Friday, December 11, 2009

Journey to Smile

For the last two months a group of us has been communicating with Afghanistan boys who are vigiling for peace. They have been requesting President Barak Obama to bring peace to Afghanistan and the world. They were hoping to have him acknowledge them and their efforts when he gave his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10th. Naturally, they were disappointed when he announced the escalation of war making efforts and did not mention the boys vigil. (Ambassador Eichenberry, a former commander of the US led Afghanistan military forces, did visit them in October.)

Last night (December 10th) I gave a message to the boys through a Gandhi portrayal. I encouraged them to continue their Journey to Smile as they have been by following Gandhi's philosophy and principles. "Cling to Truth," as the meaning of Satyagraha. Live by love. Be courageous. Cast off all fears. War makers use fear to move people to war and to kill. Gandhi: "In nonviolence, courage is in dying, not in killing." These words are the essence of my message to them.

This is a strong challenge to boys who have lost fathers, grandfathers, uncles during the fighting. I thought: What do they face in the near future as the US and NATO add 40,000 more troops and continues to use unmanned drone planes like the Predators to bomb suspected targets? Following Gandhi's path of nonviolence in these circumstances is a call to powerful love. Yet, I know that people in Iraq and other conflict areas are doint the same. Some heartwarming stories have emerged here in Olympia as we have been vigiling in support of these boys and their peacemaking.

I feel too that my words to the Afghanistan boys are also words for me. Have courage to love and to live by truth everywhere and in all circumstances.

The boys website is: See their beautiful videos and messages.