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Commentary :: DNC : Environment : Gender : GLBT/Queer : Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
01 Nov 2004
Modified: 08:44:12 PM
Red Sox vs the Yankees. Red States against Blue States. The anarchists against the police. Us against them. Is this the kind of world we want to live in?
Peace Begins With Me

I cried while reading the news about the police unintentionally killing an Emerson student during the Red Sox street celebrations. Some of my tears were for the young woman who lost her life, but most of my tears were because I fear that this is the kind of world that we seem to be heading toward. A world of anger, fear, hatred, and violence. We live in a world where the leaders of not only the Bush Administration, but leaders of supposed PEACE organizations regularly uses war cries such as "Bring' em on!" and "We're gonna smoke 'em out!". It's bad enough that the admitted war hawks promote aggression, but how can we liberals justify using the same aggressive, hate-filled tactics?

I regularly hear people who say they are "fighting for justice" use some of the very same language as the people they disagree with.

"It's us against them!"

Just like it's Boston against New York. Students against police. Liberals against republicans. You against me.

This is not the kind of world I want to live in. But, how do we change it?

We must, first and formost, stop treating people - other humans - as the enemy. Conservatives (and Democrats even) are people too. They may be confused, or they may have different priorities than we do, but they deserve the same rights to "life, liberty, and the persuuit of happiness" as Liberals do. When we treat others as "below us", we are bigots, no matter how honorable our mission is.

We may indeed have better answers to our society's ills than those we disagree with, but that certainly does not make us more worthy of human compassion. When we value our neighbors, not matter what they believe, we increase the compassion in our world. And isn't that our goal? To make the world a more compassionate place? When we invite them to our table, offer them our friendship, and listen to their hopes and fears honestly, then we break down the war, and open up the community to genuine trust.

We've all seen the stickers and t-shirts that proclaim, "Peace Begins With You". But how many people really understand what that means? Think about it. Can you really expect the rest of the world to promote peace and compassion if you yourself aren't committed to it? No one is perfect, but we will honestly never achieve our goals of a more peaceful planet if we don't begin with our own movements. Compassion doesn't mean complacency, though. We can never stop speaking up for what we believe, but we can stop accepting aggression and violence in the name of our mission. And we can eliminate our enemies by making them our friends. George W. Bush may be beyond our grasp, but our families, neighbors, and even some legislators are well within our reach.

If you want to change the world, invite the world into your home.

For inspiration, I offer a link to some ideas from Mohandas Gandhi...
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It is us against them. Get used to it.
01 Nov 2004
us: slaves.
them: masters.

one day:
no slaves/no masters = us
Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
01 Nov 2004
you may be a liberal, but the rest of us are not. Although your opinion is admirable, I dont think that peace and love can stop a war or replace a government. When you are fighting an enemy that does not value humanity (Bush Administration), then you can not fight with humanity. Republicans see compassion as weakness and they jump on Kerry for being a peace activist and liberal. If force is what they understand, then why try to change them with love? Osama said "leave us alone and we will leave you alone". Isnt that easy to understand? If we stop supporting Israel and stop abusing the Arab world, then the terror war would be over. That is a simple peace offering isnt it? If America cant accept peace, then why should it be offered?
Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
02 Nov 2004
To Anonymous,

You say that you don't think that peace and love can stop a war, but truthfully, it is the ONLY thing that can. You cannot fight fire with fire. It is the peaceful, refreshing water that works.

Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
02 Nov 2004
To Turil,
When in history has peace worked??? Humans are animals and violence is our nature. You can fight fire with water, but water kills the fire doesnt it?? Doesnt fire deserve the same rights that water has? Its sad but its reality, if the person you are fighting has a gun, what will stop him? a hug? Im not promoting violence, i wish the world was a peaceful place, but its not.
Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
02 Nov 2004
The only way that the world can be more peaceful is for people, me and you included, to act more peacefully. Water does not kill anyone, it puts out the fire (hatred and fear).

I want a world of joy, compassion, and peace. That's the wrold I'm working for. "Fighting" against anyone will not get me there. I have no enemies.

What does world that you want look like?

Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
02 Nov 2004
The ideal world I want is the same as yours, however unrealistic it is. There will always be anger and hatred and violence, that is human nature and it has to be accepted. I think it is unrealistic that all of the sudden the entire human race will just become peaceful and non violent. However, I think it is possible to change our governments and societies so that they dont start wars and mass killings of an un-natural scale. And it is possible to stop the hatred and anger that stems from the oppression of other races, religions, and classes. The way to achieve that is to remove those in control. Do you think it can be achieved through peaceful actions? Or do you think that the realistic way is "Off with their heads" or throw them in jail?
Re: Us aganst them? Is this the world we want?
03 Nov 2004
If you look at the most peaceful societies in the world (looking a the ones with the lowest crime rate, is one way to do it, but not the only indicator of a peaceful citizenry), you'll find that their governments and citizens in general make it a priority to act compassionately. It is a top priority for them to provide healthy food, clean water, decent health care, housing, and some sense of security.

This is the secret to a successful society:
Ensure that everyone has their basic needs met, both physically and psychologically.

No, you'll never achieve perfect peace, but if you treat everyone with respect, compassion, and make it a priority to meet their needs, you'll have a world that will shed hate and violence like water off a duck's back. On the other hand, treating people disrespectfully, or being outright violent or hateful towards people will only make you more enemies.