Three days after the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, I stood in my kitchen at 5:30 a.m., preparing my lunch for the day, when suddenly I was struck by profound feelings of sadness and fear. It had taken a few days, but the reality and reminders marking the 10th anniversary finally made their way through me. As the tears fell, there was a familiar feeling of helplessness about the world filtering through my thoughts.
The images and words of the week leading up to the anniversary, and in the days that followed, were suddenly very fresh and very disturbing, in the dark before the dawn inside of my kitchen. I thought, “What can any of us do?” At that moment, as my mind replayed images of family members seeing the Twin Towers Memorial for the first time; I heard: “I let go of fear. I am peace.” These two statements repeated inside my head again and again, almost as though they were being whispered to me…until I heard myself saying them out loud – very quietly at first, and then with a steady almost chanting cadence.
I let go of fear. I am peace.
Perhaps if every day we could each make an attempt to let go of fear – in all of its forms: anger, hatred, intolerance, prejudice, judgment, jealousy, violence, injustice…we could find that place of peace within ourselves that can not only heal us, but can serve in healing the entire world. Because then there would be one less person in the world feeding fear; choosing instead to plant and nurture seeds of peace in their mind and heart. When we let go of all the myriad versions of fear, we radiate with energy far more powerful — peace — and its countless variations: harmony, love, goodness, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, tolerance…
In the Peace On Earth Film Festival’s Dialogue for Peace Outreach Program, we use several profound peace quotes to inspire participants to contemplate, dialogue on, and imagine through art, a world where a particular peace quote is a constant reality. One of those quotes is from Ghandi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
I think perhaps that is what happened this morning. When one remembers the immeasurable hurt and harm we have visited upon each other and the earth, and asks the question: “What can any of us do?” The possible answer is: I will start with me. And I hope that you will start with you…I let go of fear. I am peace…
Please join the Peace On Earth Film Festival in its peace outreach and peace partnership programming, spreading the festival’s mission year-round in the Chicago community and the world…
We are so excited to start spreading the word about the 2012 Peace On Earth Film Festival, as well as the many community and school-centered programs that we share for free year-round.
POEFF’s Dialogue for Peace in Chicago Public Schools:
To kick things off, we are pleased to announce that on Peace Day, September 21st , in cooperation with Build the Peace Committee, Chicago (http://www.buildthepeace.org/) and The Peace School (www.peaceschool.org) the Peace On Earth Film Festival’s Dialogue for Peace Outreach Program has been specially packaged for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) here in Chicago. CPS teachers will be able to select from three Peace On Earth Film Festival Selections, along with our curriculum to inspire and encourage solution-oriented dialogue on peace and nonviolence starting in the classroom. The three films selected by the POEFF Directors that can be downloaded from our web site are Love Your Enemies by Kristen Miller, 2010 POEFF Animation Selection, Flags by Mattan Cohen, 2011 POEFF Student Selection; and Namaste by Sarah Miller, 2010 POEFF Student Selection.
POEFF at Chicago Children’s Museum:
In addition to the Dialogue for Peace Outreach for CPS during Peace Week, Kristen Miller’s film, Love Your Enemies will also be playing in a continuous loop at the Chicago Children’s Museum on Thursday, September 14, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., as part of the Museum’s Children and Families Event, which is part of related Peace Week activities.
POEFF’s Dialogue for Peace at Rainbow Beach for Roots & Shoots
On Saturday, September 17, Nick Angotti will be bringing Dialogue for Peace to RainbowBeach, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 3111 E 77th Street, for Peace Day events that are part of the Jane Goodall’s youth organization, Roots & Shoots. 2010 POEFF Student Selection, Hunger for Change will be featured in two 45 minute Dialogue for Peace workshops presented by Nick. Hunger for Change is a Free Spirit Media film, created by students at Chicago’s North Lawndale Academy High School, focusing on food desserts in Chicago’s inner city neighborhoods. In addition to Dialogue for Peace, other peace workshops and activities for students, adults and families will be presented.
POEFF at Chicago’s PEACE DAY Celebration
Friday, September 23, 2011 Noon – 1:00 pm
Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St. Chicago
POEFF Exec Dir/Co-Founder, Nick Angotti, is to MC Peace Day Celebration at Daley Plaza, Sept 23, noon to 1:00pm. The Build the Peace Committee presents, a call to peace, with world music, cultural performances, speakers, and flags of the world.
The Peace On Earth Film Festival is a Co-Sponsor of PeaceWeek 2011. It’s totally free and features people like Alice Walker, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Arun Gandhi, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Daniel Goleman, Jane Velez-Mitchell, James O’Dea, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Avon Mattison, Grandmothers Mona Polacca and Beatrice Long-Visitor Holy Dancer and many more. Calls are recorded so you can catch up with ones you miss.