Guest Columns Comment:
Three minutes at noon can change the world
By Rosalyn Falcon Collier
"The choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence, the choice is between nonviolence and nonexistence." — Martin Luther King
In the light of recent tragic events, I cannot get this quote out of my heart. His words ring out with clarity in this time of crisis.
Our options, which are only military options, are not really options. We need to be more creative, less reactive.
We all seem to be passengers on an airplane that has been hijacked by those bent on violent revenge and retaliation, which would lead to global destruction. Is there no way ordinary citizens can overcome the hijackers and land the plane safely, so that we do not blow ourselves up? We can gather local groups, which believe in nonviolence, brainstorm strategies dialoguing with family, friends, colleagues, children about the tragic events, send letters to your local and national press to show a different point of view.
Hold interfaith gatherings where all are welcome and groups singled out for hatred are invited and encouraged to attend. Turn off and limit the news coverage, so that the media rhetoric is not constantly undermining our individual efforts to bring about peace. Listen deeply to the fear behind the rhetoric and the calls for retaliation exploring the consequences with those who are promoting interpersonal or global violence. Take every opportunity to point out that we are human beings who do not believe that violence is the only option.
But, one clear image of hope has stayed with me since the tragedy: People around the globe stopping for three full minutes on Sept. 14, to remember the tragedy and pray for the victims.
I take this as a true sign that we can bring the hijacked plane to safety.
In the midst of our doing, we must commit to stopping for three minutes each day at high noon, wherever we are, for as long as it takes, to join with other human beings around the globe to bring peace and healing into our consciousness.
This may not seem like an American response, but it is one which presents a creative individual and collective response. If the United Nations and governments around the world would promote three minutes of silence for peace at noon, this energy would roll around our planet in perpetual motion, blanketing us with a new consciousness. Call it: The World Prepares for Peace. The other image that I cannot let go of is that of the rescue workers in New York and Washington, D.C., sifting through the rubble, bucket by bucket, like archeologists looking for artifacts of a civilization long disappeared.
The feeling I carry inside is like the rubble. I am trying to sift through all that has collapsed to find my true identification: the nuggets of family and friends, unrealized dreams of making a better world, the gems of my Christian faith, my connectedness to other human beings, those I love and those I don't.
This brings me back to three minutes of silence at high noon. We are all at risk of getting caught back up in the busyness of our lives as consumers if we do not stop, daily, to remember our grace as a part of God's creation.
A friend told me this year that no one was interested in making peace. The events of the past week have shown me there are millions who are and with God's grace we won't let them or ourselves be hijacked into making war.
Rosalyn Falcon Collier works with the San Antonio PeaceCENTER.
For further information contact:
1443 S. St. Mary's, San Antonio, Texas 78210
(210) 224-HOPE or 224-4673 FAX (210) 222-1097