Peace + Work: A Reconciliation Practice

Peace + Work: A Reconciliation Practice

Posted on in Peace-Building / Conflict Resolution.

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The practice of working or laboring alongside an enemy or simply the “other” has a far reaching impact regarding the creation of new experiences and ultimately the formation of new ways of feeling, thinking, and then acting toward that person or group. Our latest endeavor was born along the lines of this truth. We set out to bring people together – to labor next to each other – who otherwise might never encounter such a space.

This fall we are bringing together a young Muslim Sudanese man from the Darfur region and partnering him with a young Christian South Sudanese man for the purpose of co-laboring – working together – to screen print each tee shirt that Seek makes. We are also bringing together a Hindu woman from Nepal and a Muslim woman from Pakistan to co-labor on a project to make an exclusive range of candles for SEEK. Each person will learn the art of their respective craft and earn a fair wage in the process.

Laboring together is an important part of the process. Shoulder-to-shoulder experiences where one depends upon the other subjects even longstanding bias to the reality of true human and personal experience. The experience of a human relationship forms and strengthens both the subconscious and conscious feelings and beliefs about those within the relationship.

Cultural, religious, or political bias hold little weight against a positive human experience where the “other” becomes seen as equally human and equally flawed. In such a place, grace for the “other” is the embodiment of equality as it represents an honest admission of mutual worth and mutual need. It is in this place of grace that bias, lies, fears, and opinions lose their legitimacy and where the divinely created intrinsic value of the “other” begins to emerge.

In the Sudan and South Sudan region there is a longstanding conflict between Muslims and Christians, with both identity groups taking up violent conflict against the other. In a different but similar vein, Hindus and Muslims are at violent odds in many parts of South East Asia. It is our hope to not only bring together individuals at personal, cultural, and religious odds, but to also raise an example of how those individuals can go back into their respective communities as peacemakers and effect change in a greater way.

Stay tuned for more products created by this new crew of peacemakers.

Peace!