We are products of our collective history


To the Editor:

A question that came to a conversation was — How do you respect evil in a positive manner? To those who are willing to engage in such thought will see the dire need people are in. In context of the respect element we must also ask, Is it good that we are having such hate-filled protests? The only answer that seems to fit is — Apparently we need to because some of us have forgotten the horror of war and past idiocy. As the cliché states, those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The cliché points out that we are forgetting what it takes to be peaceful. The result is showing itself with an increase of hate across the globe.

Peace is a state of mind. First and foremost, each individual must come to the realization that they are at peace. This state of mind recognizes both their own state of life and the world around them. Now being at peace does not mean you agree with the situation you are in or the state of the world. The state of peace allows you to understand that you will/are doing everything you can to be peaceful in the situation you are in.

One of the most difficult ideas to get across to others about peace is that there is conflict in peace. The best way to describe what is meant by conflict exists in peace is to ask a women who has given birth to a child if there was no conflict. However, it is often described that birth as the most beautiful act of human existence. With that concept of peace and conflict aside, we must look at the moment we are in today.

Racial tensions have boiled up again across the world. In Canada we have our own history of horrors to reconcile with. As we seek to heal wounds and repair relations, most of us understand that there is a deep need to work together for peace to take hold. Being at peace with that work acknowledges we must step into the painful areas of shame, regret, injustice, ignornace and idiocy. As we work together we must understand that the people today are not the people that acted in the past. To that end we need to understand that acknowledging history is not blaming the people of today for those who acted unpeacefully in the past. In truth we are all a product of our collective history.

When you can empathize with all sides of history you can see how everyone has been harmed, how everyone needs to reconcile, how everyone needs to endure the hardships of rebuilding relations, how everyone needs to have an open mind of our future together and how to let go of past pains so we can learn, heal and rebuild a stronger society. This is where we are trying to get to in Canada and the world.

Being peaceful is having the courage to walk into the discussion of who we are going to be and do so with an open mind. We have always had the capacity to act in this manner. Here in Canada we have our own discussion about who we have been, who we are and who we are going to be. As we do that we need to respect the impact of evil. Even when the discussion seems to difficult to have, respecting the known reality of war is more constructive, positive and peaceful to have that talk.

Dave Porter


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