Contribute a peace of the pie

Mother’s Day is Sunday, and the Eighth Annual Mother’s Day National Action Day is tomorrow, Friday May 11.

Peacebuilding is 1% of U.S. budgetIn 1870, Julia Ward Howe, a Unitarian Universalist, launched a campaign to promote an annual Mother’s Day devoted not to candy and flowers but to disarmament. She placed her trust in mothers as peace activists.

The Peace Alliance recommends that on Mother’s Day National Action Day, women strive to make peace a piece of the pie. Check out their suggestions for what you can do to promote peace tomorrow and every day.

Do this on behalf of the child victims of war. Children are dying horrific deaths daily in many parts of the world, often from drone attacks launched by the United States, or from weapons bought from the US.  They lose their limbs and eyesight, as well as their families and neighbors. Children are forced to live as refugees from the wars that devastate their lands.

Mother’s Day is a good day to remember those children and to take action to stop the carnage.

Honor your mother, your grandmother, your wife, or your sister this Mother’s Day by joining the Mother’s Day National Action. Finally, please view a superb documentary on the aftereffects of war.

Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology

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5 Responses to Contribute a peace of the pie

  1. Gold Dust Twin says:

    The documentary, Remnants of War, features de-miners who risk their lives daily in the search for rusty but still deadly unexploded bombs. In France, it is estimated that to clear the land totally will take not seven years, not seventy years, but seven hundred years. What a daunting, hopeless task! What struck me about these courageous, dedicated, seemingly above and beyond ordinary human beings was their humanity, in that they could still joke and laugh.

  2. Barbara says:

    When I saw the statue of a woman in the foreground of a cemetery displaying a multitude of crosses, I was reminded of a play by Aristophanes about the women of ancient Greece. Lysistrata persuaded women to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace. We can only pray that it isn’t too late to take action all these centuries later.

  3. Krista Lee says:

    I find it appalling, but not surprising, that the largest portion of the federal budget is allocated to Defense. That in itself sends a message about American values. I understand the importance of maintaining the ability to defend in our turbulent world; however, what message is our country sending by only allotting one percent of government funds to Peacekeeping? This striking contrast alone should be enough to spring us into action. Don’t we all want the bigger slice of cake?

    • Brian says:

      I certainly agree; I don’t know anyone who would agree that this is how the ridiculous amount of money under the control of our government should be allocated. I don’t know what exactly falls under the umbrella of “peacekeeping” in this instance, but I think it is clear from a comparison of the percentages that we could use A BIT more of it when compared to things like “defense.” Nothing about that graph should sit well with any US citizen that is not entirely indoctrinated into a blind belief in the superiority and infallibility of military-oriented leadership. Clearly we need a serious adjustment of our priorities. We should not wonder why we seem to be in a perpetual state of geopolitical unrest when we see that this is where our emphasis lies.
      What is needed, I think, is a reversion back to values which stress community, caring, giving, and the importance of all life; a level of sacrifice for certain, but in ways which support the formation of a more sustainable paradigm. One would think with a single look at our history, we should be able to communicate better by now and work for a common interest. For too long, the common approach has been one of ego-driven dominance and destruction. But if we are advanced enough to map the human genome, launch ourselves through the protective shell of Earth’s atmosphere, and use the fusion processes which occur in the center of stars as weapons against our enemies, it seems like we should be able to find a way to live in a state of equilibrium with one another as well. Idealism, yes. Unrealistic, I don’t think so.

  4. Anna S says:

    In addition to being a good day for mothers to stand up for children, Mother’s Day is also a good day for children and grandchildren to stand up for their older mothers and grandmothers. In many ways, the unfortunate issue of child maltreatment parallels the issue of elder maltreatment; however, definitional problems have severely limited the amount of research, awareness, and prevention/ intervention resources for older adults (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 294). Because adults are typically considered self-sufficient, maltreatment of elders can be difficult to comprehend. Yet, research has shown that older individuals can suffer from many forms of abuse, including: neglect, sexual maltreatment, psychological maltreatment, stalking, abandonment, and financial exploitation (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 292). One specific finding is that frail, confused women over 80 years of age are most likely to experience maltreatment, especially by family members (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 300). It perplexes me to think that caregivers, both familial and non-familial, could maltreat older adults so badly. Given the evidence of elder maltreatment, what can we do to help?

    One way is to fight stereotypes such as ageism, which assumes that all elders are senile, rigid in thought, and old-fashioned in skill. For elders, these stereotypes are a risk factor for maltreatment (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 303). Furthermore, the negative effects of stereotypes also apply to people with disabilities, both young and old. Social stereotypes enable both victims and perpetrators to believe that the maltreatment is acceptable, and for the disabled victim, this can result in low self-esteem and low self-confidence (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 324).

    In addition to fighting harmful stereotypes, elders with dementia must face an increased risk of maltreatment, as studies have shown that approximately 50% of older adults suffering from dementia and being cared for by a family member suffer from some type of maltreatment (H&MM, Ch. 9, p. 320). As stated in Hines and Malley-Morrison, in order to end all forms of maltreatment against older adults, it is imperative that we educate the public, increase the availability of respite care, increase the supports available to caregivers, and encourage counseling and treatment for the contributing factors of elder abuse (H&MM, Ch.9, p. 315).

    For an interesting look at tolerance, love, and the comparison between elders and children, I strongly recommend watching the short film, “What is that?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U08lAYIdZlE).

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