Could there be a simple solution?

simple_solutionBY ELAINE KLAASSEN

At a service organized in Milwaukee by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, as reported by Annysa Johnson in the Milwakee Journal Sentinal (July 17), “worshippers sang ‘Donna Nobis Pacem,’ or ‘Grant us Peace’ in Latin, Hebrew and Arabic. And Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Unitarian clergy offered their prayers and insights into what it means to work for and live in peace.  ‘It was very touching and profound,’ said an emotional Mary Kelly of Milwaukee, who is Catholic. ‘There is just such a feeling of helplessness,’ around issues in the Middle East, she said.”
I try to find some ideas to get over feeling so horribly helpless. This is what I’ve found, but I don’t know if it helps: There is such a thing as justifiable and totally understandable anger. And you always teach your children they have every right to be mad, but they have to be careful what they do about it. (My friend John clarifies that violence has to do with feelings and nonviolence with thinking.) What the women of Liberia did to end their war was to sit down and refuse to move until both sides stopped fighting. They met with both sides. They just kept saying, “Stop fighting, stop killing, regardless of your reasons/feelings for doing it.”
When people suffering from oppression and injustice have a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King Jr. or a Nelson Mandela leading them, there is hope for justice/peace. Their anger and indignation is then validated and they can stop justifying violence and explaining why violence is the only way. It would be wonderful if those explanations could disappear in the Middle East. (Violence is not strategically successful, because the world generally has no sympathy for victims who fight back—and because it has been scientifically proven that violence only begets more of the same, whether it’s lobbing rockets or demolishing homes.)

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