Peace on Earth?

Peace on Earth, goodwill to man…

portland trip Dec 2012 093

It’s hard to imagine a harder week than one filled with the violence of mass shootings in a shopping mall and an elementary school, as just happened here in the United States, leading up to the Christian Holidays of Christmas.

The only comfort I find is in knowing that the world rebounds with compassion, sympathy and heart.  Being in Portland right now, only a few miles from where the shopping mall attack occurred, we sit in relative peace and calm just a few days later….except for those whose lives were directly touched.  So while we unite in compassion, the impact on our daily lives is shorted lived, beyond the media storm.

With such a short-lived impact, how can we create change?  Don’t get me wrong, I rejoice that as a society we can bounce back so quickly, but I worry that we don’t take the steps to realize a more peaceful, more calm way of life; one that even our young violent men can resonate with…

Someone I know, Laurie A. Couture, an author, posted in her blog, a response from her son about the shooter at the elementary school.  Brycen R. R. Couture said to his mom, “He must have been in a lot of pain”.  Boy, what a knowing heart shows up in that comment of his.  Knowing the compassion with which this mom raised her own son, and the benefits of her ‘attachment parenting‘ style, I have to think there is hope for the future.

Author Laurie A. Couture with her son


Raising three sons with a similar commitment to attachment style parenting, which means a lot of close physical touch through kangaroo carrying packs, extended breastfeeding, eye-contact, family beds, large extended circles of adults, close community bonding, homeschooling, unschooling…there is a lot to see
in evidence.  My kids played with guns too. But the point is, they played with them.  There is no need to fixate on the real thing because their boyhood fascination with weaponry and violence was worked out as children.  They didn’t need to carry that with them into adulthood.

Heck, I played with toy guns…. I distinctly remember the Vietnam era machine gun I owned to play guns in and around the hedges of our yard with my brother.  The only girl among three brothers, I had a lot of exposure to boyness.  With lots of uncles, and three sons of my own, I get it.  But true masculinity never hurts the defenseless   Such acts are an aberration of a fully developed male child.  I hope our kids raise their kids with the closeness of breasts, eyes, arms, and a deep unconditional love.  In other words, ‘in the most natural way’.  I hope our society gets better at sensing the hurt of those raised without it, those hurting deeply for some pain of their own.  And, finds a way to heal all wounds…

Peace now upon all your houses–  Check out this writers’ 10 tips for a peaceful child/teen….including ‘listen more than speak’, ‘keep electronics out of the bedroom’, etc.  Practical ideas to start now for the next generation.

Published by Alexis Wittman

Artist, Designer, Writer, Facilitator living in Northern Michigan Architectural Engineer/Designer owner of Architectural Research + Design.

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