To the Editor:
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Clinton Franciscans, The Franciscan Peace Center, the social justice arm of the sisters, has developed a campaign entitled “We Are One.” This campaign promotes the sisters’ efforts to teach active nonviolence. The center’s aim is to foster the idea — We Are One — regardless of where we came from, the color of our skin or the religion that we follow. Each of us is unique, yet the same. The ONLY way we should interact is nonviolently!
Many people are fearful, without even knowing why, of someone who looks different from themselves. Fear is really a result of ignorance. I recently ran across the statement: “Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds hate. Hate breeds violence.” In other words, if we would just take the time to get to know each other, to know that we all have the same concerns and hopes, there would be no reason to be violent.
Perhaps our fear would subside if we integrated the principles of nonviolence from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. into our interactions with others. Each of us has a piece of the truth. Human beings are not reducible to the evil they commit. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence is the desire for, and action on behalf of, the well-being of all.
There are many examples of this concept. One is a movie called “Welcome to Shelbyville.” In this one small town, citizens grapple with rapidly changing demographics. The film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race and religion. It is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.
Join us Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at The Canticle, 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton. For more information go to www.clintonfranciscans.com
Community Outreach Director
Franciscan Peace Center
To the Editor: