On March 27, 2010 at 9:00pm, there will be a showing of the film Our Journey to a Smile. The film will be simultaneously shown nationwide and narrated live via Skype from Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.
Here in Connecticut, we will be showing the film at the Sheffield Auditorium - First Congregational Church, Old Lyme. We are asking for a donation at the door as this is a fundraiser for the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. We also ask that you bring your own snacks. We will provide the beverages.
Hosted by Spectrum: Arts and Education for Peace, CT Network of Spiritual Progressives and CT Nonviolent Communication
Here is a sample of the film:
I took this quote from this article. I request you read it and share your thoughts.
“What is this kind of love? It appears to me that Jesus and Gandhi and those of us following their tradition through the practice of NVC think of love as the full radical acceptance of the humanity of every person, regardless of how unhappy we are with the results of their actions. This love is a commitment to act in ways that uphold that humanity; to care for the wellbeing of the other person even when we are in opposing positions; even when all that we value is at stake.” ~Miki Kashtan,
It has been awhile since I have written about things I see in the gay news and this just caught my eye as such a chance to use creative nonviolence to make a point. It would seem anti-gay activist and founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera is going to take a shot at political office. He is running for Republican State Central Committeeman for the 13 Congressional District of Illinois. I admire his use of the democratic system by running and hope GLBT folks do the same. I would love to see Peter running against a gay or lesbian opponent.
Of course, part of his campaign platform is based on his opposition to equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and anyone else who doesn’t fit into his view of pro-family. I couldn’t help but think wow, this is such a great opportunity for some creative nonviolence in action. The possibilities of how to turn this into something more positive are endless. For starters, any actions taken needs to respect Mr. LaBarbera’s humanity regardless of how he sees us as GLBT citizens. Attacking the message is really all that’s needed here. Mr. LaBarbera does have children and I have no desire for those kids to see hurtful stuff in the news about their dad. It is not the kids’ fault their dad chooses to be so outspoken against GLBT folks.
At the end of the day, Peter and I share some of the same human values. We both care about family, security, spirituality, stability for our country, and many other things. Where we differ is on the strategies to meet those human needs. I personally don’t ever want to lose sight of this in others regardless if they are unable or unwilling to see it in me.
Back to my idea, I love the idea of turning his campaign into a pro-GLBT event. Here are some of my ideas of how to make it work:
- Let’s hold a LaBarberathon…..we could raise money for GLBT youth by collecting donations for everyday he stays in the race or how about we get people to donate $5 for every time he says “homosexual agenda” in a speech.
- We could do a silent protest of all his campaign events, press conferences and speeches while carrying signs with some of his more colorful quotes about GLBT folks and just refusing to talk (tribute to a Day of Silence). When people ask protesters to speak they can hand out cards that say why they are remaining silent. I think many would find that the mean-spirited things he has said about gays and lesbians don’t match up with the picture they know to be true from their GLBT friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. While he makes us out as monsters he also hurts and offends those with connections to the gay community. Bring his words into the light of day.
- We could also start a Political Action Committee and call it “Leatherman for LaBarbera” and collect money for his opponent.
I bet many ideas are out there about how to use creative nonviolence to address Mr. LaBarbera’s campaign against GLBT folks. Below is the list of what creative nonviolence is from the peace site, Pace e Bene.
This is a nice article written by Richard Layard at Huffington Post about how empathy is really the source of our joy and happiness not money. Of course, intellectually we all know this fact, our televisions and billboards have done a good job at brainwashing us into believing we need “stuff” to be happy. In reality, we are hardwired to find joy in helping each other.
For we are born with a strongly social side to our nature (a homo empathicus), as well as a profoundly selfish side. By the age of two many children will run and comfort another child who is hurt. We are wired up for fellow feeling — when subjects in an experiment watch others put their hands in icy water, their own temperature falls.
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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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