Transforming Fear by Speaking Peace

Kelly Litt
Blog by Kelly Litt, Justice Promoter

Fear Follows Us Daily as Violence Rages in US

Fear swept through our communities once again as breaking news of bombings in New York City and New Jersey and a stabbing in a mall in Minnesota on September 17 unfolded.

The status of the victims and the pain of the community are often overshadowed by the consistent search to uncover whether or not the perpetrator was linked to terrorism or showed any evidence of having sympathetic terrorist leanings. In short, it seems that what sells in the media is our own fear.

In the post-9/11 world, “terrorism” and “terrorist” are words we hear and read often. Fear is present in the unknown. Coming out of one of the most violent summers for gun violence on record, fear seems to follow us daily both at home and abroad. I find myself reflecting on these words and how divisive they can be, but do words also hold the power to unite and bring reconciliation?

Making Peace

The National Catholic Reporter recently launched a campaign to delve into the questions of peace called “Making Peace.” This series will “explore the topics of peace and nonviolence.” Through this, NCR understands that the world is in need of positive media coverage, stories of triumph, love, compassion, and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Drawing Out a Desire to Work Together

Words such as bombing, stabbing, and terrorism, illicit fear. Following this fear, many might find themselves closed off in order to protect themselves. Yet words such as peace, unity, and understanding can draw out a desire to work together, to problem solve, and to work toward solutions to benefit the common good for all of our communities.

Word Choice Matters

With the ability to stir-up emotion, word choice matters whether we are speaking, writing, or reading. As our news outlets are continually plagued with tragedies, division, and pain, it is important to join together as communities to speak with loving respect and in appreciation of our diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, cultures, beliefs, and more. I commend NCR for their efforts to shine light on the effectiveness of peace and nonviolence as well as the influence the media has through words and stories. We must continue to challenge our own fears and work to transform those fears into avenues to unite our communities and our world. Peace can prevail.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

12 responses to “Transforming Fear by Speaking Peace

  1. Thank you so much Kelly in reminding us of our choice of Words. It is so Dominican as we remember “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” It causes me to question my own use of words and ask if they foster peace, love and reconciliation with others.

  2. Thanks, Kelly, for this sharing. It immediately brought to mind a thought picked up in a novel that I just recently read: “Fear is the most powerful enemy human beings face” (The Storm Sisters by Lucinda Riley).

  3. thank you so much Kelly for your words of wisdom to help us break over fear. Here in Puerto Rico it does not except itself from shootings that you do not hear about in the USA. But there is always faith and hope in the every day life of the people here. My family lives up in the central mountain range of the island so it is much quieter. I am here visiting my family so I will be reading your blogs from here. Gracias.

  4. I sincerely hope that the NCR campaign efforts work to heal many of us readers who are fearful of our welfare especially in poor neighborhoods and small city America. I really pray for a changing message that would foster peace for us all.
    I believe that will happen in America through God’s Will and man’s responses that will chart our future and alter our present.

  5. Thanks, Kelly, for your positive approach to handling reality , dire as it sometimes seems..You are off to a great start as our Justice Promoter.

  6. Thank you, Kelly, it is consoling to have a solution to our
    fear with something so possible for all. Martina Stegman, OP

  7. thank you Kelly! I appreciate the reminder and the challenger to use the power of our word to instigate peace. I don’t think we believe how powerful we are; every single one of us.

  8. Many thanks, Kelly, for your excellent blog. Looking forward to NCR’s series on “Making Peace”. Holding you and your ministry to the Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace in prayer!
    Michelle and Chris – Watertown, MA

  9. Thank you Kelly for your words of inspiration.You touched on a very timely topic. I appreciate your reminder not to live in fear, but rather seek peaceful solutions to our differences.

  10. Thanks, Kelly! We have to continue to tell the good, positive things that happen every day – and they do happen. We have to find them. Thanks.


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