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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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A Man and A Dog Walk for Peace-A Journey of Hope and Inspiration
an article by Mary Lee Morrison

Early in May, along with several friends ranging in age from 4 to 50, I had the privilege of walking a few miles in Connecticut, my home state, with Jack Sibbald and his dog, Birch. Jack and Birch began their journey at Ground Zero in New York City on the second anniversary of the Iraq invasion in March of 2005, commencing a journey by foot to California. Their aim is to end their walk at Deer Park, the monastery established by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, in Escondido. Enroute the pair is linking with individuals and groups who work for peace and chatting with passer-bys as they meander the highways and byways. They rely on word of mouth for hosting and for donations of food.

Jack told me that his motivation for this walk for peace came in part from an epiphany he had just after the attacks on September 11, 2001. He realized that he was called to do something positive for peace, to spread a message of solidarity to counter-act the despair and the fear and anger he so often has seen, even among those who work for peace. He is eschewing the use of fossil fuels and spreading a message of the importance of the preservation of our planet. Spending time with Jack and Birch, I felt joined with them in solidarity and in the short time we spent together, I felt rejuvenated with the hope that individuals can make a difference in building a more peaceful world. The pair has no real agenda, they carry everything they need on their back, and their only plan is to end up in California, perhaps in two years. In fact, in our portion of the walk we were walking east, not west, as Jack had felt called to visit a peace and activist center in eastern Connecticut!

Jack says that Birch is the real leader in this journey, that the dog is the one who takes the lead in bringing people to him. Children especially love Birch.. Jack carries a banner on his backpack that reads "We Are All in This Together".

For more information on the pair and their walk, visit www.peacefulsteps.com

DISCUSSION

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Have you spent time with someone who inspired you to work for peace?,

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Readers' comments are invited on this discussion question, and the reports that are related to it: A Man and A Dog Walk for Peace-A Journey of Hope and Inspiration; Agape Foundation Peace Prize; and Dr. Prewitt Inspires Young Human Rights Practitioners


This report was posted on June 2, 2005.