On this day when we honor the power of nonviolence to change hearts and minds, is it too much to believe that such compassion, connection and love can define the relationship between citizens of every race and mental condition and the police officers who bravely dedicate themselves to protect and serve our communities?
In the land that originated the German Christmas carol O Tannenbaum, holiday trees were a deeply sentimental tradition. Small trees had been sent as a gift to German soldiers at the front. And on Christmas Eve, they began lighting candles on their trees, which caught the attention of combatants in the opposing trenches.
"I think if we had a gun we would have been shot immediately." This is as good a place to start as any, at the logical limits of violent self-defense. The speaker is Andres Gutierrez of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a nonprofit organization that has engaged in peacekeeping work in troubled regions of the world for the last decade.