I wanted to express a public thank-you to Rachael Bliss and the other organizers of Asheville’s observance of the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 at the lovely Elder and Sage Garden downtown. It was a beautiful event that helped to keep alive the dream of peace in our homes, our communities, our nation and our world. Sadly, most of our national treasure is still spent on weapons of war and preparations for war, and the U.S. remains the largest arms seller in the world.
This is not resulting in a safer, more peaceful world, but it is inflaming resentment, aiding in the destruction of societies and nations, and is a strong reason for the rise of nonstate terrorist actors. Continuing along this route will only reap more of the same. It will never result in the beloved community dreamed of by the prophets. And it will continue to prevent our communities from having all the resources they need to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Imagine if the money Asheville taxpayers contribute to the war paradigm were instead used to uplift our community, to eradicate poverty, to provide physical and mental health care, to support efforts to make our community climate-change resilient, to make sure all our children have what they need to thrive!
Those of us who believe that humanity could achieve this may be dreamers. But there is a quote painted across the wall of a church in Tennessee that struck me as I drove past it: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What vision do we want to have for our children and our children’s children? Thank you, Rachael, for believing in a positive one. Let’s work to make it a reality.
— Anne Craig