Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Welcome to the Way of Peace

I warmly welcome you to the inaugural post in my weblog on the way of peace! My inspiration to start this blog came primarily from some of the Mennonites and other compassionate Christians I met while studying in Canada, and from the general experience of living in Canada for ten years. These people and experiences brought my thoughts into focus, deepened my convictions, and transformed me as a person. I have become a devout advocate of peace, and anyone who says otherwise is gonna get a fat lip!! <sigh> It's a process.

Disclaimer: No lips were harmed in the making of this blog.

In all seriousness, I have been deeply influenced by the Mennonite wisdom tradition of working towards peace through nonviolent conflict resolution. Similarly, living in Canada has instilled in me a deeply held belief that it is vital for civilized nations to conduct themselves according to the rule of international law and to rely upon instruments of diplomacy rather than military force to resolve conflicts in international affairs; for more on this belief, please read my follow-up post, March 2003: An Open Letter to Avert Disaster.

This blog explores applications of these principles to current affairs in the public arena and to events in my own private life. It offers a perspective based on my own particular wisdom tradition, the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Peace is a natural application of Taoist principles since the pursuit of harmony is intrinsic to the Taoist way of life.

I invite you to participate: If something on my blog strikes a chord, you can forward it to others by clicking on the envelope icon at the bottom of the post. You can also reply to what you read here by posting comments directly on my blog. If you have an interesting idea for a new topic of discussion, please contact me so that I can consider it. I welcome civilized discourse from all interested parties, including those who offer points of view which differ from my own. "Civilized discourse" means that no matter how passionately you feel about your point of view, you will not use profanity, resort to abusive language, or engage in personal attacks. Such behavior will not be tolerated here. Your comments must show sincere respect towards the other participants of this blog.

Since I want this blog to be a haven for constructive dialogue, these ground rules will be strictly enforced. This brings us to our first lesson in peace: No one can keep the peace without two things—strength and restraint. One must have strength to exert influence, but it is the manner in which strength is applied which determines the outcome. Without restraint, strength destroys. With restraint, strength protects. The lesson, then, is strength tempered by restraint: Effective peacekeepers must command the power of the hawk with the gentleness of the dove. If this strikes you as contradictory, consider a saying of the legendary Taoist sage Lao Tzu: "True words seem paradoxical" (Tao Te Ching, Chapter 78).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that nonviolence is the only viable solution and path to world peace. Ghandi had profound beliefs that we could embrace. We have lost sight of the objectives of our founding forefathers, though even they had to resort to violence to obtain freedom for us. That does not mean we are free to use violence to gain democracy for other countries who have not invited our intervention.

August 03, 2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger Dr. Taoist said...

Thanks for getting my new blog off to a great start by posting such a thoughtful comment!

August 03, 2005 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have excellent insight and can have a serious impact on world views. Keep up the good work!

August 03, 2005 11:27 PM  

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