Non-Violence or Violence?

It’s hard not to think about the anger exhibited across our country now, on both sides of the political fence. If some force IS trying to divide our nation, it’s doing a darn good job. In my town, several of eighty protesters were recently arrested in a run-in with cops. This after 15,000 diverse people marched together peacefully on January 21st.

I realize how different their angry words and actions were from Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests. Can you imagine what would’ve happened to the all-persons-are-equal-movement if African-Americans, and those of the same mind, had marched through the streets angrily shouting with bullhorns and waving damning signs? We have a very long way to go on the issue of racism but if MLK Jr. had led angry mobs, we would’ve gone backward, maybe even further back than to the days of slavery. In order to be effective when working for positive change, we set out from a peaceful place of understanding that all points of view must be represented and that compromises will be made. When our motives are sincere and not selfish, good change happens.

As for the issue of everyone (except those earning the minimum wage) paying taxes, we live in a great country made of people who have always known the importance of public education and transportation, of health care and Social Security retirement, of the roads that connect our states, and of a strong military to protect our country. We are blessed to live here and to do our part for our country–and to share with those who have not been as fortunate as us, who only need a hand up. We need to remember that until we have listened to another’s story, we usually don’t know what we’re talking about. Let’s make peace, not war.

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