I am not a Pacifist

I am a Peace Warrior

During a conversation recently regarding NATO’s intervention on the Russian border, I was asked what would it take for me to want to stop Putin’s aggression; I took time to think about that.

I have to make things personal, I have to think about who I am and what I know about myself, and I had to admit that if I were accosted by someone, I would fight to the death if it meant saving my life or someone I loved. And then I had to think more about this honest revelation. Here is what I know:

Every day my peace is being assaulted by ignorance. Every day what I know is possible is being corrupted and attacked by ignorance and greed. Every day there are provocateurs infiltrating my humanity demanding my allegiance, my integrity and every bit of my worth to stand up for inhuman acts perpetrated by the very authorities deemed to be for my protection.

This is not new. I have lived through the lies that brought us Vietnam, through the lies that destroyed Iraq, and have witnessed our invasion and co-conspiring against six additional sovereign nations in the last few years. Now I have the first hand experience of militarized police attacking unarmed citizens at Standing Rock, N. D.

And we are about to do it again.

So when I am asked, what would I do to stop Putin, I can only answer this: I will do everything within my power to help people realize there is no need for war. That the military might is a corrupt invention of power and greed and that it has outlived its course in human history.

I may not succeed.

But I will not surrender my understanding of peace to anyone. I may not succeed in convincing anyone. But I will not compromise my humanity.

I may not succeed in my insistence that fear and hatred can be replaced by love and kindness. But you can count on this: I will keep putting my words, actions and prayers towards that end.

Why? Because any thing less is absolute folly.

Let us not leave more regret to those who will come after us. Let us for once, stand up in one voice and declare, “Enough.”

Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What is peace worth to me”? And when you hear the cry of your soul saying, “It is everything”, then I say give yourself to that, fight for that. It is time we acknowledge that what is crying to be heard within us cries as well in every beating heart. It is time for Peace Warriors to rise.

Arguments for and against the costs of war will rage on, or we will, each one of us, end the war within our own being with one courageous and decisive blow, “I stand for peace.”


photo compliments of Lauren West



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