Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
Poetic Responsibility and Peace
Do you know someone who uses poetry to create healing or, perhaps, through poetry or other means seeks to build a stronger peace in this world? If you do, have you ever asked yourself whether you have any responsibility toward that person?
Often we ask ourselves what our responsibility is when we see someone doing something bad. Should we step in and stop them? Will we get hurt in the process? Will someone feel shamed? What are the risks and dangers?
In an editorial column rebuking someone who used religious language in hate speech, Rabbi Menachem Creditor said, "Jewish tradition teaches that "All who can protest against something wrong that one of their family is doing and does not protest, is held accountable for their family. All who can protest against something wrong that a citizen of their city is doing and does not protest, is held accountable for all citizens of the city. All who can protest against something wrong that is being done in the whole world, is accountable together with all citizens of the world. (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 54b)"
Perhaps many of us feel clear on our responsibility when we see someone doing something harmful to individuals and communities, but what is our responsibility when we know of someone who is doing something great—something that furthers the cause of peace and healing?
What is our responsibility when someone changes our lives for the better? Is it enough to enjoy knowing them and go about our busy day? If we step in and share their message with our community will we be more visible in the world? Will they? What will happen?
There is a saying among journalists, "if it bleeds it leads." Too often our attention is drawn to the blood and gore of life but what of the people who are quietly going about their lives looking each day to make this earth a better place and publishing books with titles like World Healing, World Peace? What of the people who are giving thousands of poets a forum to give voice to their creative ideas and heartfelt emotions lighting up the world?
Recently, I had a chance to talk with William S Peters Sr or 'just bill' about where his nearly 50 years in publishing, writing books and poetry is taking him. I started to think about each of us, whose lives he has touched in such a warm and generous way. I started to think about our responsibility. Of course, we can and should continue to enjoy the ways he provides a forum for our voices, through anthologies, personal appearances and individual conversations. We should follow and take pleasure in his leadership as he guides us into places where our voices can change the world, whether it is a world a thousand miles away where someone reads our poems or down the street where we do a book reading or talk to a friend in a cozy cafe.
As a part of this community of humanity, we have the privilege to tell others about both our own part in creating healing and peace in the world and Bill Peters' way of making our contribution possible through the written and spoken word.
If you are one of the thousands of poets whose life has been touched by William S. Peters Sr., thank him by sharing his message with someone today. And then look around at who else nourishes your community and share their message.
We are all connected! One of us knows someone who knows someone who chooses Noble Peace laureates and in so doing extends the laureates influence to an even greater number of people. One or two of us knows someone who knows the President of the United States or another world leader. At least three of us know of bookstores where there are book readings and workshops. Thousands of us know people in powerful positions within a country, community or family, who can be touched by our collective voices. Sharing a personal and collective message grows the positive impact. The ability to dry the tears of a million of children is amplified. We need to sow and nourish the seeds we have been given.
As Bill says, "I have always likened Life to that of a Garden. So, for me, Life is simply about the Seeds we Sow and Nourish. All things we “Think and Do”, will “Be” Cause and eventually manifest itself to being an “Effect” within our own personal “Existences” and “Experiences” . . . whether it be Fruit, Flowers, Weeds or Barren Landscapes!"
Who do you know?
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
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I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)