This I Believe

Daniel - Frederick, Maryland
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: peace

I believe in embracing the power of active nonviolence.

Time stood still for a moment as I gazed up to the heavens after a passage read

on Mount Carmel and felt a profound sense of divine joy. I remember the

piercing blue sky as creation was revealed in a way that I had not felt. What

followed was a uncovering of myself through discernment to a belief that I could

spread to our community.

My journey continued in Baltimore where I was immersed in a weekend retreat in

this approach and was strikingly inspired during a sermon given by Dr. Reverend

Bascome, friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr, that penetrated

me like a rush of wind . I then trekked to Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center where I was

was taught to facilitate peacemaking through an exploration of active nonviolence.

Empowered by my training, I engaged a local pastor for holding up our political

leader as an example of a peacemaker.

I chose to listen when confronted by a person during my witness to mourning violence

in Frederick, Maryland. This approach allowed me to opt for another response rather than

the well rehearsed scripts of reacting. It is like applying a second brake to that initial

impulse.

Recently this approach was tested as I met with several of my sisters and spoke

from the heart about working through our differences and bringing our families together

during the holidays. It is difficult to lean into conflict and engage my sisters but the

outcome was a greater understanding of our positions and a coming together.

The people of the world are crying out for another way to respond to violence

and I have begun to soften that cry through retreats, workshops and classes.

How can individuals and communities be at peace and work through their

differences unless they are intentional about practicing a different response and building

relationships to foster community.

Yes, I still find myself apologizing for slipping and am reminded this approach is

something that I grow into. I do not have to be completely nonviolent before I try active

nonviolence. It helps me move below the wounds of life to be in touch with who I am so

that I may be in touch with others.