Arms are for hugging…


Photo credit: CNN.COMDWkYoXDVoAANMUR.jpg

Yesterday, I was at the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue to meet and hear Alice Nderitu (recipient of the 2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue) speak about the use of dialogue to advance peacebuilding and human rights.

Communities and citizens around the world have and continue to experience violence, within homes, in schools, places of worship and on the streets. The cost of violence is billions of dollars and the costs are on the rise.

A few hours ago, I came across the picture above. The words “Arms are for hugging”, made me ask the question – why do our children need to beg for peace and remind us that arms are for hugging? Have we not learned enough about the impact of violence in our lives and on the planet? What can we do to make a difference?

Alice Nderitu’s words may help make a difference, “Conflict is a fact of life. Violence and conflict do not mean the same thing because conflict involves choices that include interventions before it becomes violent. We must now join hands to work towards the kind of interventions that promote community ownership of peace.” 

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