“Don’t Kill Freddy”: A Narrative Approach to Peacemaking

by mgopin on September 20, 2008 · 10 comments

That is what my daughter Lexi wrote on an elaborate sign, beautifully painted, that greeted me one Sunday morning.

I could not imagine who Freddy was. Hours earlier, with the family still asleep, I had discovered a small mouse in our guest room. I scooted out and shut the door fast. We knew we had to find some sort of trap before the house became infested. Well, Lexi went into a serious funk. She has just become vegetarian, animals are everything to her, and here I was about to kill “Freddy”. What she did was to name the thing I was about to kill. She had never met the mouse, but she just knew that she wanted me to stop. So she made several pictures about Freddy, but most importantly, she named him. I was no longer going to get rid of a pest, I was about to kill ‘Freddy’.

I thought to myself what a brilliant tactic she used on her larger than life, all powerful father, hell bent on murder, a militarist to the core when it comes to pests. And I looked at myself, and I thought about how many militarists I have confronted in the Arab Israeli conflict….

Lexi made a story, she created a narrative with a living precious being at the core. Next thing I know I am researching hardware stores for which one carries live traps. This was after examining the costs and benefits of inventing a trap ourselves and getting a bite and a shot at the emergency room. Lexi was not interested in that discussion, really. Just thinking about Freddy.

The whole incident immediately flashed to the Sulha gathering of three days that I had just participated in at Latrun Monastery outside Jerusalem together with hundreds of Jews and Palestinians. The sweet sorrow of my practice over the decades has been the face, the name, the life story, of the “parties to the conflict”. The way in which I now know the human beings who suffer at 600 checkpoints, who suffer humiliation at the hands of untrained eighteen year old soldiers, the amazing Jewish young idealistic people i always meet searching for a better world who also ride the buses that periodically get attacked. Their faces, their stories are ingrained in my consciousness and in my heart, and it makes it harder to live with their murder. In fact, it makes it impossible to be at peace. And THAT is the beginning of conscience and commitment to change.

Name the enemy, and even the clearest most understandable plan for liquidation, such as that of a household owner before a pest, becomes a drama in which the hard-hearted cannot win. And that is why I am spending my life these days on film and on encouraging such gatherings as Sulha where real stories and real experiences are exchanged in an open and honest way. Here are some pictures of the interfaith aspect of those exchanges. This is a tiny fraction of the thousands of exchanges, where names were exchanged, and one’s universe became different.

© Marc Gopin

Previous post:

Next post:

adobe premiere free download

buy cheap creative suite adobe reader download portable adobe flash direct download cheap adobe reader download 5 download adobe flash 9 for h264

adobe rider download

buy cheap adobe illustrator CS5 adobe page maker full download download and install adobe flash onto my computer cheapest free download adobe rea adobe in design 2 download

adobe photoshop 8 free download full version

buy cheap adobe after effects adobe pagemaker trial version download adobe photoshop cs3 extended download for free buy cheap adobe photodeluxe download adobe photoshop cs download osx

adobe 8 crack download

adobe acrobat x cheap can i download adobe filter factory adobe golive cs2 download buy cheap adobe nine flash player download free adobe photoshop 6 download

adobe flash player 9 cannot download to internet explorer 7

cs5 master collection cheapest free adobe pdf maker download adobe creative suite 3 download cheap download adobe cs3 free p2p adobe photoshop tutorial download

adobe acrobat pdf download free

buy cheap creative suite 5 adobe after effects cs2 download adobe flash psp download buy cheap adobe illustrator 8 download adobe illustrator cs3 crack download

adobe acrobat 6 free download

buy online creative suite 5 download adobe illustrator cs2 trial adobe live motion download buy online adobe cs3 free download pdf and adobe and download

download adobe photoshop elements 5tutorial

adobe incopy buy online free download adobe acrobat professional 6 free adobe illustrator cs2 download cheapest adobe photoshop trial download free adobe photoshop elements download

adobe photoshop 8 free download adobe photoshop cs3

adobe creative suite 5 cheap adobe download site adobe indesign download cheapest download adobe photoshop 8 cs adobe acrobat download warez

free download able adobe

cheap photoshop lightroom 3 download adobe pdf writer 4 adobe after effects demo download cheapest adobe photoshop 8 free download pdf and adobe and download

adobe flash player download for vista 32 bit os

cheapest cs5 master collection adobe flash offline download iran download adobe photoshop buy online download adobe photoshop download cracker adobe acrobat

download adobe reader 5

buy online adobe premiere pro adobe acrobat writer download adobe premiere free download buy online is download for adobe flash player free adobe file converter download

free adobe illustrator cs3 download full version

adobe web premium cheapest download add on error with adobe acrobat download adobe after effects 5 buy online free adobe photoshop elements download free download of adobe photoshop cs2