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On Paris, Beirut, & Burundi: Responding when the whole world hurts

Blue marble earth
Blue marble earth Photo: NASA / NASA via Flickr CC

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere 

-Warsan Shire

Symptoms

 

Diagnosis

A system that perpetuates trauma, answering violence with more violence. A culture based on fear, which prioritizes the right to arms (for individuals and governments) and the oppression of the poor & disenfranchised over the care of children and community. The drum beats of war beat on. The cries for all (including teachers) to arm themselves increase. We have become numb and must fight our way out of the chains of a culture that is killing us and demands an inhumane price, our souls, for its perpetuation.

Remedy?

To breathe and grieve. To listen to those who suffer most. To resist the cries to answer violence with yet more violence. To withdraw support from those who profit from the war machine. To answer fear with love. To cry out, “stop” to all the wars happening now, cry “no” to the next war. To renounce extremism, racism and religious intolerance. To sing. To commit to reparations. To cook together and share food and land. To begin with healing ourselves, then help others to heal. To see ourselves in the face of another. To knock down borders and walls. To open our hearts and our homes. To seed and create another way to live.

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About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She blogs, organizes Quakers to work for justice, and has helped create AFSC's Sanctuary Everywhere stream of program work. She has been instrumental in the adaptation of Quaker social change ministry as a tool for reclaiming Spirit-guided social change work focused on companioning those most impacted by injustice.