How to Amplify and Magnify Peace by sylvain henry
In the last 100 years over 200 million soldiers and civilians have been killed in wars they didn’t want. We still don’t want wars and yet, once again, our western leaders have brought us to the very edge of another “humanitarian” invasion in the Middle East. Either our leaders are giving us a deaf ear or our voice has been too quiet. On the other hand, our leaders’ voice, the mainstream media, is loudly pressing us to believe there’s an “urgent necessity” to wage war with Syria and Iran. Leaders, however, fail to remind us of the high risks involved in warring against nations that may be backed by a military superpowers so since Russia and China are standing firm against a possible unprovoked attack of Syria and Iran, initiating hostilities may lead to a third world war. A military clash between superpowers would be a short one since it will likely involve the mass deployment of modern nuclear missiles, each of which has the devastating power of 1000 bombs like the one dropped over Hiroshima, almost 70 years ago. A world war in 2012 can have no winners so it’s to everyone’s benefit to see to it that those who want to wage peace get the strongest voice.
Since there has never been an organization that was loud enough to prevent wars, I’ve made it my mandate to engage my own community in peace discussions. To get this conversation going, I’ve listed on the Internet 1001 peace-actions we all can do to bring us closer to the end of all wars. To make it more fun, I also provide in this list a direct way for us to do these simple and safe actions with others.
One of the 1001 items on this peace-action list is for citizens to create their own “peace and prosperity” event, as I had done back in 2009, in Ottawa, Canada. With no budget whatsoever, but with lots of community help and support, I created an international event at a local high school gym. I had invited Mahatma Gandhi’s very own grandson, Arun, to be our guest speaker. The spirit of our event attracted him as I had hoped and Mr. Gandhi accepted my invitation. Somehow this spirit also attracted the participation of four foreign ambassadors as well as First Nations leader William Comanda. I thought at the time that the presence of well known personalities would amplify our peace message and create a lasting impression. I was partly right. Our community event had some international impact and was well attended by citizens and small business owners. However, every decision-maker (Canadian politician) and decision influencer (mainstream media journalist) I had invited declined to join us at the last moment. This taught me an unforgettable lesson: we first need to find those who want to hear our message, before we voice it.
Finding those who want to hear the message of world peace in a crowd of some 7 billion people is a quite challenge. My “shot in the dark” answer to this challenge is my Green Light Project, another item on my list. Peacemakers need to attract peace-lovers in these dark times so why not use light? To help them become more visible to each other, I convinced some 400 people to light green light bulbs in front of their homes and keep them turned on all night as a constant and visible reminder to passersby to talk peace. Thinking big once more, I believe peace makers and peace lovers can come-together as a community to light a path to peace using something we all need to keep us out of the dark. Communities can give peace the green light. This new idea is glowing brighter every day especially in a world where fewer people like to read. We hope this idea might even attract us a sponsor who will magnify our light. The message of peace needs to be magnified and amplified.
How do you amplify a message for the world to hear? Can we find an effective way to share critical messages nationally or beyond? The profit-oriented mega-media companies could do so but at a price we couldn’t afford. Besides they have never been peace’s messenger. I am willing to bet community newspapers and community-based internet media would and could, if they formed an informal national alliance to do so. They could make a some space available to share critical national articles or announcements, and print local responses to them. Publishing messages that have a large common ground would foster a connectedness to a larger community. It would also affect a large enough percentage of the population to make any message loud and clear. Community-based news papers and Internet media can be the blow-horn of peace.
Arun Gandhi’s grandfather, the Mahatma, knew this well. In his own community newspaper he printed the truths Indians were longing to hear. The Mahatma called truth itself an unstoppable force which he named “Satyagraha” (truth force) and even instructed his readers on how to use the force. The main truth he was focusing on at the time was his nation’s desire to have the British Empire leave India. Gandhi’s expression of this truth was amplified in the other community newspapers of the world’s largest democracy till the truth became so loud it manifested itself: Gandhi asked the British to leave and they left, peacefully as friends.
The desire for world peace in 2012 is now the common ground message of humanity. I, and others, hope the national alliance of community-based newspapers and community-based Internet media entities becomes the new force to manifest this truth. Once it is, I will submit my message for approval to this force:
“If you oppose your country’s involvement in unprovoked wars then join us now to give “world peace” the “green light”. Turn on a green light in front of your dwelling every night till peace prevails. Amplify your action by sharing this message and a green light bulb with your neighbor, or with a neighboring community newspaper or Internet media office. By doing so, you will begin the alliance our nation needs, the one that gives us all a stronger voice and a greater connectedness.”
All it takes to bring peace in our world is that only 3% of the population believe peace is both necessary and achievable. A league of alternative media professionals is the tool we need to amplify and magnify this message. Join me in making this tool available to citizens. The process is already started.
sylvain henry, 613-600-5323, firstname.lastname@example.org
League of Alternative Media Professionals (LAMP)