Putting an End to War

On the first of October, I returned—excited and inspired—from my second Healing from World War II Workshop. Julian Weissglass1 has been leading these workshops for years now. I know many people who go year after year, and now I understand why. This is not a one-time workshop; it is a worldwide project to put an end to war. I found it enormously empowering to be part of a group of like-minded people battling together against everything that divides us.

Julian says that we can put an end to war and has set a goal of doing it in fifty years (starting from three years ago). War is not in our genes—we need to be carefully trained in order to go out and kill other people. Just as it once began, war can be ended. Many things will be involved in this, including discharging all the hurts and patterns, individual and societal, that have been caused or exacerbated by war and passed on from generation to generation: fear, distrust, nationalism, patriotism; divisions, hatred, and hostility among people from nations that have been enemies; most oppressions; and more.

Tremendous profits are made from war. As Julian spoke, I thought, “What if all the weapons-manufacturing plants were simultaneously destroyed all around the world? Then there would be nothing to fight with.”

We listened to each other’s stories about war. We met in support groups called Sharing our Stories, with people from very different backgrounds so that we got to hear many different experiences. I had the pleasure of leading one of these groups, and it influenced how I counsel people. I now listen more instead of looking for fancy directions.

I was also in a support group for discharging about the Holocaust. We were two Israelis, two North American second-generation Holocaust survivors, and two Germans. What started out looking impossible turned out to be2 empowering. Inspired by a demonstration on building alliances between two people from different countries, one of which had ruled the other, I counseled in my turn with the German woman. I imagined the two of us building an alliance and fought to see her humanity while not ignoring the history piled up between us.

I much appreciate Julian’s leadership and humility. He always apologizes for any mistakes he makes. He discharges on USer imperialism and explains difficult words and expressions so that everyone will understand. He is the leader, but it is a joint project. He says, “We’re all in this together.” He makes room for others and is constantly learning.

Part of Julian’s strategy for ending war involves spreading the idea that a world without war is possible. He goes around and asks people what they think about that. If people haven’t heard an idea, they will not be able to fathom it. We can plant the thought in people’s heads that a world without war is possible. The woman sitting next to me on the plane, when I asked her what she thought, said, “When people don’t want war anymore, there will be no war.”

Upon my return home, I led an evening, inspired by the workshop, for the two Areas3 in Jerusalem (Israel) and gave people a chance to tell their stories about war. We need to do much more of that here in Israel. My Area has also decided to do a listening project, and I’ve suggested that we use Julian’s question.

Naomi Raz
Jerusalem, Israel
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list
for leaders of wide world change

1 Julian Weissglass is the International Commonality Reference Person for Wide World  Change.
2 “Turned out to be” means resulted in being.
3 An Area is a local RC Community.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00