With Anastasia’s Back Story, still untold, at the foundation.
Tomorrow New Horizons “Making Violence Obsolete” project goes public in what is expected to be a rather intimate setting. A hand full of personally invited guests will join New Horizons volunteers and myself for an informal discussion on our topic. My hope is that this group of people will want to join us on this new project with their personal commitments to it. And in doing so, to whatever extent is appropriate for each one, to help open my eyes and mind as to the next steps for “us” to take, together, on this adventure are we initiating– destination: “no need for violence anymore.”
As the moderator I will be happy – and – grateful to be facilitating the conversation that lies ahead. And although this program is unlikely to be the proper setting within which for me to share my personal story beneath the momentum that will have brought us together for this day, in the quiet moment I intend to start off with, silently I will be paying tribute to both the sacred space of the Frederick Friends Meeting House that will host our occasion, as well as the role model, my father provided me as living proof of how one goes about “Making Violence Obsolete, in day-to-day life.
The latter, my father, is how I came to know and develop my part of this plan.
In that moment of silence, I will remember that my father, in the midst of a tragedy that befell our household demonstrated for me, ceaselessly, what exceptional leadership, based on love, authenticity and integrity looks and acts like, especially under stress.
My newborn sister had passed away after a brief few days of life, bringing my mother to have a nervous breakdown from which she never recovered. In her anguish she took to acting out in all kinds of outrageous and violent ways. A great loss had occurred for our family which was anguish enough.
Then in the midst of this, my Dad and I came to experience our loving community becoming a hostile one toward us when coming together to support a family in mourning would have been more apropos. At this time our formerly close-knit community could have made all the difference in the world to us at a time of family crisis and thereafter.
But it did not! I know now that it didn't need to be this way!
These days we are learning, with profoundly moving stories of community unity in times of anguish, how very much all people need one another. And, how very much that need fulfilled can turn darkness into Light. New Horizons wants, now, to support these efforts in expanding ways that we have done on only a limited basis until now.
We want to be fully in the action to help make our possible society a dream come true.
But things like what happened to us do happen, unfortunately, too often. As it turned out for me, I would have been left without any of the stability, security and loving home life and family I had known previously had things just been left as they were. But my Dad’s unceasing devotion and his capacity to love as well as his exceptionalism as a leader and a role model, especially under extreme conditions, is how I came to know that “Making Violence Obsolete” is an essential and possible objective.
I learned that standing next to my father.
So New Horizons premise for its new project, “Making Violence Obsolete” –
Violence “could” become obsolete, “someday”, if we start, now, doing more and more of the right things and, together, stop doing the “wrong” ones!”-- makes sense to me!
Now you have a slight bit of the short version of Anastasia’s Personal Back Story.