Thursday, April 18, 2013

The bombings at the Boston Marathon and the bombings in the Middle East

Both of the following articles appeared in

Erin Niemela
Erin Niemela is a graduate student in the Conflict Resolution program at Portland State University and a PeaceVoice syndicated journalist.

CLICK HERE to read Erin Niemela's hopeful and challenging article, "We Are Better Than This," in which she looks at bombings which took place in three different countries on Monday, April 15, 2013:  in the U.S. at the Boston Marathon, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan and then asks the question, "What would it take to create  a world without violence?

MAKING IT PERSONAL:  What am I willing to do to create a world without violence?

Robert Koehler
Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer.  His new book is Courage Grows Strong at the Wound.

CLICK HERE to read Robert Koehler's article "Grief Without Borders," in which he states in reference to the Boston Marathon tragedy:  "We cannot grieve with innocence.  We also participate in the violence."  He then poses the question:  "Will we ever reach a point where we feel the same urgency of grief for the victims of the violence that is a fact of life in the Middle East?"

MAKING IT PERSONAL:  Can I take the first step and open the borders of the grief I feel for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy?


  1. As I read Erin Niemela's article, "We Are Better Than This," I was touched by the photo of Martin Richards and his art on peace. Since 2007 I have been getting art from Iraqi children and taking art from US children to Iraqi children. The children think that the "others" can be their friends. Yes, let's encourage these thoughts and feelings, we can be friends.

  2. On page 43 of our Engage book, we learn about the Seville Statement and what it challenges. Erin Niemela spoke of this statement in this article. The Engage book states that the Seville Statement “challenges a number of alleged biological findings that have been used…to justify violence and war” (44). Erin states in this article that the Seville Statement says “it is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature.” We as a society assume that every bad thing that happens we need to address is with violence. The Seville Statement proves this idea wrong and that it is up to us to change our mind set and stop it.