Responding to the Events of the Day

by Gary Baran

I mourn the loss of life,
the almost unimaginable suffering,
the terrible waste of resources.
I am appalled and frightened, for myself and for all of us
as we stand at the edge of an abyss of a new era
of intolerance, fear and vengeance.

There is another way.
And there is still time, but not much,
to reject the call for more of the same.

The President says he will hunt down and punish those responsible.
I am not consoled, cheered or in agreement.
I seek no punishment.
I do not wish to be this kind of hunter.
I seek no punishment.
I seek only to protect.
And I know that punishment makes it harder to protect,
perpetuates the violence, causes more blood to be shed.

I am confident that those who crashed the planes
were desperate people
doing what they regarded as right, perhaps even their sacred duty.

This is such an old and painful story, this story of ignorance and
I am sick of this story.
The earth is sick of this story.

Let us weep until the grief is gone,
so we act not out of pain but out of understanding and compassion.
Let us take time to heal.
Let us transform the anger and rage,
So we do not make things worse.

And then let us create a new story
we can all enjoy.

Gary Baran is the Exeuctive Director of the
Center for Nonviolent Communication

For more information, visit their website at

Reprinted with permission


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