After Myanmar



Since the return there have been three presentations sharing the stories of brothers and sisters in Myanmar.

People are shocked by how hard it has been for the people. It is difficult to truly convey the magnitude of water conflict. It is even harder to convey the way our actions here affect everyone else.  The one world perspective.

It is hard to convey the stories of hope and possibility in amongst such massive challenges.

People are caught up with their own  problems of working and providing for their families . It is hard to explain that the level of poverty  is such that even those struggling here are still rich in comparison.

Those from earthquake disaster torn Christchurch are overwhelmed as they come through their own stories of upheaval and survival. They can’t imagine what living through another disaster of such magnitude would be like. Actually its worse than that. They can imagine it and the pain overwhelms them.

In some ways the story is too powerful for people to feel that they can make a difference.

But we can, each choice we make has an effect.

I guess all we can do is make a start. Any start. And start again each day.

We can reduce the consumption and waste in our own lives. We learn to open our field of concern and ‘give a little’. We can pay attention to what the politicians are doing and vote well.

It is a collective responsibility and call for a change in the way that human beings live and the connect to each other and the planet.

I don’t think we  have seen something so big.

We could make a difference if we were willing to focus our efforts differently. If we truly understood the effect of poverty on the planet and the way we  wage war on each other directly and indirectly.

The ultimate violence of our practices of over consumption and waste. The way we have developed global systems that value  hoarding and wealth creation.

What I learnt in Myanmar is that when people come together and are empowered to take governance from external actors then they can make a difference.

Communities can create changes. People together make change.

With vision and cooperation and some redistribution of money and resources it is possible.

It is a massive change in mind set and practices. Within myself I learnt that our survival as a species will depend on it.

The scope of this is beyond an academic conference. Talking and creating change makers is a practical process…. triggering guilt does not create change….I hope the conference platform for the peoples stories will have practical outlets…. in the kind of way.

I would like o thank Pushpa for her vision in sparking this pilot Peace builders program. I am grateful that I was chosen to participate.

Have I become a peace builder? The changes are still emerging.

My instinct is that we can all be peace builders wherever we find ourselves.




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