Tuesday, January 16, 2007

victim vs. perpetrator

I went to The Kindling's Muse live radio program yesterday with my friends Chris and Laurel. They had a panel discussion of various stories pulled from yesterday's New York Times chosen by Dick Staub, the host. It was fun. I really like Dick's insights and commentary, and I also really like Bill Hogg's insightful comments (there's a little redundancy for you, to make up for the recent oxymoron). One question Dick asked, which I'd like to ask here, was
1. Is peace in the Middle East possible?

Bill Hogg pointed out the magnificent irony of George Bush's repeated use, in his recent Iraq Policy (non) Update Speech, of the phrase "peace in the Middle East". I responded to this question with a question of my own during the "questions from the audience" segment. I shall ask that here as well:

2. Can question "Is peace in the Middle East possible" be rephrased as:

3. "Is it possible for me, for us, to choose to be the victim rather than the perpetrator?"?

Question three, I guess, feeds into the whole area of nonviolence. Is it possible for us to respond to the perpetrator with love? Is it possible to overcome violence with more violence? For me the answer to question three is generally "no". I am too often the perpetrator. I can see that as I mature, this is less often true--more often than before I can answer "yes" to question three. However, I still far too often must answer "no". And if the answer to question two is "yes", then I guess from my perspective the answer to question one is (by implication) also more often than not "no".

What are your answers?

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