Trauma Healing and Nonviolence 3 Aug 2015

I was thoroughly pleased after yesterday’s sessions on the roles of Trauma Healing and Nonviolence in the process of peace building, because these are two topics that I strongly resonate with.

By emphasising the level of personal healing that must take place after communities of individuals are witnesses to – and perhaps also perpetrators of – violent offences and traumatic events, Dr. Hirsch effectively communicated the reality of a concept we’ve been returning to over again over again throughout these weeks: that the “structure” is composed of human beings. Because of my academic background in Psychology, and my personal interests in healing to promote peace and wellbeing, I sometimes experience difficulty feeling totally committed to political and economic strategies for peace building, simply due to the sheer size of institutional establishments that will need so much funding, rallying, and popular support to mobilize. While I do not wish to degrade the significance that structural change from the top bottom can have on peace, it is my preference to focus on grass roots change, because I believe that when the individuals of a given society are at peace with their neighbours, and themselves, then the political changes and economic changes will naturally reflect that state of the community.

Mr. Kazu Haga’s lecture on the nature of Nonviolence was a powerful ‘sequel’ to end the day with. I was struck by the truth I felt when he made the point that the Justice of the Universe is not always “good”; to paraphrase, if a PoC is shot and killed by the police in America, then that, unfortunately, is a Just consequence of all the time, money, and emotional capital (energy) we as a society invest in racist and violent institutions. I think this is an important truth to keep in mind when I proceed with my daily actions and my efforts to peace building, which also ties in beautifully with Dr. Hirsch’s key point about weight of each Individual’s role in creating and perpetuating societal systems. By allowing for my life to be universally loving, compassionate, and unconditionally inclusive in Forgiveness, I play a role in constructing a portion of the world that reflects this peacefulness. Furthermore, I open the possibility for countless others of whose life I am a part of to walk through this same door to Nonviolence, and the Power of Love.