I haven’t really been maintaining the blog recently. There is so much to tell, that sometimes, at the end of the day, if I don’t offer precise detail, I feel that I can’t do the day justice. Details can be difficult. I say-buy the book. I can promise LOTS of detail in that!
So where to start tonight?
Peace is a strange thing in our country. I would love to offer you a global perspective, but I can only best relay to you what I have experience inour country.
This trip is amazing. First, I’ve talked about something relatively new to me. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. I haven’t gone around preaching. I’ve just started the conversation with thousands of Americans,by asking. “What does Peace MEAN to you?”
You know, Peace was something I’ve always proclaimed to want, but not something I had defined. Once I defined it, I had more of an awareness of how to work towards it. How to make deliberate actions.
I’ve experienced really warm moments with both believers and resistors. For the most part, I’ve noticed that those who earn a living and spend a lifetime working in the Peace or anti-war groups, have been relatively absent in this mission.
I think this trip rocks the boat. In fact, I know it does. I can’t begin to name off the long list of groups who have ignored my letters. And my requests have been simple.
Can we cross promote? Can you put a link to this project on your website? Can you tell your members so that they can leave their definiton fo Peace on the website? Can we do Peace demonstrations around the country?
Why the absence? I guess there is an equation, and it’s followed by corporations, non profits, social structures, and activists alike.
There is a chain of command. You have to follow it. People have worked hard to get where they are, and don’t want to be challenged. It’s threatening.
Often, people are more comfortable defining themselves by what they are NOT. Like anti war groups. They are working against the war. I prefer to say I am working for Peace.
There is a rampant US and THEM mentality that cripples people. However, many people are entrenched by the operating rules of the very system that they fight against.
If you combine those very basic treatises, the results yield groups whose internal rule structures prevent true progressive action.
This trip is maverick. It’s not really like anything else that’s ever been done. Sadly, most groups that I would have loved to coordinate with just don’t get it. What’s she on?
A scooter. Oh that’s easy.
What’s she doing?
Complaining about the war? Or the President?
NO. Oh, well, where is the controversy??
A group puts on a demonstration and people attend. The group often protests against something. A protest is recognized as successful by how many people attend and how much attention it generates. The most successful demonstrations are those that
A) Have a famous keynote speaker
B) Have a massive attendance
C) Get attention because there was a destructive element
D) Involve some sort of long, epic, Frodo type quest. LIke walking across the country. The March for Peace last year received A TON of support from liberals and the press.
When I set out to complete my dream, I believed in it so much that I thought we could escape these shallow, binary forms of thinking. Believed enough to sacrifice safety and comfort.
I’ve discovered the most important truth-at least I don’t have to remain beholden to that type of thinking. My own philosophies have been put to the test. I now know, with strong reassurances that I haven’t asked anyone to do anything more than I can do.
I have learned so much in my time on the road, from others. From people who will not wind up at a protest, who do not usually eat vegetarian or vegan, who do willingly shop at Wal-Mart, who think homosexuality is a sin, or who classically avoid conversation involving Peace. But they all in their hearts know and admit, that something JUST ain’t right in our country.
The responses are varied.
Some people think it’s a fine system, but people themselves are slovenly.
Some people think it’s a flawed system, but you just have to look out for yourself, enjoy the fruits of your labor and life goes on. Survival of the fittest. Totally detached.
Some people think it’s a corrupt system and judge others who don’t feel the same way as inferior.
I’ve had SO many conversations with people. But almost 95% of the time, the conversation GETS TO HAPPEN. I’ve come along way from holding a sign at a protest, loosing my voice-just desperately hoping to convince someone of the cause. Hmm. By yelling?
WHAT HAS IT COME DOWN TO?
Allowing the conversations to happen. NO JUDGEMENT. NO PREACHING. Authenticity. Showing, by example.
I guess to the people of America, they see one girl riding hard, really hard, hoping to raise awareness.
Those Peace groups that haven’t supported me-SHAME ON YOU.
I’ve reached the people- and that’s who you need. The ones scattered all over the country.
Because they are the ones who enable the real critical mass we need to move our country forward.
I’m not sure what’s after the P.E.A.C.E ride. Because I’m still on it. I wish I had more time to write-but I’m sleepy.
I want to leave you with a thanks. Thanks for those who are supporting this. To those who say you never thought of yourself as a Peace maker-but who took the time to define Peace. To those who said-how can I help you complete this trip. To those who have challenged me. To those who joined me on the road.
It’s our Peace sign on the map. Let’s keep it there.