Theme: No to violence in daily life!

The topic of our Border Meeting is “NO TO VIOLENCE IN DAILY LIFE”. It includes violence at home, in couples and in relationships between parents and children, or among children, as well as violence at work and carried out by the state (penal system). Violence has many aspects: brute force, violence through hierarchical relationships, violence in language and structural violence in the economy and in politics. As Quakers we are called by our peace testimony to seek and to live non-violent alternatives in our life together.

Ullrich Hahn will be our key-note speaker. He is a peace activist, president of the German branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and a lawyer. He will lead us into the topic and point out alternatives to the state-enforced imprisonment  (“Do we need punishment?”). In small groups we will talk about what we hear from Ullrich Hahn, but also about alternatives to other forms of violence in our daily life (in relationships, in education, at work, etc.). Our questions, practice and successful as well as unsuccessful experiences with alternatives to violence will be at the centre of our conversations.

“We Quakers say we have no creed. We almost do! For nearly all of us would say that we believe in 'that of God in everyone'. How easy that is to say. How difficult to live! If we mean it, we have to live it. That is why some of us in Northern Ireland do speak to the men of violence. It does not mean we agree with what they do. It does mean believing in the good that is in everyone and in the potential for growth and change that is in us all. Some of our closest friends used to be involved in violence and have changed. I have learnt so much from them and their courage in changing, and I am encouraged to believe that anyone can change”.

Diana Lampen, 1991, in: Quaker Faith and Practice, 29.08

“Peace begins within ourselves.   It is to be implemented within the family, in our meetings, in our work and leisure, in our own localities, and internationally. The task will never be done. Peace is a process to engage in, not a goal to be reached”.

Sydney Bailey, 1993, in: Quaker Faith and Practice, 24.57