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At the end of the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery on March 25th, 1965, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked, ‘how long?’. It is a question we all ask, and often. How long until peace comes? How long until our cherished goals for the rights of all beings arrive? How long until the earth is healed? Dr. King went on to encourage us, ‘How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’
President Barack Obama, in his speeches, often echoes this phrase ‘bending the arc of the moral universe’, but what does it mean? There is something deep and resonant in this expression for our times. For if this great arc bends toward justice, or peace, or fairness, it does so only through the great will and effort of the people. We have seen it time and again. Real change only comes when hearts and minds begin to bend, when outdated ideas and behaviors finally give way because many people of good will lean together, hard, away from the status quo, literally em-body-ing change through action. It’s the leaning together that bends the arc, and the reason Dr. King said it bends toward justice is because he believed in our essential human nature to lean toward the light, even if we can’t always see who is leaning with us.
In a recent Kosmos Journal article, The Invisible, Yet Existent Culture of Peace, Dot Maver explains that each of us is ‘part of a peace system’, a weaving of many strands that models on nature itself.
This bending together, more as a willow than an oak, is also a metaphor for the resilience of community. From his blog, David Bollier shares Lessons of DIY Urbanism in a Syrian Refugee Camp, where even under the most dire conditions, practical miracles happen through cooperation and shared effort.
Filiz Telek is a social artist, poet and transition host ‘whose purpose is to serve the transition of the humanity and the planet to the new paradigm’ through her healing and celebratory work. Learn more about her journey in our newletter feature, A Global Nomad Returns Home.
In a report on The Child-friendly City, Duncan Jeffries describes policy initiatives around the world to redesign urban areas with the wellbeing of children and families top-of-mind.
And finally, we have some events to share with you that capture the spirit of our shared hopes for a better world.
Turmoil in the world is discouraging at times. It feels like ‘not long’ will never come. But we are the moral arc of the universe, an intentional living universe not separate from ourselves. One day the storms will end at last and that symbolic arc of our essential nature will break out in the sky.
By Dot Maver
A Culture of Peace Emerges
A new story is emerging. Humanity is the storyteller. The story line is ancient and the global community is right on time as it wakes up. The global community is appalled by many of its own creations and strives to take responsibility for creating a Culture of Peace. Let us call it the Path of Beauty. Ultimately, humanity shifts from living with pain and suffering to realizing joy and achievement.
By David Bollier
Governments are so accustomed to dictating their will, through coercion if necessary, that they find it unimaginable that people might willingly – and with creativity and enthusiasm – self-organize themselves to take care of urgent needs. So pause a moment to behold the remarkable Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan. This settlement of 85,000 displaced Syrians is showing how even desperate, resource-poor people can show enormous creativity and self-organization, and turn their “camp” into a “city.”
By Rhonda Fabian
Filiz is coming home. In the great scheme of things, it is a small story, but for the several thousands of us who follow her posts and blogs, it is one of those moments that must be noted, honored. For the last five years, Filiz has been, in the truest sense, a citizen of the world. It’s not so much that she left her community behind, more that wherever she goes she creates community, or more precisely it springs up around her. She lives ‘from the gift’, meaning that she shares her wisdom, her energy and her talents freely and by the alchemy of sharing finds places to lay her head, break bread and create her sacred spaces of learning, healing, and celebration. Wherever Filiz lands, women soon gather, circles form, hips shake, bones rattle, and drums rhyme their way into the sky.
By Duncan Jefferies
“Get these cars out of the way, we want to play!” a child chants through a loudhailer, as he and his young comrades march down a street in the Pijp area of Amsterdam. This remarkable scene comes from a 1972 documentary, which follows a group of inner-city Dutch children as they attempt to turn a busy through-road outside their homes into a play street. Adults in the area are both supportive and dismissive of the children’s plans. “All these cars are unbearable”, says one small boy, in an effort to explain their actions. “There is no space left. Thousands die in accidents and air pollution increases. Everything is devoted to parking. Why don’t we all ride bicycles?”
Hiroshima Remembrance – Join us live and send your prayers for peace
The Peace Bell at the Hiroshima Peace Park will ring at 8:15 am the exact time the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. One Minute of Silence is observed throughout Japan on this day.
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