Reflecting on conflict

PUTTING GRATITUDE INTO ACTION

Image Credit: Getty Images via commondreams.org

Image Credit: Getty Images via commondreams.org

Don’t Thank Me Anymore…Just Care for Veterans Who Return and Work to End All War
by Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans for Peace
CommonDreams.org
 

On Veterans Day, whatever our opinions of war, we are reminded of the needs of those who have served in the armed forces. In the U.S., which has so many new veterans of war, is this community getting the care they need? According to veteran Michael McPhearson, they are not. McPhearson, the Executive Director of Veterans for Peace, writes that on average 22 veterans die by suicide every day. “To illustrate the severity of this epidemic, by November 11th next year, 8,030 veterans will have died by suicide.” Furthermore, veterans' unemployment and homelessness rates continue to rise, a problem exacerbated by untreated mental illness, substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substandard healthcare. How could you help support this group of people, and all those who suffer from the traumas of war, lead lives of dignity in peacetime?

HONORING THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS

Image Credit: MuchMania, Getty Images

Image Credit: MuchMania, Getty Images

The callousness of Erika Christakis’ #Yale intellectualism
by Morgan Guyton
Patheos.com


Words matter. What do we mean when we use the phrase “creating a safe space?” Who decides the parameters of that phrase, and how do we engage in a dialogue that respects our individual histories, experiences, and identities? Authentic dialogue is central to creating communities rooted in social justice and to dismantling systems that perpetuate structural violence. In this reflection, Tulane University pastor Morgan Guyton writes: “Part of learning how to be a community is to develop sensitivity to the needs and perspectives of others. Just because something is funny to you doesn’t mean it isn’t hurtful to someone else. Reflecting on what you wear for Halloween is a legitimate part of learning how to live in community with people who come from different backgrounds and might be hurt by your choices.” How do you live into the tension between your right to self-expression and the need to be sensitive to how your choices might hurt those around you?

CALLING GLOBAL ATTENTION

Image Credit: The Rwandan Focus

Image Credit: The Rwandan Focus

Mass Atrocities Looming in Burundi
by Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times

 
“There’s evidence that we may be on the brink of a humanitarian calamity in Burundi, a small central African nation that has seen waves of killings in its history. It has been unstable for months, but now the authorities are using language that recalls the run-up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, right next door.” These are the terrifying words of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, reporting on the events unfolding in Burundi. How can we call our governments to action? What steps can we take as individuals? In the words of Nicholas Kristof: “I’m not on the ground in Burundi, and I’ve learned over the years to be careful about reaching conclusions about places where I’m not present. But this feels very serious, in urgent need of international attention to avert what might be a humanitarian disaster.”

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