Democracy and Peace

I love when people collectively honor mistakes they’ve made and make changes towards peace. The sense that the US impeachment trial might end in an acquittal is making me think about four things right now. 1. The sculpture, Mother with her Dead Son by Kathe Kollwitz, in the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny. 2. Article 9 of Japan’s constitution. 3. Narcissism and Enablers. 4. MLK Jr’s principles of Non-Violence.

  1. When I speak about the Mother with Her Dead son sculpture I cry through my words. Yay for writing! I didn’t know about this sculpture until I saw it with my mom and our family friend in Germany in 2007. In college I studied deathscapes of post WWII Jewish artists (mesh of art and politics classes). Years later, I was very curious about everything, and being able to go to Germany and see all these things I studied, and explore some places where my family lived until the 1800’s was very bitter sweetly exciting.

Many Jewish artists interpret the 2nd commandment as it not being appropriate to include imagery or representations of people in artwork. At many memorials honoring the lives lost in the holocaust and pogroms of the 19th and 20th centuries names upon names of lives lost are inscribed in the stone walls. So when I  walked in to the memorial to see hundreds of blank, dark stones, and alone in the center of the huge dark room was the sculpture of the mother and her dead son, with an open sky light above it, it was so cold to me. No names, and how could all the names ever be inscribed anyway? The sculpture, in the middle of a place honoring the suffering and horrors of war and tyranny, gave me that feeling of scarcity, loss, and cold solitude. Leaving there I had the feeling so strongly that the holocaust killed the heart of all of Germany. 

It was important to me to see Dauchau and the Holocaust museum. Did I leave the guided tour  at Dauchau a few minutes early so I could sing goddess love chants by the temples that now stand on the other side of the property from the gas chambers? At home did I paint the the little daisies I saw growing on a Dachau lawn by a dark door to the bunk bed rooms? You know I did. All love to the great mother bear of germany for the healing of her land and creatures. Blessings to the artists and humanists who confront tyranny and war with the chisel, the pen and the law. Who do not hide it, who work to repair it.

2. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution declares them a pacifist country. This was a post-WWII move to protect themselves and align with their collective ethics. It speaks of renouncing the ‘sovereign right of belligerency’ and states it will not maintain an army with war capacity, and aims for international peace of justice and order.  an They do have a self-defense army, which is controversial and continually debated. Can you imagine? I have so much respect for this.

3. Every narcissist needs an enabler. Every criminal needs a victim. Autokkkracies do not happen without many willing hands. Learning from history and emotional intelligence in leadership is important. Developing the courage to refuse war and tyranny privately and publicly is the groundwork of personal sovereignty and effective democracy. Narcissism is a very sad disorder that boils from deep, unresolved pain. Even so, narcissists are essentially sadist psychics. They understand people very well and use this to manipulate others toward their detriment, which they are generally convinced is for their benefit. The US needs to heal, and it will continue to be abused by this narcissist who also needs healing if our president is not removed. 45 may be everything that is wrong with America, but until the system and those around him no longer reward him for his tantrums and destruction, we will continue to slide backwards. Enabling makes things way worse.

4. What I appreciate the most in Martin Luther King Jr’s principles of non-violence is the ability to pivot toward positive vision, compassion, care and understanding. 

Here are the 6 principles of Non-Violence: 

  1. PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
    • It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
    • It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
  2. PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
    • The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.
    • The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
  3. PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.
    • Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people.
    • The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.
  4. PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
    • Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
    • Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
  5. PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
    • Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
    • Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
  6. PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
    • The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
    • Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.

The focus is on courage, redemption, community, justice, compassion, acknowledgement of suffering, love and all the correct things.

MLK Jr lifted the US up to another level. Leaders, teachers and holy persons don’t have to have titles or even be alive to lead. Love will always win one way or another. Legacies live on. Energy flows where attention goes. If we want to be non-violent as a whole country, that would be my preference. It may seem unrealistic in the land of millions of guns, but other countries have come to their breaking point and made substantial changes. I wonder what would it take to have everyone decide to stop harming others, animals and the eartg on a comprehensive scale? My hope is that our leadership will accept that our country needs healing and look to the teachings of  MLK Jr and other healers who have been the light and backbone leading many people suffering in this country to better experience of the world through applicable tools and self love. I find these principles still incredibly relevant. 

My view is that every issue is personal and political. Although I support 45’s impeachment I also feel a huge sense of compassion for him and wonder if he has ever received honest, true care and attention. Everyone just wants to be safe and loved. Some find it safer through exclusion than inclusion. I support inclusion, especially for those with developmental disabilities. He’s welcome to come along, just no driving and no decision making. 

The US is a baby. We are very young and haven’t learned to pick up after ourselves or make friends very well. Our soil still reeks of genocide and colonialism is ongoing. There is also an incredible amount of love. What sign do you erect in the rubble of Lady Liberty’s garden after the stank of battle is washed away? ‘Let’s not repeat this harm to our world family, it’s creatures and our land’ or ‘Let’s do it again?’ Sadly for us in the US who oppose this present tyranny, the leaders of our outdated republic masquerading as a democracy want to do it again while the rest of us want to harm none, feed each other, and love each other with open arms.