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A Manner of Speaking Jul/Aug '07

by Bonnie Neugebauer
July/August 2007
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5017695/

For the past several years I have been heavily involved in global projects on peace and reconciliation (with the International Working Group on Peace Building with Young Children), but I cannot get along with my neighbor. The issue is, of course, property lines and vegetation. It’s a small matter, easily resolved with a bit of research and discussion. But Dora doesn’t discuss and she doesn’t research. She knows and she threatens and she acts.

Through the work of the World Forum and the International Working Group on Peace Building with Children, I have focused a great deal of energy and thought on violence and its impact globally. But I cannot figure out a way to live in harmony with a neighbor of over 25 years.

This weekend I found myself in the throes of a confrontation that challenged all my skills as a peacekeeper and left me questioning who I really am and whether I have the right to participate in the work I am doing.

Unable to find a pathway through the anger and unbending threats, Roger and I found ourselves in the garden, madly pulling trees from the ground and throwing them into a pile. Mind you, it took Roger 5 hours ...

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