Driving southward to Peace Camp this July and John Lennon’s Imagine comes on the radio. It plays through to the first chorus and I ask Eamon if he knows what the song is about. And he is spot on when he answers, “he doesn’t want there to be any war”. And I say, yes and all those things that he’s imagining away are just reasons for people to dislike and ultimately kill each other over.

Land, Damnation, Redemption, and Ethnicity.

crops on Shalavee.com

At Peace Camp we had a brief assembly and talked about what it means to be a peacekeeper. Among a few points well made by the organizer, that we live our lives with honesty and integrity and be present for others. That we mend instead of sever and respect instead of denigrate. We accept others’ choices for their right to choose, we value our mutual right to be heard and respected, and we are helpful when and wherever we can.

clouds on the farm on Shalavee.com

I attempt to do this sort of soul living every day. I do not watch the news just so that I don’t get a brain cloud. But I can not judge you if you choose to do so. I am an all-inclusive spiritual kinda gal and carry a faith in a larger Spirit but it may not be your God I worship. Our right is to do our reverence in private. And what I put in my body and how I raise my children are the best I know how and may be different from what you may choose but they are but a few of the many choices I must make daily. Because they are mine to make.

I say these last things in a way of offering a stop sign to those who need to get their righteous identity from anything they believe in which automatically makes me wrong for not believing. Siloism is a concept where you and everyone who believes with you is secluded and is offended at those that are different. People in silos don’t include and communicate with others and so there’s stagnation. There’s nothing getting into or out of the silo to affect growth of an organization, company, or community, or family.

empty bench on Shalavee.com

It’s this particular mindset that I find most scary in the world in whatever form it takes and I offer the idea that if one is unwilling to respect others’ choices, that is still a choice. Proselytizing alienates. Us and them never works out well in the end. Agreeing to disagree and respecting our differing choices does.

Peacekeepers must be willing to not be right to keep the peace and be willing to admit when their choice may be only theirs and not great for everyone else. And then they find somewhere in the middle to still stand in the same room together. It is respect for our differences that will keep us alive and happy. And that is where I stand as I teach my son and daughter how to be peacekeepers.

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  1. Hard row to hoe these days. But I admire what you are teaching your children. “Teach your children well…And feed them on your dreams” as the CSNY song goes. The husband was born & raised in Texas. And my Mom (sorry Mom) was a bigot. And, I think because of those factors, we worked very hard to not teach our son the lessons we had learned and had to overcome. The only time I saw the husband take his Daddy to task was when Tom’s wife used the N word in our home, in front of our son. Not pretty. On a lot of levels. Must say (attempting not to break arm patting myself on the back)we did a good job. Color, race, appearance (mostly…he does draw a line at sloth), gender preference are not descriptions or delineators for him.
    Keep up the good fight. It’s well worth it.

    • Very interesting and telling story Shannon.Bigotry is just fear of the unknown and the more you introduce your kids to culture and people and the world, the more they’ll have an understanding of what really matters to save us from ourselves I suppose. The way to start that ball rolling is their self-love. Thank you for your support as it is sooo appreciated.

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