“Peace is coming because the people are making peace.”
I saw this banner when I joined the antiwar movement as a Vietnam Veteran. It gave me hope. I wanted peace for the Americans I left behind, all civilians, our allies and those we fought.
Americans came home, the demonstrations stopped and the war continued through an embargo that punished all Vietnamese while we Vets sought peace in our souls.
America is polarized again. That banner haunts me. I am reminded of our goal to make peace. I also want social and economic justice. I want to keep my progressive values and feel a personal and civic responsibility to compromise, be a better listener within my family, among friends and as a citizen. Bishop Tutu spoke of humanity, Ubuntu, an African ideal that says I am a person because you are also a person. We occupy the same space with those we fight. Tutu sought truth and reconciliation.
I ask for your help. How do you balance values and politics with hope for peace with those you disagree with?
Here is my attempt. I developed a website and blog to facilitate dialogue. I share my values and perspectives and ask for responses. Please comment on the issues I raise whether you agree or disagree. I will listen. We can practice respectful communication about tough issues and show our leaders it is possible. Peace is possible if we find ways to live peacefully in our families and community. Then our leaders will join us.