I was asked about my personal reason why I like to realize "The Peace Experiment".
This is my answer:
It's not that I need a reason to wish us all more peace. But there is actually a very personal motivation why I wish so much that we try the peace experiment together.
My mother was born on Jan. 22, 1939, and on Sept. 1, 1939, World War II began. I experience daily what it means when a child was exposed to the horrors of war and cannot overcome the experience even into old age. War - the ugliest face that we humans are capable of ...
My mom has umpteen post traumatic stress disorders that she barely knows how to handle on some days. She was 5 years old when she experienced and survived the big attack on Bochum. Sirens, the hum of the planes, hail of bombs, screams, motionless bodies, stinking bunker, direct hits, homeless, familiar faces ... lost forever ...
When she sees pictures on TV of children in war zones, she cries bitterly and is inconsolable. I always wonder then how are we going to cure post traumatic stress disorder? Like this? By destroying such small and vulnerable children's souls over and over again? Why are we so cold-hearted? Why do we allow this to happen? Doesn't EVERY child in this world deserve our ALL maximum protection?
Then in her darkest dreams she sees them again, the men in long black coats. She hears their footsteps, their loud voices. They are faceless, characterless!
A hospital stay during wartime becomes an ordeal. The mental scars she has borne are not visible, but the ones behind her ears are ...
During the war bombs and fear of death were the companions of her childhood, after the war it was: hunger, hunger, again and again! She was without any idea of what war captivity means, but she had this daily painfully feeling: The absence of her father gnawed at the heart for years!
But that is not all by far!
At some point the hunger could be satisfied again and even the father returned from captivity, when she was 9 years old. Pancakes and joy were back, but peace ...
In April 1933, a brother of her mother witnessed a brutal murder of a merchant of Jewish faith. The murder of fellow Jews began long before the war began! Her mother's brother was 23 years old at that time and her mother 17.
Even Sophie Scholl was initially attracted to the National Socialists. Her mother's brother was no different, until the day he witnessed the cowardly and brutal execution. The years that followed for him were a chaos of emotions between somehow not being noticed, horror, fear of ending up just like the merchant and the feeling that what had happened must not be left unsaid.
When, in 1948, the Allies come to terms with many of the crimes that occurred during and before the war, he contributes to the condemnation of the murderers with his testimony. He recants for fear of retribution by the accused, but ultimately remains steadfast and reconfirms his original testimony. Only the "viscous brown soup" within the society was much more present long after the end of the war than one may admit.
My mother - a child that was born 6 years after the brutal murder of the merchant and 9 years already hardly understands this world then still experiences an exclusion that is not to be classified for her!
Everyone in the neighborhood knows her mother's maiden name. Suddenly it is a swear word! In the eyes of many, her mother's brother did not do the right thing. One does not "betray" one's comrade. Not even if he brutally beats a defenseless person to death for no reason ...
Mostly the others don't want to play with her and even tell her that they forgot to gas her ... all because her uncle had the courage to follow his conscience ...
A life beginning marked by hatred, oppression, assault, destruction, violence - physically as well as psychologically!
Again and again the lines of Goethe haunt her head: "And if you are not willing, then I shall use force!" She is not afraid of the virus, she is afraid of the vaccination. She is afraid of assault. Afraid of what will happen if one refuses. She finds it disgusting that opponents of vaccination wear Jewish stars! She remembers very well the children in her neighborhood who were "suddenly" no longer there! Quite exactly! She has their faces still before her eyes!
A pandemic, regardless of how you evaluate it, has nothing to do with a war for her. All the comparisons that are drawn there, the use of war vocabulary, whether from one side or the other, grasp at nothing for her. But a feeling from her childhood days is there again, the feeling of powerlessness, of being at the mercy of others, the feeling that everything could get out of hand ...
Under no circumstances does she want to be vaccinated. In general she doesn't want to see doctors anymore. Even though I sometimes worry about her and ask her if we shouldn't go to the doctor. She just doesn't want to!
What would you do if she were your mother? The scars on her soul I can only guess, the ones behind her ears I see every time I wash her hair ...
Can we blame her for her fear? Are we ALLOWED to blame her for her fear?
If it seems strange to us to tell a person with paraplegia: he shouldn't act like that, throw away the wheelchair and just walk ... haven't it also seem strange to tell a person with a psychological/emotional restriction not to act like that?
And is it really possible to determine from a one single decision of a person whether he is in solidarity or not?
I understand every person who gets vaccinated and I understand every person who does not get vaccinated. If you listen to the other person because you really want to know what moves him, regardless of how you think, you discover the human being in the other. Motives open up and become comprehensible.
Never in my life have I met a person who was not vulnerable and fragile! Really never and I have met a lot of people! Even with the coolest and rip-off murderer, I could see pee in the eyes! 8 billion people - 8 billion destinies - 8 billion little vulnerable souls!
Whenever we establish a general rule for all, we should be aware that we are also opening the door to inhumanity. The rule draws the control after itself and this the punishment with nonobservance. A rule, even if it is owed to a seemingly human goal, leaves the individual unconsidered. And so inhumanity can arise even if one actually had humanity in mind.
It is often underestimated that great, especially emotional, injuries are hidden behind the worst and most vicious verbal battles. When two people meet who have lost their resilience or have never or not yet developed it, they often get into an escalation vortex. The verbal abuse increases continuously and can rise to the point where physical violence serves as an outlet.
With fear and worry breathing down our necks, it quickly happens that we humans focus our arguments on trying to convince the other person. The unconditional desire to be right is often due to the feeling of regaining security and control - on both sides. It requires a high degree of empathy, if one is personally attacked, not to see the attack on oneself, but the pain of the other person. If you don't counter an insult with an insult, but address the pain of the other person, you are very likely to take the aggressive tension out immediately. In an argument, ALL parties have a pain they are struggling with.
It is "programmed" in our genes to be as energy-conserving as possible with our bodies. This has inspired our minds to all the ideas we know today. In the highly technological nations, there is hardly any heavy physical work to be done. However, this "programmed" desire for comfort is not only our doom in dealing with our planet, but also in dealing with each other.
In conflicts, we often choose the "comfortable" ways, e.g. not facing the conflict or going into fight mode. This is not even necessarily done consciously. But both ways are not effective, if you do not face a conflict, it is not gone, but only develops into a smoldering fire and ultimately destroys everything anyway - only slower. If one goes into the fight mode there must be a loser, however as a rule also the winner remains mostly only a loser. Comfortable are these ways only at first sight!
Although we don't like the uncomfortable from a genetic point of view, at second look we keep the solutions that are uncomfortable . If you look at the whole thing from the outside with some distance, it is really strange how much energy we are willing to expend to convince each other. On both sides, every means seems to be justified. Among other things, lies are circulated on both sides. The number of people saved by the lockdown was completely made up. Likewise, it was simply false that so many people died in the Spanish flu due to vaccination. At that time, there were no vaccinations against influenza. However, what is interesting for us in relation to the Spanish flu is that the virus had "leveled off" after three waves and lost its terror.
If we can shift our focus from obsessive persuasion to seeing everyone else - whether we like them or not! - as an enrichment and are curious about what the other can contribute to the topic, then we rock every crisis! Of course I realize that this is the most difficult point, to perceive everyone else as an enrichment. In other words, to really feel it that way. Especially when you don't like the other person and they say things that don't fit the explanations we've found for ourselves.
As hard as it may be, though, I think we actually could! If you look at the cohesion in the current flood and fire disasters, we do feel the great willingness to want to help each other!
It is so, the war began not 1939, not 1933, it began long before 1933 and not only that: Potential for wars is always present ... BUT for peace also!
Peace is always challenged when two people share the same fear but have different opinions about the way to solve it. Fear does not let us be ourselves, it paralyzes us, makes us drowners! If two drowning people meet, they cannot save each other. Unless they have made an agreement in advance that they will take turns swimming and pulling each other until they reach the shore together. However, if you have to call this up in an acute situation, this is only possible if you have practiced this BEFORE.
You don't learn to play guitar by buying a guitar. You have to practice, you have to play it. What we practice, our brain eventually puts on autopilot. We're not always aware of it because we take too much for granted. But our brain is a little miracle machine! At first, in most cases, we focus on technique first, whether we're practicing guitar fingerings or how to operate the clutch, gas, and brake on a car. At some point, the brain takes over the control of the technique and thus gives us back some of our concentration capacity. Suddenly, considerably more is possible.
When you have mastered the technique, you can also be taught to sound a melody or feel it. The latter takes some courage in our society. One of the best guitarists in the world had this courage: Jimi Hendrix! He did not play the guitar, he felt it, he felt its sound, HIS sound. Whoever listened to him once, understands the difference between playing and feeling the guitar immediately! Many want to be able to play like him. The shortest way is to copy him, the most effective is to feel your own sound.
Each of us has our own individual sound. Knowing it, respecting each other's sound, and still being able to play in unison could be a rewarding challenge.
What we've never done as a collective before is practice a peace technique. So far, as a collective, we haven't even addressed whether there is a technique at all, and if so, which one would be the most comfortable ;). I have been dealing with different disciplines tangential to this topic from several sides for a very long time. I think we just forgot that there is a very simple way!
Even as a little kid I had the thought from time to time what would happen if mankind would stop for a moment. But I always felt our different languages as a separation and then did not know how to bridge this separation. When I learned that dolphins can recognize that a woman is pregnant, long before she notices it herself: Then it was clear to me, that is what remains, if you take away everything that separates: The heartbeat! Dolphins have a much better hearing than we, they hear already the heartbeat of the child, which remains still hidden to us. The heartbeat is the language which every mammal understands. So also the human being, if it is only loud enough to hear.
My peace accomplice ;) Gertrud reminded me: Already Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: "If we want to recognize the essential, we must forget for a moment all separations!"
What will happen if we leave our mouths silent for 10 minutes and feel peace only through our hearts while listening to an imitated heartbeat with closed eyes? What will happen if I do it for myself alone, I know! But what will it be like when 16,000 people or more do it together? ...
While the British journal The Sun no longer wonders whether there will be a third world war, but only when and where it will begin, I wonder when and where the first world peace will begin! ;) In this December 2021 maybe will show up a surprise where the first world peace will begin next year!
I was born in 1970, so I grew up in the 80's, I loved the saying, "Imagine it's war and no one goes!" And I still love the saying! Imagine someone somewhere wants to start World War III, but we all just don't go!
My mother's life story is my personal motivation for the peace experiment, besides the fact that I simply wish every child from the bottom of my heart that it does not have to experience suffering at the hands of man. It is enough already the suffering which originates without the intervention of human hand!
When my mom gets caught up in her dark thoughts and dreams, nothing is too silly for me to get her out of there. Then I make a campfire in the fireplace with stick bread, grill marshmallows with her over the flame of a tea light or celebrate an Alice-in-Wonderland-not-birthday with her! Or to inspire people for something as crazy as a peace experiment! How war works, we already know ...
Best regards from my mom and me!
P. S.: I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one ...