- See more at: https://sojo.net/magazine/january-2005/ten-practices-just-peacemaking#sthash.HNmeioOp.dpuf