Hero: Peace Pilgrim

At YouTube - 1 hr long

I met the Peace Pilgrim more than 30 years ago and was deeply moved by her example. Now I find the heavy Christian framing (especially the cringe worthy music of this video) tough. But I do realize the appropriateness given the life of a woman born in 1908, walking alone across the country in 1953. The context for this kind of in-your-face freedom had to come via the accepted Christian teachings. For all of us wanting to walk the talk of a simple life of peace, with no carbon footprint - there couldn't be a better example. She only wore the clothes on her back, never accepted any money or shelter without it being offered. This makes the Riot 4 Austerity 90% reduction seem like living high on the land.

Thinking about the Peace Pilgrim today, I realize I finally found an American Example of the kind of hero stature for women, for humanity I see in Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai and Leymah Gbowee.

An additional note: I failed to make explicit this woman's name, Mildred Norman Ryder, and that the key mission was world peace! This can't be overstated as the United States is attacking countries and plunging the world into constant warfare. If the US isn't fighting, we have bases and we have supplied the weapons or 'consultants' of our preferred side. It is all about power, position and resources and the United States is dedicated to having it all. One lone voice in the US Senate - Russ Feingold is the only one to vote against upping the troops in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i discovered Peace Pilgrim in the last couple years. thank you for sharing the youtube about her which i had not seen. i enjoyed hearing her voice and watching her walk... peace seems to flow gracefully and passionately from both. one comment really struck home for me...the story of the stamps...how she only needed 3 so she refused to accept more, that carrying a few extra stamps along would be an unnecessary burden. there is such truth in Peace's words too about finding our own personal level of need/want. that we can't judge that for another, that finding that level for ourselves is such a gift of freedom.