With the climate talks coming to an end I am posting one of my own recent walks for peace and climate justice to share with as many as possible.
We were fortunate enough to attend a conference at the Quaker Centre, Woodbrooke in November on Speaking up for Peace. For me, our relationship with nature, the soil, the air and the beauty of our blue and green planet is central to creating and sustaining peace. I also decided to focus on finding information from Syrian people involved in trying to stabilise their war torn region. I travelled through Syria and Lebanon in the 1970s and met so many hospitable and welcoming people. The human tragedy is unspeakable but needs to be heard somehow.
I wish we could all be able to have access to peaceful havens such as Woodbrooke and live in peaceful and tolerant communities.
Here are some of the photos of the gardens and lake in the grounds of Woodbrooke and of my walk up to Bournville village and Cadbury’s World. The Cadbury family were Quakers and invested in a village for the people who worked making chocolate. In the past being a Quaker meant being outside the mainstream of established society, often persecuted. Some found alternatives such as being botanists or making chocolate. I’m sure not all were perfect but a social conscience often emerged. Times have changed and I wonder what the new global corporation of Kraft that now owns Cadbury Chocolate will give back to local communities and the environment. The Cadbury family also gave the house and grounds of Woodbrooke to be an educational centre for Quaker practice.
Quaker Meetings are held in silence and all are equal in giving some words or ministry if there is inspiration to share. Equality and ‘that of God in everyone’ has been the cornerstone of Quaker practice. Respect for all people and the environment are the way Quakers use ideas from over the past 350 years as testimonies to acting for Peace, Truth, Simplicity and Sustainability.
it is good to know that the major religions are also trying to stand up and speak out at the climate talks. Maybe rather late but we do need to secure a better future for this planet. It is not just being idealistic to wish for this; it will be a matter of practical action for peace and prosperity and hopefully for all species. The talks in Paris seem to be constantly overshadowed by the politics of war, prejudice and now flooding misery for folk in the North West of the UK. More extreme weather and more extreme views seem to be dominating but my insights from social media and alternative journalism seem to suggest that there are more people willing to take action to create peace with non violent and justice central to solutions for challenging problems.