To defeat Trump and address the systemic crises of our time, progressives need to confront one of his most effective strategies: harnessing the power of narrative.
In standing together, we find strength, singing and sighing together, reminding our selves and passersby that we are all on this journey together.
She then stood nearby, bending down to speak earnestly to her son of about seven or eight years old. She spoke into his ear, turning to point to the signs that said she mattered, that her son mattered. The two came closer again to the line of vigil and still with the same warm smile nodded her head, holding her son so close, and then to both him and to us sang out in prayerful cadence, “yes, Black Lives Matter!” Of love and justice joined, mother and child affirmed, so were we. As the two turned then to leave, I said to her the same two words, heartfelt and true, “thank you.”
In telling Avraham, it is with the hope that we shall keep the way of God–to do righteousness and justice/v’shamru derech ha’shem—la’asot tz’dakah u’mishpat (Gen. 18:19) Mishpat refers simply to justice. Tzedakah, as we are commanded to pursue it, is justice infused with love, with a quest to do good, to right what is wrong. Often joined together as a phrase, mishpat usually precedes tzedakah in the language of the Torah. Not here, in the face of such violence and social breakdown, love needs to infuse justice if we would rebuild the world and our society as it is meant to be.
We cry louder, greater witness needed, when one person’s mattering is forgotten, a mother passing by and explaining to her son, grateful for the opportunity, a moment of gratitude that joins us all. There was something different in the tone, in the fall air filled with our silence and our song. With gratitude for the breath of life and for each one’s presence, touched by simple words of thank you, hand in hand we stand that no one should ever have to plead for the next breath that doesn’t come. Something different in the air, perhaps it was a hint of hope.
Regime efforts to scrap the presidential age limit have sparked a nationwide resistance movement to defend Uganda’s constitution.
What are you thankful for? Gratitude is on our minds. So for this week’s newsletter introduction, our Partnership Catalyst expresses her thankfulness. You’ll also find links to Nonviolence Radio show and other resources. Did you know that we can provide nonviolence trainings for elementary school kids? Learn more about that too. Read the November 15, 2017 newsletter. Get the Metta Center’s newsletter. Access the newsletter archives.
Did you know that Nonviolence is a science? This week the theme of our show is science. In this episode of Nonviolence Radio, Stephanie Van Hook challenges Michael Nagler in a game to find the science behind Nonviolent principles. They discuss, at length, neuroscience, social science, evolution, behavioral science and more! In the second half of the show we are joined by Elisabet Sahtouris, evolution biologist, futurist, and author to discuss her findings and how they relate to nonviolence. Share it with your friends! Nonviolence isn’t just about strategy and morality…it’s been validated buy science. Click here or use the controls below to listen to the show.
Activities for Month Three (PRINT VERSION AVAILABLE HERE) The following activities are options for you to implement as works best for your family throughout the entire month. None are very demanding, but each one requires of us our full presence of mind and heart. You are invited to be creative with the activities: find your own way to make it work for the children with whom you participating. Invite each other to add to the activities in ways that add to their meaning and beauty. Here’s a list of the activities for the month. Find descriptions below. Journal Family Meeting Gandhi Searches for Truth, Reading and Discussion (for whole family) Search for a Nonviolent Future, Reading and Discussion (for older teens and adults) Mealtime Activity Wisdom Tradition Passage Nature Activity Journal Write about one way that you hope to see your family grow in the next five years. Write about how you feel called to be of service to that deepening bond. Take time to think about “cooperation.” Who taught it to you? How did your definition of it change throughout your life? How might your children understand it? Read this blog about “Six Things My Kids are Allowed to Say to Adults.” Note any thoughts you have about it. Do you agree with the blogger? Do you disagree? Why? Family Meeting This could take place around your nonviolence altar. Or in a space that you create intentionally to hold this meeting. Begin the meeting with something beautiful. Maybe a short song or a poem or an inspiring quote. Allow time for quiet reflection. Then, invite each other into the discussion. Suggested topic for this month: Safety with other children and with adults. Take time to talk with your family about having boundaries with grown-ups and what to do if grown-ups ask them–or force them– to do something that is harmful, scary, or makes them feel generally unsafe. Here is one resource from ChildMind, “10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse” (For younger children, however, this can also be reviewed and discussed with older children, to ask them how they might apply similar concepts to their life as a teenager) N.B. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal of this exercise is to be honest with each other, to try to go a little deeper with each other as a group, and to share from our hearts. The family meeting can also serve as a space to work out problems in a collaborative way (not parents vs. children). Reading and Discussion with Children: Gandhi Searches for Truth can help grown-ups and children have important conversations about ideas related to nonviolence. It’s most effective when we take our time with the content. Each chapter is divided into a quote, a story, and a nonviolence principle. The quote is intended largely for the older child/adult reader, but feel free to read and then explain, in your own words, to the children with whom […]