Global Peacemakers Awards (GPA)
| Russian | Japanese
Must Be A Better Way....
by Norie Huddle,
Founder, The Best Game on Earth
"I feel so incredibly frustrated," said Susan.
John looked at her. The muscles in her cheek were twitching.
Tension. He understood how she felt. He'd been feeling a
great deal of tension and anxiety ever since September 11...
and then, the anthrax scares.... the war in Afghanistan...and
now, possibly a war against Iraq... "Do you want to
talk about it?" he asked gently.
"Oh, dear, I'm not sure I can put my frustration into
words." She hesitated, then, "That's part of what
is so very frustrating. I feel as if I am in some new and
unexplored territory in my life and I am completely unprepared
and uncomfortable. None of the old signposts work anymore."
She fell silent. John stood there, feeling an enormous sense
of love and appreciation for his wife. She was always so
honest, so insightful. Maybe out of her insights he would
learn more about his own anxiety.
Suddenly her words came tumbling out. "I feel so frustrated
because I don't have any idea what we need to do to solve
this current situation. I mean, it was such a horrible shock
when the Towers and the Pentagon were hit -- we haven't
been attacked since Pearl Harbor...and that was so far away.
And of course, the terrorists can't just get away with their
attacks. We have to do something. But I feel so uncomfortable
about what has happened in Afghanistan. I mean, several
million people are about to starve to death there unless
food can be properly delivered to them. And all the bombing....
I don't know.... it just doesn't make sense. The more we
bombed them, the more innocent people were killed or injured.
That's not right. That's a kind of terrorism, too, don't
John thought about the conversation he'd had recently with
the guys at work. "Yeah, I know what you mean. The
thing that Joey and Paul pointed out is that the more innocent
people get killed, the more new terrorists will spring up.
Those guys over there don't think like us. They think they'll
go directly to heaven if they die while on some suicide
bombing mission or whatever. So, it looks to me like a 'no
"What we are doing right now really IS a no win situation,"
said Susan. "But it's much worse than that. While we're
fighting this war, we're not paying attention to some really
important things. In a way we're focusing on the wrong enemy.
People's REAL enemies are fear and poverty, hunger...disease...
And ignorance. Those are things that breed terrorism."
She looked at him thoughtfully. "And maybe the biggest
'REAL enemy' is the way we human beings think we can live
however and wherever we want, cutting down so many trees,
polluting the rivers, the oceans, the soil... I just don't
see how we can continue consuming more and more resources"
The muscle in her cheek was twitching again. "I know
THAT is a big part of the anxiety and frustration I'm feeling.
What will happen to the Earth if we keep on like this? It's
a really scary thought."
"You know," said John, "Paul said something
similar-that with the war on terrorism, we seem to be completely
forgetting the larger issues that, if unattended to, will
kill all of us, sooner or later. He gave the examples of
global warming and the holes in the ozone layer. But it's
all related, as you say, to our way of living."
John sighed deeply. "It's as if people have gotten
hypnotized by the ability to consume massive amounts of
stuff... then they were hypnotized by the actions of the
terrorists....and now, they're hypnotized by the reactions
of our government and military against the terrorists.."
He shook his head. "I love America as much as the next
guy, but loving America has got to be part of loving the
whole Earth. America needs a healthy Earth to be healthy.
We're thinking too small...we're missing some really important
things we can't afford to miss."
"Yes," said Susan. "I think we're basically
saying the same thing. Our leaders are so caught up in this
immediate situation, scrambling from crisis to crisis, that
they-and we-never step back to get the big picture. And,
if we don't get an accurate BIG picture of what's going
on, we'll never figure out a really good way to act."
Susan fell silent. She looked so sad. "I lost my dad
in World War II....my brother was badly injured in the Vietnam
War... John, I'm really scared that our two sons are...."
she stopped, all choked up. "It's not right...."
She was shaking...fear, anger, frustration, incredible sadness..."
And, over there in Afghanistan, over there in Iraq, there's
another mother whose son will die...or another young woman
whose husband may die... it's just not right. There MUST
be a better way."
"Oh, sweetheart," said John, putting his arms
around her as she started to cry softly, "You are so right.
It's as if there are houses all over the village that are
catching on fire... and the firemen are all rushing around
to put out this blaze...and that blaze... but it's never
enough, no matter how bravely they fight the fires."
"Yes," said Susan, wiping her eyes on John's sleeve.
She took a deep breath. "What we need is to step back
and get the big picture...like, what is causing the fires
in the first place?" She was silent for a moment, then,
"You know what I keep thinking to myself? If we're
smart enough to put a man on the moon, aren't we also smart
enough to figure out how to create a peaceful and just world,
a world that works well for everyone?"
"Oh, jeez," said John, somewhat embarrassed. "I
know a lot of people would consider that to be completely
crazy, utopian thinking... but, to tell you the truth, honey,
I have the exact same thoughts myself. We human beings are
pretty good at solving a problem once we make up our minds
to solve it. But we don't seem to be asking the right questions.
So, we're not solving the most important problems."
He stroked her hair slowly, thoughtfully. "Maybe if
enough of us were to put our attention into solving THAT
one," he said in almost a whisper, "maybe we could
actually do it!"
They stood there, holding each other, feeling incredibly
helpless. How could this be done? The task seemed so enormous.
How could enough people come to focus on this challenge
- the challenge of how to create a just and lasting peace
in the world, one that is sustainable long into the future?
They both sighed deeply, spontaneously... How wonderful
it would be, if.... if only....
....A faint idea began to take form.... "Oh, honey,"
Susan said, pulling back and looking into John's eyes. Her
eyes were very bright and full of wonder. "Maybe we
just did something just now... something really important
in asking ...together...for help. You know,'...ask and it
shall be answered unto you'..."
John looked at her strangely. "I'm feeling something,
too, honey. It's as if...as if something has shifted...
but I can't put words to it yet."
Susan was excited. "John, I think a lot of people are
thinking about these issues and are feeling much the way
we do. Maybe we could start by raising this question with
our friends: How can we encourage people to think constructively
about how to create a lasting and just peace in the world?"
"Now THAT is an interesting idea," said John,
starting to get excited. "I think you're onto something.
From listening to talk radio and the various news programs
on TV and radio, lots of people seem to be sensing that
some new way of thinking is needed." He lifted Susan
up and swung her around in a circle, a big grin on his face.
"Tell you what-I'll run this idea by the guys at work."
"Great!" said Susan, laughing softly as he put
her back down gently on the floor. "After you get home
this evening, let's write an email to send to our families
and friends. We can ask them also to pass it along to THEIR
families and friends, and so on. Maybe if enough people
share their ideas, we can all figure this thing out."
--How can we encourage people all over the world to share
their constructive ideas for building a peaceful and just
world? If you have any ideas, please contact Susan and John
Together we can do what no one of us can do alone.
Peace AD November 11, 2001
La Stampa (news paper)
Italian (Northern Italy local edition)
JAVANAN (weekly magazine)
Persia language,English (Iran, U.S.A., U.K.)
L.A.Times (news paper)
English (World Wide)
"love - peace project" : full-page advertisement in Japanese Newspapers
In the first year of the 21st century, faced with a big decision to make. I hope you'll join us and think about it.
The 11th of September was not only the day the whole world was shocked, but it was also the International Peace Day of the United Nations. The world in peace is what everyone hopes to live in. However there remains the question of how will peace be achieved. Now is the time for every one of us to think about it. It is a problem for each of us.
The act, which took the lives of people, should not be permitted. The people who did it should be judged and punished under International Law. What we can do is to think about what we'll do in order never to bring this kind of disaster again on earth. Think sincerely about this.
The future belongs to children, and no one has the right to take it away from them. Children are watching to see if grown-ups are going to choose to respect each other even if they are of different religion, nationality, and/or race.
Our power maybe very small, but we have it.
Join us and give your bit of power to put a full-page advertisement in newspapers around Japan.
Every person around the world may live with a smile in love and peace. The world changes when you take action.
Organizer of the "love - peace project"
Translated script of Ms Tenkawa's article is only for the use of Global Peace Campaign. Unauthorized duplication of this part is strictly prohibited.