Today I received a Peace pledge by Judith Fein in a newsletter from Spirituality and Health. Here is an excerpt:
"I suppose you could say that the cycle of hatred is created and maintained by attack and counterattack. I vilify you for doing something and you, feeling vilified, attack me back. Then I, angry, attack you. You, enraged, lash out at me. And we feud on and on and on. There is no more dialogue. There is reaction and counter-reaction.
“Don’t fall for that. Stay open,” my heart urges me, and I suspect that, as
usual, my heart is right. I solve nothing by engaging in the blame game. I also
learn nothing. I reduce your group to labels and adjectives and you do the same
I have no illusions that I will change the world or stop people from demonizing
each other. But I can do something small that satisfies my own heart: I can
refuse to engage in hateful language about groups of people in my own country or
in countries abroad.
I can take a pledge of non-polarization.
I will not divide the world up into good and bad.["us and them" thinking--Lila] I will not wipe out whole groups by declaring them bad or worthless. I will not assume that what they
think and the way they behave are insane or evil. I will give them the benefit
of the doubt—that they are reacting to something, entrenched or angry because
something happened to them or they fear something will happen to them. I will
try to understand what it is.
I will not condone behaviors like war, violence, rape, or cruelty. I will fight
against them any way I can. But I will not condemn the way groups of people
think, even if it is radically different from the way I think. They are as
entitled to their beliefs as I am to mine.
I can be angry with and disappointed in individuals. I can choose not to engage
with them or make them part of my life. But I will try, to the best of my
ability, not to add to the polarization on our planet by verbally vilifying
groups that are not mine. A terrorist to some is a freedom fighter to others. I
will try to understand.
I will obey the request of my heart.