Operation Dear Peacemaker?
From: John Gear (catalystpacifier.com)
Date: Thu, 4 May 95 16:42 CDT
Please pardon if this is inappropriate for cohousing-l or incontext.  I have
been putting this in other places and wasn't sure if it made sense here;
finally I decided that it could be part of the answer for helping
communities do some of that connecting stuff we always talk about.

This is to ask for your comments and determine whether there is sufficient 
interest to proceed with an idea that I have had for some time.
>>>>>>>>>>>> HOW TO COMMENT/RESPOND <<<<<<<<<<
To comment, *please* e-mail or mail your comments to me, John Gear. 
My email address is catalyst [at] pacifier.com
Please use re: OPERATION DEAR PEACEMAKER? as your subject line.
To send comments by post, please write to
OPERATION DEAR PEACEMAKER, 908 W. 38th St., Vancouver WA 98660-185
>>>>>>>>>>>> DISCLAIMER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
I am one person with an idea.  If I get enough positive responses to proceed 
then you are sure to hear more about this through various channels
(including this group).

Either way I *will* post a summary once the responses taper off or when the 
comments all seem to fall into the same categories.  I can't promise to 
respond individually to everyone who writes me.  Please don't feel slighted 
by that.  I *do* appreciate any time you can give to thinking about this 
idea and discussing it in your fellowships.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> THE IDEA <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Every year, around Christmas, what's-her-name who writes "Dear Abby" has a 
big production called "Operation Dear Abby," the gist of which is that readers 
send cards, letters, and packages to men and women in military service.  The
idea is that these people are serving America and it's nice to let them know
that they are remembered and appreciated.
Wouldn't it be nice if all the *non-military* people serving overseas also 
heard from us?  The Peace Corps staff and volunteers, the Catholic Charities 
folks, the Physicians without Frontiers, Greenpeace folks, the UU Service 
Committee representatives, Red Cross, the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty 
International volunteers and staff ... wouldn't they all appreciate knowing 
that the "folks at home" think of them as well?
Wouldn't it be a nice way for folks to affirm our respect and 
gratitude for the people--who are, in many cases, making sacrifices to do 
it--making the world better without recourse to arms?  Wouldn't it be a nice 
project for classes to "adopt" a Peace Corps volunteer in the same way that
school children "adopt" a soldier or sailor? Imagine the correspondence that
might result!  Think about the positive implications of young people making
contact with people who are "out there" serving humanity and 
putting their values into action.
And there's no need for us to stop after New Years.  If there's a good 
response to this idea, it's possible to imagine various fellowships and
communities establishing ongoing outreach to Americans promoting peace and
humanity while serving abroad.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> WHAT DO YOU THINK? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Well, what do you think?  Is this worth pursuing?  Would *you* participate? 
Would *your* children?  What about *your* fellowship?/Community?  What are
the problems that you foresee?  What ideas did I miss?
Please share this around in your organization, community, fellowship,
church, ... wherever --and let me know what you think.
Thanks very much for reading this long post and for spreading it around. 

Please repost this if you know of a good place for it, but please do *not* 
post it to any list or group where it would be off-topic or not appreciated.
John Gear
P.S.:  As I spent many years in the Navy this is *not* a knock on Operation 
Dear Abby or folks in the military.  I simply feel that folks might get a lot 
of benefit from being conscious of and actively thanking the many Americans 
who also serve (outside the military).  As the saying goes, reward what you 
want more of--perhaps we will get more peacemakers in the world if we thank
and show regard for them more often.     

John Gear (catalyst [at] pacifier.com)

  All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current
conceptions and institutions.  All progress is initiated by challenging
conceptions and executed by supplanting existing institutions.  Consequently
the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.  There is the
whole case against censorship in a nutshell.
--G. B. Shaw

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