Dear All – So good to see so many of you at the Chapter of Chats! A wonderful space for connecting, sharing stories and dreaming of a future shaped and held by justice and compassion. In light of the spirit of Chats I wanted to share an update from The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. Please see below and blessings on your summers!
Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
Peace from Afghanistan, specially to those with the Caravan of Solace
far-away in Mexico, who strengthen us with their poetic struggle.
From Afghanistan, we need you to know : Walking together is not a
weakness. It is our everything.
We thank you for walking differently.
Julian LeBaron, a Caravan of Solace leader whose brother was
kidnapped, tortured and killed last year, reminded the crowd that fear
isn’t the only thing keeping people home — it’s apathy: ‘There should
be 100 million people here, holding hands to mourn the death of 40,000
If you have a few minutes this Sunday 19th of June, let’s connect on
the Global Days of Listening ( email to the cc-ed address
Hakim and the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
From Afghanistan, we need you to know
Javier Sicilia, Julian Lebaron and all with the Caravan of Solace,
like you and the families of 40,000 Mexican victims, we need you to
know that we’ve also been crying.
There are no expectations in our crying.
There’s only grief, and ignored anger, the ignored anger of the mundane masses.
To all fellow humans alive today, we need you to know that many people
are hurting badly because we will not do more than what is normally
required to preserve our conventional ways of life.
We need you to know that the many who are hurting are real people.
Sadly, every day that we defend our lives as usual, we demean other
lives as usual, and therefore we all become less dignified, less
We in Afghanistan have been learning that being alive is not just
about busily earning our keep, or more ridiculous, about getting good
grades in ‘empty’ schools.
We have also been learning what it means to be alive.
Here, the other Friday, we felt alive when we walked together to the
river, listening to everything.
We felt alive caring for one another despite our utter despair.
Our systems have been structured to rule us out, to corner our
humanity. Our systems despise our hope.
The doorways of our governments are tunnels for theft.
To conform with Power, we’re ‘told’ that we must remain helpless, friendless.
Our poverty is ‘graced’ by bullets, bombs and blood.
Our struggle is ‘condemned’ by religious and political dogma.
We detest these from way deep down. We detest these so much. Every soul does.
But today, self-protection at the expense of the distant ‘other’
justifies a strategy of ‘Man killing Man for Greed’s sake.’
How can that be?
How can it be that ‘the common good’ is no longer ‘good’, that it has
become an impractical ideal divorced from human society?
How can it be that asking for economic fairness is considered being
anti-government, that speaking against corruption gets us into
How can it be that when we tell our leaders to stop killing, we are
the ones deemed naïve and dangerous?
We detest this violent antagonism infecting the world.
We detest the decay of our values.
We’re creating so few lifetime opportunities for genuine education,
decent livelihoods, and grief.
Not enough space, except by the rivers.
We need to talk differently, walk differently, serve ( lead )
differently and relate differently, and if we so earnestly and
painstaking act in love, ‘Y’ not?
Who has dictated to the ‘Y’ generation that,’ You can never change
this unequal, unkind global system of governance.’?
‘Y’ not when the majority of humanity and the majority of 30 million
Afghan citizens manage to get along without killing one another?
‘Y’ not step towards the rivers where human solidarity runs?
How can we live without crying? How can we suggest what could be done
when we ourselves are hardly coping?
We need you to know that your journey is our journey too, and that
yes, ‘No estas solo’.
We need you to know that crying is our friend, and not a weakness.
We need you to know that walking together is not a weakness. It is our