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Peace warriors

Teaching love, not war

By Carolyn Pogue

“I want to be a warrior,” my grandson, Tristan, says, “because it’s cool.” He is five years old. “I am a peace activist,” I respond, because I think that’s cool.” He studies me to see if I’ve rained on his parade or not. “Maybe being peace warriors would be the best,” I suggest. He then requests some information about what that could be.

I tell him about Canadian Peacekeepers, Search and Rescue, UNICEF, David Suzuki and Doctors Without Borders. We talk about how a peace warrior helps people, animals and Earth. He’s still listening, so I keep talking.

I tell him about my friend Donna Sinclair in North Bay, Ont. Fierce and loving, Donna is one such peace warrior who protects Earth. A journalist also, Donna tends bountiful, beautiful gardens, works in her community, bakes bread and writes books about things worth fighting for, especially for children (As I write this, Donna is embroiled in a court case. ForestEthics Advocacy and gentle Donna, represented by civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby, are suing the federal government for not protecting our water and land. As a person of faith who believes the words of our Creed (...  to live with respect in creation...), a Treaty person (as we all are) and a grandmother, she says she is fighting for our ability to live with respect on this lovely, fragile, sacred planet.) I didn’t go into this detail for Tristan, of course, but he understands her as a determined and compassionate peace warrior. It is enough.

Donna Sinclair. Photo by Liz Lott
Donna Sinclair. Photo by Liz Lott
Later, my husband, Bill, talked to Tristan about the qualities of a peacemakers. How would they respond to a bully? What food would keep a peace warrior healthy and fit? How would a peace warrior care for a river? Not long after, Tristan and his brother Michael returned home to Yellowknife, so we ”paused” this conversation but not our thinking about it.

I have ordered Tristan a copy of Dan Millman’s book, The Secret of the Peaceful Warrior, and have decided to make Tristan and his brother peace warrior kits.

I think such kits should be sewn of canvas and be embellished with peace symbols. As far as what to place in it, I have consulted with various people, including Alexander MacKinnon, a retired Lieutenant Colonel I met at Kanata United Church in Ontario. If anyone knows about the need for peace warriors, it is people like Alex; he served in the Canadian military for 30 years. Alex has agreed to sign the Peace Warrior Passport I will make, adding his rank and serial number to make it official.

The kits will be filled with articles needed on peace missions, too: binoculars, bandaids and first aid book, magnifying glass, walkie talkies, twine, pencil and notebook, water canteen, peace tattoos and stickers, flash light, compass, rearview sunglasses and moustaches for undercover work, bag for found litter, official peace warrior passport, How to become a Peace Warrior booklet, Smarties and dog biscuits for those little boy or pet dog snack attacks.

When we present these kits this summer, we will tell about other peace warriors we know about. There are millions of us, after all. I imagine the stories will last a lifetime.

Author's photo
Carolyn Pogue is a longtime Observer contributor. New posts of The Pogue Blog will appear on the first and third Thursday of the month. For more information on Carolyn Pogue, visit www.carolynpogue.ca..
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