Elevating nonviolence

Local works to take the movement to the mainstream

The author is a longtime Chico activist.

Nonviolence, in the English language, has not been a been a positive evocation in people’s vocabulary. It is not mainstream—yet.

The Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. are big names among thousands who over the many years of human societies made big impacts on our way of dealing with each other. Yet, we are enmeshed in a culture that believes in the myth of redemptive violence, with a mindset that accepts violence as a given for humans. Walter Wink said that the world’s greatest religion is faith in violence.

I say let’s change that now. Already there has been a committed effort to elevate nonviolence to a practical, integrative, easily understood way of life. Among other efforts, Campaign Nonviolence, a project of the peace organization Pace E Bene, has energized a Week of Nonviolence Actions, Sept. 18-24 this year. The UN International Day of Peace is Sept. 21.

Locally, Chico Mayor Mark Sorensen is opening the City Council meeting on Sept. 20, and is expected to proclaim that week the Week of Nonviolence Actions in Chico.

Recently, the Chico Peace and Justice Center held the first of eight insightful workshops titled Everybody’s Revolution: Exploring the Wheel of Integral Nonviolence. This is open to anyone on the third Wednesdays throughout the series.

Sept. 17 is National Police Appreciation Day.

Also, on Saturday, Sept. 17, the Chico Peace Vigil invites everyone to join fellow peace seekers at the corner of Third and Main streets, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for friendly, fun, creative public inspiration.

Later that day, from 4 to 8 p.m., the Ridge Coalition for Peace and Justice (RCPJ) and the Paradise Grange are hosting the Unity in Diversity Festival at the Paradise Grange, off Pearson Road. Admission is free.

On Sept. 21, “100 Thousand Poets for Change” invites all to Chico Community Labyrinth at Children’s Playground, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., to celebrate in creative solidarity for global uplift with poetry, art and music.

Finally, kindness, understanding, patience and persistence with yourself and those around you can continue forever.