When I began this space in February 2010, a community of like-minded pilgrims who believe in the transforming power of love and seek to live in its embodiment for a better world began to gather here. Eventually, to them, I posed a question:
What do people traveling the journey toward nonviolence believe? What would we embrace as the bedrock foundation of our beliefs?
We created a rather fine list of core beliefs, which came to be called the “JTN Manifesto.” Together, we asserted that we are about . . .
- The precious dignity of every human person
- Looking out at the world with and through eyes of love
- Forgiveness and reconciliation
- Compassionate listening that heals, empowers, and ultimately creates a more loving human family
- Examining the violence in our own hearts and lives in a commitment to confess and repent of our contribution to the world’s destruction and devastation
- An unwavering belief in the unique power of love to overcome and transform violence
- Responding to violence with curiosity, rather than anger or judgment
- Offering creative, life-giving love in response to any degree of violence or hatred
- Learning with each other and from each other
- Celebrating acts of love and nonviolence within this community and around the world
- Finding specific situations and places to actively choose and practice nonviolence
- Forgiving ourselves and each other when we fail to live this journey well
While those walking this path could never promise to embody these ideals perfectly, these are the ideals toward which we direct our days. (And if I were to add anything extra to this list, it would be the need for divine assistance to accomplish any of it!)
By following each the links in the above list, you can learn more about what these commitments mean and the dialogue that was shared about each one. I hope you’ll join me — and the rest of the community that gathers here — in being a proponent of peace, love, grace, and nonviolence shed abroad in this world, just one person doing your part, just like the rest of us are.