BlogBlast for Peace - Dona Nobis Pacem
I'm the first to admit that I don't have answers to the troubles we face in the world. But I've thought a lot about what I think works, as well as what doesn't. And while I don't think I'm the first to come up with this, I've decided that something I thought was a simplistic belief is actually one worth trying. I think it has merit. While it might fail, there's also the chance it would succeed, and since we haven't tried it, how can we knock it?
You see, I think if the world were run by mothers and grandmothers, war would find its way out the door, and peace would be the norm. Mothers and grandmothers know what it takes to bring a baby from total dependence to an independent and mature state. We know about the "village" it takes to raise a child and we honor the input of everyone involved for their diversity and ability to contribute their own strengths. After years of patiently wiping bottoms and drying tears, protecting against the things that go bump in the night, attending school plays and ballet recitals, we are very much against watching these same children be carted off half a world away only to be blown to bits just because there's a difference of opinion about how things should be. We don't want to watch any child die.
Mothers and grandmothers, being nurturers, know that negotiation is a fine art, but is also one that takes place in schoolyards everywhere. More is gained by listening to the hurts and trying to come to a compromise than by slapping your opponent silly.
There'll be more than a few of you who'll think this is still a naive suggestion to a complex situation. And perhaps it is. There will also be some who take exception to my gender-specific language. Please understand I mean to speak in generalities, there are men who understand where I'm coming from, too...fathers and grandfathers.
Maybe the real answer is to sit everyone down in a room - all those men (and at least one woman I can think of right now) who can't figure out how to get along with each other, who have to have "power over," shaking their fists at each other, rather than "power with" each other. Let's sit them all down and hand them all sticks and string. To teach each one the simple act of looping the string around the sticks. They could donate all the items they create to homeless shelters and domestic violence centers, they could be taught to make healing shawls, learning to pray for the person in pain as they knit each stitch. As a rest between rows, they could help serve a meal, or listen to one person's story, really hear the people they knit for.
Because yes, frankly, I do think that if more people (in power) knit and took time to craft lace and socks and hats, the less inclined anyone would be to pick a fight or push someone else into a corner where they have no choice but to attack.
Two sticks and string can create the calm needed for clear thinking and rational responses to crazy situations.
Silly? Maybe. Or maybe...if we just...
(original photo from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, The Yarn Harlot, March 26, 2007, used with permission)