“Our security in this country depends on advancing the shared security for all…” This is the theme for the 2016 Walk for a New Spring by the Monks and Friends of the New England Peace Pagoda. For the past 15 years this group has walked from Leverett, Mass to Boston, and beyond, to highlight the need to end wars, poverty and racism; to inspire and lead in the work of addressing climate change, and bring an end to nuclear weapons. Founded by the Niponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order of Japan, the Peace Pagoda brings to mind all those lost in the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dorchester is an annual stop for the Walk, where they are hosted by the First Parish Church and Dorchester People for Peace. At a breakfast gathering this week, the group explained that they are walking all the way to Washington D.C. carrying the ideas from a Quaker working paper by the American Friends Service Committee called “Shared Security, Re-imagining US Foreign Policy” to communities along the route and to our legislators in Washington, DC. In an interdependent world, foreign policies that are based on an “us vs. them” paradigm have produced nothing but negative results. Only a foreign policy that advances the human dignity and opportunities for all, can lay the foundation for lasting peace and security. This will lead to a world of shared security.
Tim Bullock, the organizer of the Walk says they like to stop in Dorchester because it is a community where people acutely feel the challenges and stresses of insecurity but, at the same time, the Dorchester community also has the vision and energy to take care of their neighborhoods and work towards shared security for everyone.
In this precarious world, we applaud this critical effort at tackling the key issues of our times.