Here's a well-articulated reflection on the challenges of personal peace-seeking from my good friend and fellow George Fox graduate, Kohleun:
I think deep down I’ve always been a pacifist. Violence in its many forms has unsettled me since I can remember hearing my older brother report a playground fight at his elementary school, or learning that spouse rape was incontestable in court in one last hold out state until I was six years-old, or seeing footage of the NYC World Trade Center falling to rubble when I was planning to go to the cinema to see The Princess Diaries, or watching George W. Bush blink hard as he reported a declaration of war on terror.
Until I began studying at George Fox University (named after one of the founders of the Society of Friends), pacifism as an identification wasn’t something I understood in a contemporary context. I pictured the “old days” when photos were in black and white and you had to take a side or none at all. Pacifism was something I respected and wanted to embrace, but I imagined one had to be an isolationist or at least a social/political puriya as a consequence. And I did NOT want to wear simple dresses and grow my hair out like in The Angel and the Bad Man.
Then I don’t know when it happened, because there was no aha! moment, just the slow coming to terms, but I began to identify myself with pacifism–with non-violent resistors.
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