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Communicating for Peace and Nonviolence

Posted by Erin Bechtol

by Aggie Perilli // Reposted with permission from

Since December 14, 2012, when 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the vast majority of Americans have been calling for gun control. Still without sensible regulations, at least 1,813 more people in the US have been killed and 6,434 wounded in no less than 1,601 mass shootings to date. In addition to passing urgently needed gun regulations, following are foolproof solutions that would transform violence into peace from the inside out, and for the long term. Included are links to petitions you can sign.

• Ignore scapegoating and personal attacks, and independently research the inclusive, unifying truth of oneness. A 2011 United States survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University found viewers of ideological news programs the US’s least informed citizens, and listeners of National Public Radio and viewers of Sunday morning talk shows, the most informed.

• Reinforce laws against hate speech and inciting violence. Ignore and replace spokespeople who trivialize or romanticize what President Dwight Eisenhower called “the horror and lingering sadness of war.” Promote empathetic communication and partnerships, and live the golden rule. Treat yourself as kindly as others, and all beings as kindly as yourself.

• Strengthen regulations that ensure health and safety. Compromises to health and safety in virtually every industry are exacerbating global warming, and leading to earlier and more frequent cases of cancer and other deadly and debilitating illnesses, especially among children.

• Balance time spent on electronics and work with physical and social activities, preferably outdoors. Spend quality time in nature. Play without purpose. Read. Listen to music. Engage in the creative arts.

• Join or advance honest leaders who are informed and inclusive. Develop nonpartisan solutions that people affected agree are for the common good.In an interview with The New York Times, Israeli President Shimon Peres said, ”The man with a hammer thinks every problem is a nail. Problems are not nails. When there is good will, they can all be overcome.”

• Accelerate disarmament from illegal weapons of mass destruction, and urgently halt human rights violations and war crimes. This includes the targeting of overlooked or untried citizens for assassination or indefinite detention; the use of bombs and ammunitions made with depleted uranium; and the wiretapping or mining of electronics.

• Stop illegal drone and ground attacks. Wrote former President Jimmy Carter in a 2012 New York Times op-ed article, “After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes in Afghanistan last year, President Hamid Karzai demanded such attacks end, but they have continued in areas of Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, which are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many innocent civilians have been killed in attacks . . . that would have been unthinkable in previous times.” Newsweek reported in August 2017 that more civilians have been unlawfully killed during President Donald Trump’s first seven months in office, than the many killed during the three years President Barack Obama fought against the Islamic State militant group ISIS!

• Redirect the trillions of dollars the United States, alone, has lost on causing or spreading unwinnable wars to peacemaking and the restoration of infrastructures, resources, and livelihoods devastated by violence. Where you live, shift from calamitous nuclear power and fossil fuels to 100% clean energy suited to your climate and resources as in Burlington, Vermont and elsewhere. Research and ensure universally safe and clean drinking wateraffordable education and healthcare for all; voluntary and independently tested and approved medicines and vaccinesequal pay and taxation; and the one person, one vote. Without delay, shift to regenerative organic agricultureand landscaping; the humane treatment of animals; and chemical- and GMO-free food, clothing, and industrial practices. Transform the violence and desperation that feed violence into meaningful communications and partnerships that enrich our world community.

• Insist that the media, entertainers, and public figures champion peacemaking as what is truly safe and sexy. The shock value of brutality is no substitute for empathetic communication and wit. When did modern society become like the ancient Romans who went to The Colosseum and watched killing for entertainment?

• Be authentic and proactive. Apply your passions and abilities to romance a world of peace, however menacingly some might disapprove. Create visionary and inspiring communications, and be as forgivingly patient and tolerant of others as you’d like others to be with you. Maintain mutual boundaries and be firm but kind.

“The soldiers who are dead and gone…” sang Curtis Mayfield in the 70s. “If only we could bring back one, he’d say that ‘we’ve got to have peace to keep the world alive.’” Is world peace impossible? At 89 years old, Peres said he had seen faith triumph more often than cynicism or skepticism. Realize the only real and lasting power of empathetic communication and partnerships.

Read more of Aggie Perilli’s writings on her blog here.

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