Skip to content Skip to footer

Compass Points: Pointers for Peace and Justice Workers

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

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].

The stakes have never been higher (and our need for your support has never been greater).

For over two decades, Truthout’s journalists have worked tirelessly to give our readers the news they need to understand and take action in an increasingly complex world. At a time when we should be reaching even more people, big tech has suppressed independent news in their algorithms and drastically reduced our traffic. Less traffic this year has meant a sharp decline in donations.

The fact that you’re reading this message gives us hope for Truthout’s future and the future of democracy. As we cover the news of today and look to the near and distant future we need your help to keep our journalists writing.

Please do what you can today to help us keep working for the coming months and beyond.