The Way of a Peaceful Creation
Hearing creation stories always thrill me as what was once a speck of a thought could turn into such a huge impact on the society and culture we find ourselves. These stories span more than the traditional Judaeo-Christian Adam and Eve, or even the Iriquois’ turtle and
mother, but even span into ideologies and such as is read in Invitation to Peace Studies the beginnings of modern “nonviolent action” (122). This is further developed by Henry David Thoreau in his essay on “Civil Disobedience.” Within both of these sources there is an underlying call to action that can’t be ignored. When powers at hand are getting out of control it is up to the people to stand up in nonviolent action against the threat that is either being imposed or quietly setting up ambush.
Treating nonviolent action as a method of war is important to the rationalization and justification of it. Many people unfortunately believe that we can not live without war or violence and that humans are programmed for it, though war and violence are a means to death. Taking the non-combative course is necessary but must still take on some characteristics of war. So much energy and time is devoted to running scenarios and planning for the worst and best scenarios, and nonviolent action requires the same if not a little less of this. If this sort of discourse was spoken more often in real war situations we would certainly see a much more rational means to an end of the war. The act of war isn’t reserved for whole countries violently fighting interstate wars but is also standing up against an institution or program, law, etc. to positively affect our own situations on behalf of humans and their rights.
A population growing restless is a threat to the order and governance of a government that is why peaceable solutions need to happen when these arise. Gene Sharp “described 198 different nonviolent actions used in dozens of nonviolent campaigns across diverse societies and eras” (122) but perhaps some of these nonviolent campaigns came too late. As is later pointed out in the text some of them moved on to actual wars within only a few years time. Then, I have to wonder how many heard the call to start speaking out in a positive light to try and quell the storm rather than waiting. Thoreau explains it just as I’d imagine that “they will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret.” The regret paints the first sign of a brushed off obligation that one holds. The idea of waiting means they already have a goal in mind but have only time between them and that goal. Waiting is sometimes something that’s inevitable but actively waiting spells a totally different story.
The truth that is making the distance between action and inaction lesser is the availability of facts and methods. “Never again will people be…faced with inventing tactics on their own” (122) to combat what ails us as a nation. I have waited long enough to have the guilt to begin weighing on me. If I’m getting discouraged because no one is standing up and saying “Enough!” then maybe it’s time someone like me does. There is enough good intention in this world that could strengthen the pleas and add formula and further planning to such an outcry. There is a lot that goes into organizing and pulling off such a strong feat with building momentum. But as with all creation stories it could be your spark that starts the new beginning.
Thoreau, Henry David. “Civil Disobedience.” Blackboard. Sdccd.blackboard.com. 1849. web.2 Oct. 2016
Wood, Houston. Invitation to Peace Studies. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2016.
I stood, music blaring in my ear, staring out of the kitchen window. The grass was green yet, but was dying due to the constant and confusing fluctuations in temperature. A mild winter ranging from 20 to 50 within only a days time caused this conflicted grass. I was on cigarette number three and cup of coffee number four. Able to justify my apparent laziness, as I had only woken up forty five minutes earlier, the thought of the move loomed in my thoughts. There was plenty to do. I had hardly begun packing, laundry wasn’t done, and the enchanting evening prior played on repeat in my minds eye.
The smoke from my cigarettes played in the sun’s light. Curling and twisting to make a scene that added to my sense of dreaming. A smile had planted itself upon my face and I had no intention on changing that. Theses moments that I considered “waking up” was a time when I would plan things out. I would decide the most important things to do within the day, which goals to set and achieve, and my course of action. Once upon a time I would have a pen and paper near by so I could jot down my thoughts, even if to re-organize them later. Today, and many days prior, I felt it best to just “go with the flow.” Yet another fantastic way of minimizing the laziness which had crept so horribly into my life.
As of now there was no way to alter what had been decided. The prestigious job that I held was now in the hands of someone else. Insurance cuts off the last day worked as well. That has and continues to be deemed an issue. Last day worked I had to go to the doctor due to a nasty and quick flare up of strep throat. In addition my mornings coffee seemed to be taking a short cut out of my body. My boss, and the team, had already begun realizing how great life was without the loud singing and obnoxious noise making. The plan was set into motion, time bidding to take every moment hostage, and my yearning to do anything diminishing; by the second time held in it’s possession. Weeks prior I had fooled myself into believing that there was so much time. Now as I stood on the last morning that I would wake in Pennsylvania I knew I had been a fool. I may have planned too close, too close to a perfect time, that the money might not be there.
The last few weeks had been an amazing time. Thanksgiving I had found a wonderful new group of friends. Happy, beautiful, and responsible gay men. Time spent with them reminded me of how wonderful life was. How people were good. How a good time wasn’t just me laughing at mundane things while under the snare of beer. They didn’t say a word when they saw me drink. Not that they approved, but they watched with a careful eye. As a nervous mother watching her child with the neighborhood bully, afraid of the influence, while worried of his protection.
Thrashing the old cigarette around in the ash tray to diminish the ashes; left me pondering the other events I had planned for the remainder of the day. My grandmother came up a lot. I had missed seeing her this past Christmas. The one I blamed work for the reason why I couldn’t see anyone. While I closed up and hurled myself into gloom knowing the other half of my dream relationship and life was sitting in front of the fireplace by the tree he decorated, with his boyfriend of three months (you do the math). I had also managed to dodge every one of my father’s calls as well. I had to see them. I would see them.
San Diego was so close and yet I was so far behind. So excited to go, yet there was a very clear unconscious effort that screamed, “I don’t wanna go!” Damn unconscious, it always focuses on what I have, and what is comfortable. He didn’t want to focus on the excitement that lay ahead in the new chapter of my life. The acting, the surfing, the writing, the living, the singing, the dancing, the friends. A whole new life that beckoned me to join. A whole new life, I couldn’t wait to discover.
Thank you for reading,
Caleb A. Mertz