EVERYDAY PEACEMAKERS is a non-fiction book & self-help workbook featuring stories of people whose actions foster peace in unusual ways.
EVERYDAY PEACEMAKERS is a non-fiction book & self-help workbook featuring stories of people whose actions foster peace in unusual ways. Read more
AN EXCERPT FROM "WHY ME, WHY THIS BOOK," THE PROLOGUE OF EVERYDAY PEACEMAKERS
I don’t recall what possessed me to protest. What I recall is the surge of power I felt as I hoisted the flag of an oppressed country above my head and marched through the streets of Los Angeles with thousands of others, demanding an end to the war and oppression in that part of the world. I felt right, justified, and like somehow my voice, raised with others in angry solidarity, would somehow make a difference.
People on the sidelines heckled us. I responded by getting in someone’s face, yelling to prove the rightness of my position. While my body was fully engaged in that moment and that experience, a part of me stepped back, rose above it and asked, What are you doing, Rebekah?
This was my one and only peace protest. After the experience, I had to ask myself whether yelling, demanding, and parading military style through the streets is really a peace building activity. My answer was, and still is, no.
When we stir up anger and righteousness, are we feeling peaceful? I wasn’t. No one around me seemed to be feeling peaceful. The primary emotion I observed and felt was hatred of the oppressor. If we are feeling hatred and anger, how can we expect to create peace? I wondered. Here’s the real hook I found myself sinking on: in the moment I just described, I was not trying to create peace. Instead, like a petulant child, I was demanding someone else create it for me. “Stop hurting those people over there, so I can feel peaceful,” I was saying to our government and institutions. Of course, this is only my experience. Undoubtedly, every peace march is different. I know many people who find peace marches to be a loving and truly peaceful experience.
Still, what I have found to be more empowering and effective is to take the time and make the effort to get centered and create peace within myself. I can’t give what I don’t have, but if I create inner peace, then I can bring that to the negotiating table, to the streets, to my community. Then I am acting from a position of true power.
Instead of attending peace protests, I went back to volunteering and writing checks. Years later, to my surprise, I founded a global peace movement.
As a freelance journalist I have covered many aspects of peacekeeping, from landmine removal to domestic abuse prevention. My work has been published in Abilities Magazine, Anokhi, The Christian Science Monitor, Vegetarian Times, and in numerous trade publications. My work with peacemakers goes beyond the written word. As a consultant and volunteer, I have worked with heads of international organizations, the homeless, the war-wounded and other disenfranchised individuals. In 2008, I founded Solstice Sing for Peace, a global grassroots movement endorsed by legendary folk singer Pete Seeger. To learn more about Solstice Sing for Peace, visit www.SolsticeSingforPeace.org. To learn more about my work, visit www.RebekahLFraser.com.
WHO IS THE AUDIENCE FOR THIS NON-FICTION BOOK?
EVERYDAY PEACEMAKERS features stories of people who are building peace, in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Teen and adult readers will be able to see themselves in these pages. Written in a casual, fun style, EVERYDAY PEACEMAKERS is a call to action, a practical manual & self-help workbook for people ready to live a more peaceful life, whether through inner peace, harmony in the home, or peace in their community or the world. Resource lists & journal prompts at the end of each chapter will motivate readers to consider what they can do to promote peace.
- (30 days)