Praxis Conference 2017: Peace Building


A scholar by the name of Charles Davidson once said "It's amazing how the house can be built one brick at a time.” For the past nine months I’ve been engaging in a dialogue with Charles that strikes me at the core. How do we as a collective group of people serve as bridge builders in a world that seems to thrive off of chaos? If my brother has no food, I should open my store house & make him a feast. If my sister is overcome with thirst, I should pour her a full glass and quench her thirst. If my neighbor lacked shelter during winter, I should offer them refuge. Yet all too often we function counter to the basic philosophy of kindness and charity towards one another.

Yet this week I saw all of these things collide. Scholars with prestigious accolades attached to their name, nonprofit innovators, socially conscious practitioners, spiritual directors, community activist, and those struggling to make ends meet all sit at the same table. Learning from each other’s stories, leaning in to gain greater understanding and a realization that it was ok to leave our time together with more questions than answers. Far too often we walk in a room with a mindset of lets fix this problem and move on, yet this room turned into a bridge to build cultural awareness and a deeper understanding of just how much we need each other to spread peace throughout our nations. 

These were the kind of people that were willing to leave their title and status at the door, the kind of people that when given the choice they opted not to include their status & position on their lanyards and instead chose to enter the room just as people who wanted to spur on a dialogue of how we could help aid our fellow man in their struggle & meet them in a place that would yet serve them in an honorable way. 

Praxis Conference, thank you for opening my eyes & allowing me to see the world differently than when I first arrived. We are building a beautiful house, one with many rooms. We all have the wonderful opportunity to make sure the foundation we are building is stable & strong. Supported not only by our words, but also carried out through our actions in serving and intentional caring for one another.