Sunday, October 9, 2016

How The “Making Violence Obsolete” Project Was Conceived and Birthed

Update: Podcast Anastasia's "Making Violence Obsolete" Back Story.

More of Anastasia's back story on the Making Violence Obsolete Movement In Progress.

The "Making Violence Obsolete” initiative of the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project is not just a theory. It is a manner of being in the world, akin to leadership as a lifestyle, that I learned, living my life with all of its ups and downs – and – to which I have dedicated my life to passing on to others.

It’s a style of life, based on the “Making Violence Obsolete” premise, urging people to consider that –
"Violence could become obsolete, “someday”, if we start, now, doing more and more of the right things and, together, stop doing the “wrong” ones!”
In some ways this premise represents a lifestyle based on a certain kind of faith in oneself, one’s fellow beings and the Divine Power above all. Some days, such as in these volatile times within which we now find ourselves, a person takes pause to wonder if faith such as this is justified. Yet, for me, the quote below of Mahatma Gandhi is a living truth I learned that posits a path for realizing this premise. Experience, long held, has further substantiated it.
If a goose gave you a
golden egg, what would
you do with it?

“We do best to begin by carving out territories or zones of peace in our personal relations where violence and deceit won’t be used.” Mahatma Gandhi

I had these words framed on my wall for many years. So many I had stopped noticing them. Then one day I became aware of them again. 

In that moment I realized that I had come to know the truth of those words so deeply and thoroughly that I had been living them as though they were sacred commands to guide each and every step
 of my life. 

I have known my purpose ever since; I would carry the truth of what I had seen while I was blind back into the mainstream world! This is what a "hero" returning from a journey such as mine; a mini search for the holy grail, is expected to do with such an extraordinary gift.  Indeed I had come to know my rightful place in the world.

At that point, returning, as I was, to the mainstream world after my eight year term of blindness and recovery from blindness (1998 – 2006), I knew these were the words that could best exemplify what I had "seen" when I could not see at all.

As a result “Gandhi’s truth” became the pledge of my heart and soul of what I could and would bring back with me as my gift to give from my time away; knowing myself able, as a result of training and experience, to guide the living realization of these words of Gandhi as truth.

If only……… If only I could find like-minded others who would believe in them with me. If only, they too, would bring their gifts and talents into the “doing.”  These ”if onlies” manifest are, in good measure, what the “Making Violence Obsolete” initiative seeks now to establish. 

When I did, at last, return to mainstream life in 2006, after wandering around for a good number of years, like Rip Van Winkle, uncertain how to even talk to folks, as I had been away so long, I tried to ask people, “Do you see what I see?” But the answers I needed most to connect me with others did not come.

I had climbed the Mountain of Awe while blind. I knew, by experience, what it represented, both personally and collectively. But when I tried to tell of what I had seen there, it was as if I was speaking a foreign tongue. So I stopped asking directly until, after a while, people began asking me, “What is it that you see/saw?

My answers are numerous and all wrapped up in what New Horizons has to offer these days. 

This is how New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project was born. The “Making Violence Obsolete” initiative is the child of that project. Both were born out of the ashes of what had been the "old" New Horizons. The Small “Zones of Peace” Project is the first generation after. The “Making Violence Obsolete” is the second generation.  Both grew out of the “golden egg” a goose named Marty Groder laid in my lap to help carry on his vision on how to make a better, saner world.

Apparently, many of us are now finding our way to one another, complete with words we  are able to speak and to hear. Bravo!  At last we are connecting! New Horizons Counterculture Community Development Experiment of the same lineage as its "siblings;" the Small "Zones of Peace" Project and the "Making Violence Obsolete" initiative, makes it all real, at least in some small, beginning measure.

No comments:

Post a Comment