Sunday, May 30, 2004

I have to do this

As a people we haven't yet learned that violence begets violence.

I am sick at heart, at the moment. I was going to write that the papers today remind us that our California energy crisis is still going on, and it's soon to be Governor Arnold's problem. But then my eye caught a story about two children, dead from stabbing, and their father alive but stabbed seriously and now in the hospital.

The article mentions the family moved into the neighborhood two weeks ago, and that the mother might have been at work at the time. Lately the father had been seen "With his hat and lunch in hand, looking for work." The article mentions he played ball with his kids, and already had a bar-b-que cook-out in their new place. They children were ages 3 and 4.

My understanding of what constitutes "violence" has been expanding greatly. If I stay up too late, I commit violence against my body, and it gets weaker. If I live in a toxic home, I commit violence upon my self, too. If I live in an abusive neighborhood, and don't take action to create harmony, then I am adding to the problem.

So even though the restoration project looks like it's about a house, it's really about community. How do we reclaim our relationships? What can I do to make it safer, not just for me and my family, but for people around me?

In the same paper, Bill Cosby is reported to have called knuckleheads... well, knuckleheads. As a man who has witnessed class struggle, I'd say he's probably in a position to make accurate observations. I hope people listen. He says, "I choose to say something about this." Well, Bill, I choose to say and to do something about it. You have a huge gift with words, and I often hear my father in your voice. So you keep it up.

But me, I have to act. It's a mission. I have got the sign making business set up so it runs itself. This supports the graphic design I like to do and much of my community involvement needs. Now I can invest some of my social capital and move this healing project forward.

I feel God's touch on me, now, so even though I weep for the innocent of the world, I am also strengthened in my resolve to build non-violent relationships around me.

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