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1000 Points of Hope
an article by Joanne Tawfilis

Many American citizens, Austrians, tourists, visitors, curiosity seekers, and supporters came by, came out, and simply came to be with one another here in Vienna on the eve of the acceptance speech by the Republican nomination for the 2004 US Presidential election, to participate in a candlelight vigil.

Our five by twelve foot mural, entitled 1000 Points of Hope was designed with over 1,000 doves to promote peace, unity and healing, during one of the most dreadful times of the world’s history. The craziness of war and violence seems to be engrained into societies all over the world as reflected by this so-called war in Iraq, the heightening and almost unnoticed genocide in Gaza, the ethnic cleansing in the Sudan, the downing of two Russian airplanes, and the 1,000 children and parents taken hostage in Beslan.

I don’t know how to explain the feeling of what it was like standing beneath the looming huge gothic spiral domes of the cathedral, and to feel the exuberance of a young woman who was busying herself with distributing and lighting candles in the dark of the night. It seemed somewhat incongruous or odd to be near such an iconic symbol of religion when in fact, religion seemed to be at the heart of many of these conflicts. And then, as I looked up at the top of the spiral I realized that it was not about religion after all. Like the doves on the murals flying in one large circle of hope, I reminded myself it was more about money and power.

Painting murals. Trying to create peace, unity and healing through art, just doesn’t seem to be enough, but last night someone said to me, “Just Do Something”. Let us hope that the answers we seek are not forgotten or lost and that the 1003 doves we painted will live in the hearts of the peace seekers and peace makers and our collective efforts to “do something” will ensure that our children will see a world that is different than the one we live in today.


Question(s) related to this article:

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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I have a question for the Agape Community poster, who related experiences of rejecting white priveledge.  I have certainly considered rejecting priveledge, but I have a hard time understanding where to draw the line.  So much of my upbringing, who I am, what I have and so on, are a construction of the many priveledges I have grown up with.  White, middle class, US citizen, female (can be considered a priveledge in some senses, male priveledge in other senses), able, assumed straight, etc.  When I've looked deeply into the matter, even my basic principles have basis in my class background, and I find they are still important to me, nonetheless.  Your story is inspiring and I hope you will provide some insight into the matter.  It seems that many of my priveledges are powers that can be used to spread the seeds of peace, but paradoxically are the seeds of war, as you described.  Is my use of them undermining the peace I want to create? ???. . ...more.

This report was posted on September 5, 2004.