The Challenges of Being Peace

Blog by Associate Mary Beth Auletto

“After what happened last election I was mad at myself for being complacent.  Now it’s hard to watch the news – I get mad at everyone else.” 

This seems to be a common admission among many of my friends and colleagues.  And so many of them right now are choosing to steer clear of the news and politics.  Others are limiting their news to keep the negative emotions and anxiety in check.  I personally find what most pushes my buttons is when someone predicts our current leader will get re-elected for four more years; I frequently retort, “Don’t steal my hope!”

So what to do as our next election approaches: Wear t-shirts with our candidate and boldly pronounce that we want to share with anyone who will listen why they should vote for this person?  Keep politics out of conversations with family and coworkers?  Unfriend Facebook friends who post views that disappoint and anger us?

Maybe…but what if we could learn to have peaceful and respectful conversations with those with whom we disagree?  There is a technique called CLARA that was developed to do just that.  CLARA as defined by the Pace Bene Organization as an acronym meaning Center, Learn, Articulate, Receive, Accomplish; they describe it as “a process for nonviolent transformation in our lives and our world”.  CLARA is part of the Peace and Nonviolence Committee’s upcoming “Blessed are the Peacemakers” workshop October 27th.  I look forward to this opportunity and hope you too will consider attending.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

9 responses to “The Challenges of Being Peace

  1. Thank you, Mary Beth I whole heartily agree! I’ve learned another way to deal with that person in the White House, thanks to you.

  2. Mary Beth,
    Thank you for this reflection. It certainly is timely for our current political climate.
    I also totally agree with Fr. Paul.
    Our Dominican practice of Disputatio describes Mary Beth’s experience of CLARA.
    One of our high schools actually has a room named and dedicated to Disputatio. Our present students who use this approach will be our hope for the future.

  3. Can you provide more information as to the location and cost for the workshop?
    Thank you and Peace,
    Denise Ficorelli, OPA

  4. Thanks, Mary Beth, for your excellent invitation to use the CLARA method during this challenging time.
    Can you tell us more about the workshop on Oct. 27th?

  5. Dear Mary Beth, I too stop watching the news after this election for reasons that I did not want to suffer a set back after my traumatic brain injury. I would do me no good to be angry all time when I hear about what is going on with our country. It pains me to hear that Mr. Lier would be reelected again. I would not be able to take another 4 years of this. I do pray a lot these days that there be a turn around in our country. I really appreciated this blog. Thank you so much. Peace!

  6. Thank you, Mary Beth for you honest reflection of the political scene. I sometimes wonder if our government is unraveling.
    I appreciate the acronym of “Clara” and will strive to integrate it in my dialogues regarding our candidates and differing viewpoints.
    Love and prayer,
    Brigid, OP

  7. Thank you for this post, Mary Beth, and for the information about CLARA. You’re inviting me to do some homework about CLARA itself and inner homework, about how to have these kinds of discussions. The CLARA method really reflects the Dominican practice of disputatio. One of the gifts that members of the Dominican Family could give our country, our world, and our church, is to grow in the art of Disputatio and CLARA.

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