Compass Points: Pointers for Peace and Justice Workers

This is the outline of a talk I once gave at the FOR Peacemaker Training Institute.

FIRST, DO NO HARM (Hippocrates): consider consequences short term and long term, intended and otherwise.

EARTH FIRST/GAIA (Lovelock): the earth, its creatures and its elements are a single organism of interacting, interdependent parts; avoid tribalism, nationalism, classism.

PRACTICE RIGHT LIVELIHOOD (Buddha): avoid co-optation; avoid vested interests; overcome addiction and distraction; seek socially useful projects/employment/avocations

PROPERTY IS THEFT (Proudhon): own less; consume less; avoid debt; travel light

TRUST THE ROAD (EK): take risks; security is an illusion; get beyond the US & Western bubble

SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY (Thoreau): live simply so others may simply live (Gandhi)

SLOW IS BEAUTIFUL (Schumacher): speed kills; freedom is never having to be in a hurry; drive less – walk and bike more

BITE LESS, CHEW MORE: pace yourself; don’t over-extend; value quality over quantity

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS: be mindful; treat all work as craft

QUESTION AUTHORITY (Socrates): write pointed letters to the editor; resist the machine – avoid being a cog; access non-US and alternative media

NEITHER A LEADER NOR A FOLLOWER BE [EK]: subvert hierarchy; subvert patriarchy – no bosses here! avoid concentrating power

KEEP MEANS AND ENDS CONSISTENT (Gandhi): the personal is political; every act, every purchase, is a vote

RESIST MILITARISM: violence breeds violence

IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE (Pope Paul VI): peace without justice = structural violence

DON’T LIE…or fib: lying is covert violence

BUILD COMMUNITY: mend fences; don’t compete – cooperate; include others; care for the “least of our brethren” (Jesus)

Ed drew these points from many sources. Reach him at [email protected].