This September 11… Choose Peace
On September 11, 1906 Mohandas Gandhi, a 37 year old lawyer from India who had been in South Africa for 13 years, began a movement that would transform him, and mobilize the Indian community to nonviolently oppose racially degrading legislation. On that day he convened a meeting at the Empire Theater in Johannesburg. Those present solemnly declared, despite the consequences, to practice “ahimsa” or the absence of any violence, and resist injustice such as the racially degrading pass laws. Thus, the word “satyagraha” was coined, meaning truth (satya), which implies love, and firmness (agraha) which serves as a synonym for force.
Many this day will we pause and reflect on the tragic events of September 11, 2001. As we do that let us resolve to break the cycle of violence. Gather with others, reflect on the teachings of Gandhi, commit to seek to resolve personal conflicts nonviolently, and actively work to encourage the use of nonviolent solutions to conflicts at community, national, and international levels. Work for Justice knowing that real peace cannot happen in the absence of justice.
Two September 11ths like signs on a path pointing in different directions. Which direction will we choose? To honor my choice I will be donating my wages for the day to Peace (50% to MPT, 50% to Nonviolent Peaceforce.) What will you do to honor your choice?
I choose these organizations because they are the two groups that give me the most hope for our troubled world. What speaks to your heart? Where does your hope get renewed? There are so many worthwhile organizations that could make good use of your gift. You could send a donation (your wages for the day or some other amount), volunteer your time and talents, or help in so many ways.
Rent the movie Gandhi, check out groups like Michigan Peace Team, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Peace Brigades International, Christian Peacemaker Teams or other groups such as this who are building on Gandhi’s dream of a Shanti Sena
This September 11th – choose peace.