When in Rome, do you know what to do?

Apparently the music at Give Peace a Dance was terrible -in the opinion of those over 50 who excused themselves early because they thought the noise was deafening and/or cacophonous. Had the PPJPC targeted the dance to younger people, I’m sure critical reviews would have been favorable.

Outreach to community subgroups different from your own, might by definition, require stepping outside your comfort zone. Catering to youth might mean a buffet at odds with your palate. So what? Don’t go. But if you admit the need to embrace age diversity into your organization, perhaps you have to tolerate some of their ways.

Likewise if you’re thinking to reach out to “the internets,” there’s a chance the language and discourse of that world might be too coarse for your sensibilities. Send internet emissaries to do your courting. That’s the principle behind ambassadors. Send someone who can speak to the natives. Don’t venture where you might be fainthearted.

Courting diversity and different strokes is paramount to building a broader community consensus. It may be a compromise of your particular taste, and it may feel like one hell of a compromise, but it shouldn’t mean compromising your fundamental principles.

Covering your ears to bear the discord is a far cry from disparaging your own ideals in order to ingratiate yourself with potential recruits. I’d sooner speak in another language to reach people foreign to my cause, than speak English but repudiate my origins in order to find agreement with erstwhile opponents.

There might be something honorable in cozying up to your enemy to show them you are flesh and blood like them. If they agree with you on one thing, perhaps they will become acclimatized to consider another. It’s a fitting long term goal, but in the meantime, what? Do you grab knives and partake in the crimes you are against?

The PPJPC has a group of members interested in the cause of sustainability. Our opponent, the war machine, has a PR department that has glommed unto “sustainability.” On one side you could call that green-washing the business of death and destruction. Neither death, nor destruction being sustainable. On the other side of the argument, you could say that the mother of all budgets being splurged on promoting sustainability cannot but help. Both sides can be true.

So death might be portrayed as fertilizing the soil for new life. Feeding the cycle of life, TM Disney. Do we no longer hold sacred the sanctity of each life span individuated from the cycles?

Killing is wrong, no matter how much fertilizer you are able to make. Reaching across to the sustainability crowd, by minimizing anti-war ideals as merely differences of opinion, is to compromise not just taste, but substance.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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