This is a very special week for my Guest Blogger, Catalina Egan. The 73rd Anniversary of the crash of the G-AESY, the second world war plane which Catalina’s novel – Bridge of Deaths – is centred around, falls on 15th August. Between celebrating the event with her own event – Peace Blitz , a day of World Peace Blogging with 39 other authors – Catalina has kindly found time to be my guest as well. Welcome Catalina, and thank you.
The eloquent and fascinating Amelia Curzon, a great voice for animal rights and the protection of the environment, was so kind to invite me yet again as a guest here. She asked me to write about MY PASSION. I must say that I have many small passions but my core passion, the cause where I would like to in some small way create at the very least awareness, is by far PEACE.
I was born in 1959, a generation in which the Vietnam War began. I grew up very aware that there was a war in a very distant place. I had cousins that had to choose whether or not to become Americans as their mother was from Chicago, and with the inevitability of being drafted and asked to fight a war if they chose American, the choice to them was an obvious no, they had also not ever lived in the USA.
As time passed it was a war that was served with dinner every night and we could see what was happening. By the age of 12 I lived in the Washington D.C. area and the protesters in front of the White House all looked rather scary with their Hippie look. In as much as many of them carried signs that said MAKE LOVE NOT WAR there were many that were very confrontational and aggressive.
Since Vietnam the world has known sadly many wars and horrible conflicts; some of those involving more than one country, and others within the boundaries of one sole country, but war never-the-less.
My perspective is not the most fair as I come from a family where no-one has ever been part of any military. In Mexico males are required to do a year of a very strange Saturday only military service, but that is hardly an educated perspective. So perhaps my desire for PEACE is rather infantile and full of naïveté.
I am also full of the visceral human emotions that seek revenge, and as much as I want to believe in peace and harmony I did feel a justified sense when I saw in the news that Osama Bin Laden had been found and killed.
The two shootings lately in America; Aurora, Colorado and Milwaukee, Wisconsin also brought out an anger in me that wished that the police had taken out the first shooter in Colorado.
Violence begets violence, of that there is no doubt. Revenge is a form of violence that creates a vicious circle and yet I think it is an intricate desire felt by most when we witness horrors such as 9/11. I, of course, can only speak from a Western perspective. The list of countries that have been attacked by others is as long as can be and people linked to all those lands have a very different perspective.
I lived in Sweden in the 1980s right before cable TV became so accessible and the Swedish people were limited to their two very restricted channels where Tom and Jerry were deemed to be much too violent. I lived in Southern Sweden and as such I also had access to the sole Danish channel.
I worked with pre-school children for a few months. The focus of their up-bringing was very PEACE oriented and I really enjoyed all the children were taught. We even participated in a beautiful PEACE demonstration with them and sang a lovely song, part of which roughly translates to:
“You cannot believe there will be peace in the world unless someone sets it in motion…”
I also noticed, that even though toy guns were not available to the kids in the pre-school, they were happy to pretend shoot each other with bananas from their lunch. They loved to play cowboys and Indians, and they preferred to be the ‘good guys’ – the cowboys.
I became a mother in 1998. I was 39 years old when I had my one and only child, a boy. In 2002 I took him to the cinema to see a movie called Spirit Stallion of The Cimarron. It was a wonderful animated movie and we both really enjoyed it.
When the movie ended my four year old son announced that he was furious at the white men and their terrible behavior, and that he was very happy he had at least some of the blood of the civilized Indians running through his veins.
I come originally from Mexico and my Indian ancestors are quite notorious for their violence. I did tell my son that every society has moments that do not make them look good or civilized, and that someday, when he looked deeper into the Mexican Indian Cultures he would find violence rampant there as well.
In 2004 we saw a movie called Hidalgo and by then he was so angry at what was done to the Indians that he began to watch documentaries…again I pointed out that there are no true innocent groups, but countless individuals.
My perspective on PEACE is that the more we know about each side, the less likely we would, as a society, be willing to accept conflict. Call it naïve…but peace only begins is if some-one, anyone, everyone sets it in motion.
M.C.V.Egan is a writer, a mother and a woman of many passions. Her passion for Peace is what fuels her days as much as her love for her son and husband. She lives in South Florida and is currently working with Jolie DeMarco on a novel called 4covert2covert in 33 days.