The Peace Alternative
9/11 changed the world. Global terror and strife expands on a daily basis. We are already in a planetary war that has no winners. To prevent the spread of violence and global war we ask all nations and peoples to stop and pause. To say out loud “The killing stops here and it stops with me.” To commit to “Peace begins right here and it begins with me.”
Terror, revenge, smart missiles and suicide bombers will not give us peace or security. In the post 9/11 world the wellbeing and security of the US is intimately connected to the wellbeing and security of the world. In this new world our old solutions no longer work. We can no longer take up arms and martyrdom. If we are to survive, we must now champion peace, global care, and non-violent reconciliation.
We must begin by listening deeply to those we are in conflict with. We start at home by looking deeply into our own society and tradition, listening to the suffering of our own people. We nurture peace through local and national forums of deep and compassionate listening. This act heals deep wounds, for compassionate listening relieves the burden of suffering and discrimination.
We step forward as new leaders, recreating our nation on the foundation of understanding that emerges. The compassion and goodwill present in the country can inspire other nations.
Internationally we propose a parallel process of deep listening through the creation of peace parliaments and peace departments whose mandate is to offer courageous alternatives to war. These parliaments would create a safe place for peoples to share their difficulties and hopes for a peaceful world.
Peace parliaments and deep listening provide the middle way between war and indifference. People will come. Nations will come. The time is now.
Please take action by contacting your political representatives, media, and by sending this letter through your networks.
Ian Prattis is author of “The Essential Spiral: Ecology and Consciousness After 9/11” published by University Press of America, August 2002. Also “Failsafe: Saving the Earth from Ourselves.” Fall 2008, Manor House. Both available as ebooks on Amazon Kindle