January 7, 2005: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Peace: Walker Pilot Independent: Zambia RPCV Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Zambia: Peace Corps Zambia : The Peace Corps in Zambia: January 7, 2005: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Peace: Walker Pilot Independent: Zambia RPCV Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-43-253.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.43.253) on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 8:47 pm: Edit Post

Zambia RPCV Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer

Zambia RPCV Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer

Zambia RPCV Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer

Helping to 'build peace in the world'

by Molly MacGregor

The Pilot-Independent

Last Updated: Friday, January 07th, 2005 12:39:31 PM

If you Google "peace" on the Internet, 57,900,000 references pop up in 18 seconds. Not surprisingly, most of the "hits" connect to anti-war sites.

But, peace is also personal. A busy parent longs for "peace and quiet;" a church congregation "shares the peace" with each other during services. That personal peace is the building block for peace in community and the world. "Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures," said John F. Kennedy.

Karla Berg asked 1,374 people living in 38 different rural communities across the country, their definitions of peace last summer. She found that most people's definition of peace started with how secure they felt personally. She talked about her experiences to the Friends of the Library group in late November.

Karla grew up in Walker, where (according to at least one former teacher) she excelled at forming an opinion and expressing it. After college, she served in Africa with the Peace Corps for 3.5 years. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Australia. She won a World Peace Scholarship from Rotary International and used it to study peace and conflict resolution in Paris. Her peace travels were a master's project to finish her academic work.

Her approach was simple. Over eight weeks, she drove across the country, starting east and moving west, stopping at towns with populations less than 5,000. When she'd get to town, she'd go to a local cafe. There, she'd ask people patrons and workers to be interviewed. She would ask three simple questions: What is your definition of peace? How do you find peace in your life? And, Do you have peace in your life? Many times she was turned down; just as often, she spent hours visiting with the folks she met. The conversations often led to an invitation to dinner, to a place to stay while she was in town, or to introductions to other people to be interviewed.

One long day everyone turned down her request for the peace interview. Finally, she approached a family with young kids. She was hesitant the kids were literally bouncing up and down in the restaurant booth, and the parents were probably preoccupied. The parents seemed reluctant but agreed, and soon they had warmed to the topic, and the conversation went on, and, not surprisingly, peacefulness settled over the table.

Three older men she described as "scruffy" surprised her. They'd noticed her in the restaurant and called her over to talk. She described her project and they asked her to come outside with them. There they showed her a pickup truck loaded with vegetables that they were giving to families in need. "By cultivating vegetables, they cultivated peace," she said.

Using the 1,374 expressions of peace she collected, Karla is devising a formula for peace. The ingredients have to include "acceptance, understanding, no discrimination, balance, justice, communication, respect." Those of us who listened to Karla came to understand that the formula for peace needs one more critical ingredient: someone like Karla, who actively seeks peace.

Few of us have the nerve to ask a stranger about peace a topic that may be too personal, too political or too religious. Fewer have the nerve to travel to a place as poor, conflicted or desperate as Africa. From Great Books to high school speech competition to support from the Rotary Club, Karla was encouraged to seek and share ideas. Growing up in Walker gave Karla the confidence and security to be articulate and opinionated, to actively seek out other people's opinions and to choose to live in places in the world without peace and security, where she believes she can help create peace and security.

"Peace, like charity, begins at home," said Franklin D. Roosevelt. Karla's foundation of personal security has led her to explore the world and to share her own peace. She is courageous. She reminds those of us whose lives are secure, that when we share our security, we help build peace in the world.

Molly MacGregor lives in Walker and will be writing a regular column for The Pilot-Independent about our community, taking a closer look at some of the events and issues that concern us.





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps issues appeal to Thailand RPCVs Date: December 30 2004 No: 354 Peace Corps issues appeal to Thailand RPCVs
Peace Corps is currently assessing the situation in Thailand, anticipates a need for volunteers and is making an appeal to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps. Also read this message and this message from RPCVs in Thailand. All PCVs serving in Thailand are safe. Latest: Sri Lanka RPCVs, click here for info.

January 1, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 1 2005 No: 355 January 1, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Lesotho RPCV starts "Touching Tiny Lives" 1 Jan
Guatemala RPCV was grassroots veterinarian 31 Dec
Reginald Hodges will head Durham Literacy Center 30 Dec
Ed Seidel is Director of Marine Resources Aquarium 30 Dec
PC wants happy, shiny faces without felony convictions 29 Dec
Newspaper says PC could go to India and Indonesia 29 Dec
Tom Johnson choses to spend Christmas in Sierra Leone 28 Dec
Barry Rosen helps compile textbooks for Afghanistan 28 Dec
Dorinda Dove learned to appreciate midwifery in Africa 28 Dec
RPCVs host Exhibition at University of Rochester 28 Dec
Mike Tidwell calls on Sierra Club Official to step down 28 Dec
RPCV says we can express patriotism as we see fit 26 Dec
more top stories...

The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.

Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Walker Pilot Independent

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Zambia; Peace

PCOL15813
89

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: