Peace organization’s founder Charles Busch speaks on topics of nonviolence
Camille Lenning | Entertainment Editor
Content warning: this article discusses war and violence.
Charles Busch, founder and executive director of the organization Fields of Peace, gave a presentation about the importance of nonviolence in the Health and Wellness Center on Feb. 17. Joined by the organization’s former board chair and current treasurer Rod DeLuca, Busch spoke about Fields of Peace and their mission to “stop the killing of children in wars” and push for lasting world peace.
Busch began the session with a story originally attributed to Kim Stafford, an award-winning Oregon poet and conscientious objector to the Vietnam War.
The story centers on a boy that is revealed to be Stafford’s father, William, who — when faced with school bullies attacking two African American students — puts himself in harm’s way to stand by the victims in a peaceful show of support.
Much of Busch’s presentation centered around the principles of personal transformation, moral persuasion and sacrifice — the building blocks to peace.
Personal transformation begins when an effort is made to commit to peace. Busch’s own personal transformation began as he looked for peace vows that fit his personal, spiritual and religious needs. Eventually, he made the choice to write his own, and read a select few aloud from his book, “soft as water.”
Moral persuasion comes when peacemakers implore others to take up peace work. Sacrifice, as Busch explained, is the hard part.
Sacrifice in the name of peace requires one to prove they are dedicated to nonviolence, even under threat of violence. When speaking of sacrifices made in the name of peace, Busch referenced great peace advocates such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Fields of Peace created their vow called “Promise to Our Children” to uphold their mission. This promise was drafted by Busch when he founded Fields of Peace. He explained in his presentation that as war has evolved over the decades, the ratio of casualties between civilians and combatants has shifted from one civilian per nine combatants to nine civilians per one combatant.
The majority of these civilian deaths are children, hence the need for such a pledge. Each member of the organization takes the following vow, as well as any who wish to live by the words.
“I will not be a part of the killing of any child no matter how lofty the reason. Not my neighbor’s child. Not my child. Not the enemy’s child. Not by bomb. Not by bullet. Not by looking the other way. I will be the power that is peace.”
Great peacemaking work continues to be an important part of making the world a better place. To learn more about Charles Busch and Fields of Peace, go to the organization’s website at fieldsofpeace.org.
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