Afghan Call to Listen

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The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers recently wrote:

In this noise of militarized mania,
to listen is to unclench history's grip on the poor and powerless,
to listen is to shoulder the inconveniences of love,
it would be an act of non-violent resistance.

The Afghan youth ask, "Why not love?"  They propose a Global Listening Conference.

Sadly, these teens know too well the alternatives to listening.  They are young, but they still know the reality of war.  Because they live in the midst of war, they are not afraid to read and relate its stories. So they remind us:

"The policemen (German) led several hundred people to a bomb crater outside the town (in Ukraine) and shot them.  The victims fell into the crater.  A woman, unharmed, climbed out and sat on the edge, crying.  A soldier shot her, and she fell back in.  It was August 21, 1941."  (Excerpts from Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker)

While acknowledging the practical challenges to their call for a Global Listening Conference, they also wonder about the cost of continued global militarization and hatred, the cost of not listening to the people: the woman who cried at the edge, the soldier who shot her, and also the powers that have been giving such orders again and again.