Category Archives: Nonviolence

Transforming Anger

On a recent sunny Saturday I was riding home on my bike from a couple of errands and spotted a yard sale.  Because I enjoy browsing at such sales, I stopped and began to inspect the merchandise.  After a few minutes I became aware that a car had pulled up across the street.  A man got out and began arguing with the woman hosting the sale, yelling that she was selling household items that belonged to him.  She explained to us customers that this was her ex- husband.
He: “That stuff you’re selling is mine!”
She: “No it isn’t!  You’re harassing me!”
He: “It is mine! I’m not harassing you, I just want my property!”
She: “You turned it over to me when you left.  If you don’t leave now, I’m calling the police!” Continue reading Transforming Anger

An Unexpected Meeting

I set out on a road trip recently from Denver to Albuquerque.  Still hopelessly in love with the American West–even though I have spent my entire adult life close to the Rocky Mountains–I reveled in the spacious vistas and open skies of the high plains and Front Range.  The interstate highway south of Raton, New Mexico, follows the route of the legendary Santa Fe Trail.

I reflected on a new book I’d read recently, Empire of the Summer Moon, by S. C. Gwynne, about the Comanches and the Western frontier. A cycle of violence, which included torture as well as murder and plunder, went on all across the Americas for centuries before Europeans arrived, and for centuries after, before it culminated in the genocide of the native American tribes.  Another genocide–of the American bison–was carried out at the same time.  In just a few years, many millions of these gentle creatures were shot for their fashionable hides, their flesh left to rot.  It was the largest human-caused near-extermination of a warm-blooded animal in the history of the planet.

And what’s happening now?  Well, we don’t have intertribal raiding and killing going on across our land.  We don’t have bounty hunters shooting millions of animals for their skins.  But is it better?  Now we have billions of animals bred and raised to be killed, and an all-out human assault on the planet’s ability even to sustain life at all.  This was getting depressing to think about, until something unexpected happened. Continue reading An Unexpected Meeting