"The more people hate an enemy for the violence they believe he will inflict on them, the more they will behave in such a way as to incite violence. The more they fear war to be imminent, the more they will act in such a way as to bring war about. Rather than being self-refuting, then, prophecies of violence and war tend to be self-fulfilling. This is a secret well-known to political leaders. When they want war, one of the actions they take is to present war as inevitable. The more inevitable a war is perceived to be, the more inevitable it becomes. Preparations for battle create their own momentum, and any leader who might want to stand in the way will have a daunting task. It is always easier to provoke violence than to prevent it." - Mark Anspach, Vengeance in Reverse

There are lots of ways to prevent violence, lots of ways to repair its consequences, lots of ways to build beloved community. In a polarized society there may be no more effective violence prevention measure than building bridges, or at least none more accessible. Get to know at least one person who votes differently. It's not necessarily easy. But it is necessary. And the history of conflict transformation proves it works. Start with the person of different political views with whom you feel most comfortable. Just get to know each other. This is the work.


SMALL RUMINANTS - Lesley-Anne Evans