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A Proposal to Listen for Peace and Security

Please read and sign this petition.  For more details, see bottom of page.

In light of the intensifying conflicts around the planet, and before another war is declared, we call upon the United States and the world community to pause. As one community, we cannot survive the continuing cycle of violence in response to violence.

There are alternative responses.

We recognize that the well-being and safety of the people within the United States and the well-being and safety of the rest of the world are inseparable. In order for harmony and safety to exist among nations in the world, we must first nourish harmony and safety in our own country. Peace begins with each one of us. Therefore, we propose a process of listening, understanding, and reconciliation on both a national and an international level.

Within the U.S., we need to listen to our own suffering as seen in problems such as racial and religious discrimination, and school violence. Listening with compassion to this suffering would increase national understanding and trust, and show us paths out of division and despair. Recognizing the strength and goodwill of the people of our nation, we know we have the capacity to do this.

We call upon the community, humanitarian, and spiritual leaders to come together in local and national forums for compassionate listening. In these forums, representatives of diverse communities would be guided by people skilled in mediation and reconciliation to carefully express their suffering without blaming or condemning. When possible, these forums would be televised to increase participation.

In this way, the collective understanding of our nation's suffering would deepen and result in creative new solutions and legislation to improve the lives of all people in the U.S. This would help alleviate the despair in this land that could explode into acts of violence. By embodying strong, compassionate leadership through self-examination and reform, the US would inspire other nations.

Internationally, we propose the creation of a peace parliament to listen to the suffering of people throughout the world, and to offer courageous alternatives to war. The parliament's focus would not be dialogue between political representatives of nation-states and would not duplicate the vital role of the United Nations. It would instead create a safe space for members of diverse communities to share both their difficulties and visions for a peaceful world. This would increase understanding of difficult global situations, and become a source of insight and concrete proposals for political leaders around the world.

We call on all people to engage in this work on both the national and international level. We call upon trained mediators from local, national and international organizations. We ask community, humanitarian, and spiritual leaders to volunteer, and the media to offer its support, so that these processes of healing can begin.

We call upon all nations, and the United States in particular, to answer this immediate need, not by hastening toward increasing tragedy, but by moving in the direction of peace and security. We must act swiftly and with care to create the lasting peace we all desire.

Please Mail completed Signature Sheets to:
Listen for Peace 
P.O. Box 210
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 02130

If you would like to help or want further information visit our website at www.listenforpeace.org,  or check out the Suggestions for Peace Action.  

Added November 9, 2002