Talking about peace is a complex process, more complex than talking about war. War simplifies things into two sides ­ you are either with us or against us, as our leaders like to say. When we decide we are at war, we jump over the discussion of “How did we get to this point where war is the only option?” Instead we ask questions like, “Whose side are you on?” and “What is the best way to kill and destroy our enemy?”

We hear these questions argued about every day in the mainstream media.

Whether the issue is an actual war or a political fight, the parties to the so-called “conversation” take sides and yell at each other until the time is up. Nothing changes except that perhaps their hate for each other has grown even more intense. Sadly, we often avoid talking about the big questions with our families and friends because we fall into this same pattern. So rather than inflame the hatred, we retreat into silence.

Peace Circles offer a way to end the silence. With Peace Circles there are no sides and there is no yelling. The emphasis is on respectful listening, on honest wrestling with complex issues, and on a personal willingness to be changed by others. It is an ideal process for taking on the important and complex question of evaluating our response to the 9/11 attacks and imaging alternatives. We hope that you will find your voice through the Peace Circle process and become part of a nationwide movement challenging our nation to live up to its ideals and become a world leader for peace.