Michael Childs: Healing the trauma of conflict

Published: 2/23/2021 6:56:09 AM

I read Paula Green’s column “Seeing ourselves in the eyes of others.” I have great respect for her work and the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.

I need to improve my own ability to be compassionate and caring every day of my life, as there is so much suffering in the world. And the work of healing the trauma of conflict can only be done with an attitude of openness and care and deep consideration for the circumstances of both sides.

That said, it appears to me that healing does not begin before justice has been served, and justice does not begin to be a possibility until any threat to freedom and safety has been overcome. I do not yet feel safe in the aftermath of the last four years. After the failed conviction of a corrupt and fascist ex-president, and the failure of so many Republican leaders to even acknowledge the lies they perpetrated for their party, our democracy is very frail and still in significant danger. With the mid-term election in two years, power may return to the Republican party and what their mob began may once again become a possibility.

I’m sorry, but the rise of fascism in the world, and in this very country, cannot be adequately addressed with simple compassion and sensitivity to the other side. On an individual level I will sit down with any Republican and hear them out, and if they insist on the falsehoods perpetrated by Mr. Trump and his party I will try to be patient and offer calm and reasoned responses. But ultimately this is a time to be assertive in preserving everything that our democracy values, and to repudiate the Republican party and everything it currently stands for.

Michael Childs

Amherst




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