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The season of peace is a good time to remember the humanity of others

Remarks delivered at "Welcome Refugees - War is Not the Answer" candlelight vigil, December 10, 2015, Boston Common.   Photos

In our war culture we learn to define the "other" -- the "outsider" -- as an "enemy" from our earliest hours.  The "enemy" is depersonalized in wars to make killing easier, so that it's easier not to care and to close our eyes and hearts to the inflicted horrors that all wars are. What needs to happen is a total transformation. We need to recognize the humanity of others – one way to do that is to welcome war refugees (sometimes mistermed migrants or immigrants by the media) – as we take responsibility for the consequences of the wars waged in our names by our government.

Those of us who work for peace day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade are among those who do take that step toward recognition of the humanity of others. We abhor the bombs dropping on children, mothers, fathers, grandparents. I always think – hey – there are people down there – it's not shock and awe it's murder!  I find it very painful when I stand with my sign for peace and people in my community drive past shouting out justifications for bombing and killing – even one time - thankfully only one time- "nuke 'em". The violence here and wars there are out of control, we are eclipsed by events that worsen daily and our voices continue unheeded. 

BUT it is an honor and always a joy of my life to stand with you –  as we remember the humanity of others – and in remembering that, speak to the best that we know -- that common humanity - in which an injury to one is an injury to all – we want a brotherhood a sisterhood of all peoples.  Let us extend that to include all life on this finite planet as we raise our voices again and again for peace, for love of people, and for love of planet earth -- Never give up and never give in!

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