When the ground is cleared to start the foundations of a Living Circle, the hard earth must first feel the full force of the pickaxe. Trees have to be removed, their roots loosened and unearthed; nothing can be left which could weaken the strength of the future structure.
In pioneering a work of peace, we too need to feel the full force of the pickaxe in our lives. Peace is not just the absence of conflict; it is the absence of the roots of conflict. In times of plenty and prosperity these roots of war are still there, they lie buried beneath the untroubled surface of our lives. Each time we put our needs before others, we feed those roots. Each time we take offense, we feed those roots. Each time we cling to our own political or national identity, we feed those roots and each time we buy something we do not need, we feed those roots.
In pioneering a work of peace, we want to form a community that puts bread into the hands of the hungry, provides education for those eager to learn, shares ideas across cultures and cares for the wounded of our world.
In order to form that community, we have to be prepared to yield to the pickaxe and choose a life that challenges comfort. We have to be prepared, through times of turbulent change, to loosen and unearth the roots of war within us, clearing the ground in order to build on a firm foundation. We have to be prepared to lose what we call our individuality, but is really our ego, and join with others in a collaborative effort to build something that will be larger than the sum of its parts.
Economics works differently where acts of justice are concerned. In this arena loss is profit as we turn from the material world’s ineffective solutions to the suffering of the poor. When we turn from the city we learn the only gold worth having is found in a field of corn, lifting its face to the ripening rays of the sun
Thus, as we prepare for the launch of the project, we lay down our preconceived ideas of peace and take up the hoe in a humble effort to learn what will grow in this fertile land that has been entrusted to us. As we do this, we hope to discover the paths that will lead to healing and hope for the children who will come to live amongst us.