Dove in flight copyright MBPhoto through iStockPhoto #000000662242
"Dove in Flight" by MBPhoto

“Peace comes about when one party recognizes the narrative of an antagonistic party and sees its point. Peace presumes the capacity of one party to enter in some way into the experience of another.”

— James Carroll, author of Jerusalem, Jerusalem*

 

Many of you know I’m on a mission to encourage every citizen of this planet to write your story.

You don’t have to publish it if you don’t want to.

Some stories are content to curl up in a hearthside chair and rock a grandchild to sleep. They send personal messages to your descendants who won’t have the pleasure of knowing you.

Other stories scream from the rooftops for freedom and justice.

Sharing our stories inspires deep empathy, allowing us to–as James Carroll puts it–“enter in some way into the experience of another.”

And even before sharing, the writing process itself opens us to new perspectives. Writing is both cathartic and nourishing. We release pain and receive inspiration. We might empathize with the person we used to be, make sense of familiar patterns, and find beauty and meaning in places we never supposed that we could.

Write for peace: first for yourself, and then for another–in the present or the future–and maybe for the world.

*Complete James Carroll Interview by NPR’s Guy Raz

Summary article and excerpt

 

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011

Photo © MBPhoto, iStockPhoto #000000662242