Reverend Betsy Stang

Celebration of A Culture of Peace

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International Decade of a Culture of Peace

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

-George Santayana

 

This is a global call for a celebration of a Culture of Peace September 21 2006.

 

Within each culture there are events to be proud of, and those we would like to forget. Instead of ignoring our inhumanities to other races and cultures, the time has come to recognize the belief systems and attitudes we still have about each other, attitudes that are rooted in prejudice, racism, inacurate assumptions, historic hatreds and traditional conflict. We believe that by embracing the bad along with the good, we can arrive at the beginning of healing and forgiveness. We need to admit our historic similarities and bring them into light.

 

Only then can we begin the steep ascent to a higher level of responsibility.

 

Armed with history, our children will know where they came from. They will then be able to move from mere tolerance of differences to respect, wonder and honor of diversities. Then they can appreciate their own uniqueness and also see the likenesses that they share with other cultures. If peace is to prevail on earth, we need to encourage an accurate and truthful recording of all of our cultural histories. The outcome will be mutual respect and understanding.

 

Our ability to forgive is our most profound and precious gift. We believe that we can become a truly global people capable of creating "A Culture Of Peace" and celebrate rather than abhor our differences.

 

The more we open our hearts and minds to the elders of all races and cultures, and embrace their stories and their wisdom, the more truly educated we are.

Our past as Global citizens has been both light and dark. Stories of light also cry out to be told. Stories of courage to keep going under appalling conditions even in the face of the holocaust,genocide and oppression. These stories illuminate the human spirit. We are lifted up by them.

 

Finally, our ability to love and to forgive is what sustains us when all else fails. Our past must be preserved as treasures and given to our future generations as a gift. Once they are understood and forgiven, we have cleared the way for a world in which our children's children's children will live without war. A world without hungry children. A world without greed, racism, religious intolerance and oppression. No genocide, no atrocities, no physical or mental abuse.

 

"Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the people of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

-Chief Seattle

In an age of global warming, disappearing rain forests, acid rain, a depleted ozone layer and the pollution of the air, land and waterways, it is imperative that we seek out solutions for the complex issues our planet is facing today.

 

The Wittenberg Center For Alternative Resources is a publicly supported, non-profit organization which brings environmental, spiritual and indigenous leaders together with policy makers for the purpose of creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

Reverend Betsy Stang

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The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001 to 2010)