Years ago, while on a leisurely driving tour of the Mississippi (on the Wisconsin side, it really is more charming than the MN side. lol) we came upon a house with a simple sign in their front yard. It read; Wage Peace.
I pondered those words for the rest of the ride. It lingered in my thoughts over the years, it always came back to me when I'd watch news clips and the like. And I'd wonder, just how does one wage peace? What an oxymoron.
To wage suggests a ferocious effort. Which is directly contradictory to peace. Or is it? Put the two words together and the simplicity and complexity was so....well, jarring.
Fast forward, I watched an Amanpour report on a man named Greg Mortenson and his work on girls' schools in Pakistan. Lovely piece. But the schools and education were the secondary story. The prominent message was the building of peace; One school at a time, one child at a time, one village at a time.
A simple line spoken, during that piece, jumped out at me. Loosely quoting, because it has been a while. "They (young men) need their mother's permission to become a martyr."
They need their MOTHER's permission to become a MARTYR.
Their mother's permission. I had no idea. What a cultural divide.
In just 2 month's time, my soon-to-be-young-adult son won't have to ask me for permission to do squat. Well, unless he wants my wallet to fund it. But something as profound as giving his life for a cause, won't even need to be breathed upon my ears. Here, half way around the world, in an area so reputed to be full of women's rights violations...women, in fact, hold the golden ticket to peace? You ain't doing nothing, unless your mama says it's ok.
I could get all into the whole big bad America bringing the rain and look at how strong we are. But I don't want to, it detracts from the long fight and the power truly held by mother's all over the world. Radicals and fundamentalists have realized that the long battle to "winning" their cause is generational, not reactive. Suppress women, steal their children's spirit, and reap "soldiers" for generations to come.
Intrigued, I sought out the book by the man featured in the report and couldn't put it down. This is significant too, because the last book I picked up and read, that wasn't a reference book, was Angela's Ashes....in hardcover. I know, right? Ok, so, Mr. Mortenson is investing in children by building schools with a balanced education. Specifically, girls schools, in places that churn out our nation's biggest threats. Understanding too, just how powerful women can be, he's funded vocational sites for adult women. A place to gather, to learn, to sew, to make their own living.
THIS. This is how you Wage Peace.
I'm humbled. I'm touched. And I'm moved to contribute....I could do so quietly. Contribute, that is. Shaving off some money from the family budget and my wool work, but I want this to be a constant presence in my life so I'm sharing my contribution "plan." I also don't want my resolve to fade. Maybe too, it will jostle someone else into picking up the book too.
Each month, I will "fill" three teacups and offer the contents up for sale. 100% of the proceeds will go to Mr. Mortenson's work. Since I *just* finished the book, and I *just* joined a new Congo at Hyenacart, I had to get cracking on a deadline. Which is tomorrow. I'll be honest, I tried to talk myself into the 15th of March stocking...but I knew I'd talk myself out of my own enthusiasm, so under-the-gun is how it will be.
Stay tuned, I'm off to list three cups right now.....