MOVING FROM A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
TO A CULTURE OF PEACE
by Sister Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican
Recently, we heard about individuals and groups coming
together to address violence of every kind that plagues our
communities. Violence is not limited to any one class, color and
creed. It is local, regional, national and international. The
solution belongs to each one of us individually and as communities.
It is time to demonstrate that violence solves nothing and only
begets more violence. Children and youth can learn from adults that
violence is not a solution and we must explore other ways of solving
problems. Conflict Resolution classes are becoming available in many
communities and are proving to be very helpful.
We have been talking about the necessity for more gun
control, and especially to keep guns out of the hands of youth, the
mentally ill, and people with criminal records. We can urge our
political leaders to effectively support gun control in their own
communities. Children and youth can be taught to live peacefully,
and model it in a variety of ways. and use their gifts to help and
not harm others. Philosopher Norman Cousins once said that the
creative minds that invented war can imagine a peaceful community,
nation or world, and take steps to bring it about. To accomplish
this, we must pray on a daily basis to create peace in our hearts,
our homes and communities.
The federal budget we use today is a moral document
that calls our leaders to redirect more funds toward peace and
justice rather than toward war. This will take the efforts of each
one of us. Let us rejoice that God’s power working within us and
through us can enable us to do infinitely more than we dare ask or
imagine., Each one of us can make a difference. No action is too
small to help make a peaceful world, more in line with God’s design
for all people.
What are some things faith communities and other
groups can do to address violence and work to create a culture of
Gather in small groups to study the meaning of peace and justice and
ways to get involved to address the issue.
Support current efforts to address peace and justice. Speak about
them from the pulpit. Invite members to create groups to implement
some suggested actions. Equip people of all ages to live non-violent
lives and promote peace in their communities, nation and world. Help
members to learn how to engage in creative and respectful resolution
of problems. Create a peace mission statement for the church or
organization and design ways to start practicing it.
Raise awareness of economic justice, appreciation of cultural
differences and global concerns. Support victims of domestic and
street violence. Help families be aware of what children and adults
are doing or watching in the media.
Mentor children and prepare them to get a good education and have
meaningful and peaceful lives. Speak out against abuse of all
kinds. Remind people that hands and hearts are made for healing and
Start a youth group with a spiritual base and a mission in mind to
pray and work for peace. Look around and see if there is violence in
the way we think, respond to one another, in the movies we watch and
Take time to pray with the family, Develop positive attitudes and
deep gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy. Work daily to
eliminate violence wherever we find it., Develop appreciation for
people of other cultures and learn to respect their attitudes and
values and different opinions.
Seek forgiveness and not revenge. It will bring about peaceful
results. Learn to live in peace, hope and joy and it will spread
beyond your environment and have a positive effect.
Count on God’s presence to walk with you and your family every step
of the way,
Let us begin today with
courage, conviction and hope. No effort is too small to make a