Excerpt #1 - Threat City:
Pye stopped for a moment, searching for a story to tell us, then drew a little square in the sand.
“Let’s say we live in a terrible place: Threat City,” she said, touching the square. “The longer we stay there, the less we like it. There’s violence, destruction, we don’t like the people, we don’t like their choices, we don’t belong there. Threat City is not our home!” She drew a wavy line away from the square, angles and switchbacks. At the end of the line, she drew a circle.
“So one day we pack our bag and drive away, seeking the town of Peace.” She traced the difficult road she had made, followed all the twist and turns with her finger. “We choose left turns and rights, highways and shortcuts, we follow the map of our highest hopes and at last here we are, rolling into this gentle little place.”
Peace was the circle in the sand, and Pye’s finger stopped there. As she spoke, she planted tiny evergreen twigs in the sand for trees.
“We find a home in Peace, and as we get to know the people we discover that they share the same values that brought us there. Each has found her own road, has followed his map to this place where the people have chosen Love and Joy and Kindness-to each other and to the town and to the earth. We didn’t have to convince anyone in Threat City to move to Peace with us, we didn’t have to convince anyone but ourselves. Peace already exists, and anyone who wishes can move there whenever they choose.”
She looked at us, almost shy with her story.
“The people of Peace have learned that hatred is love without the facts. Why tell lies to separate and destroy ourselves when the truth is we’re one? The people of Threat City are free to choose destruction, and we’re free to choose peace.
“In time, other people in Threat City might grow tired of violence, perhaps they’ll follow their own map to Peace, make the same choice we made to leave destruction behind. If they all make that choice Threat City will become a ghost town.”
“And one day the people of Peace, remembering, curious, might visit the ruins of Threat City to find the destroyers gone, reality visible again: fresh streams instead of running poisons, new forests springing up from clearcuts and strip mines, birds singing in clean air.” Pye planted other twigs in the new town. “And the people of Peace take down the sign hanging crooked at the edge, the sign that says Threat City, and they put up a new sign: Welcome to Love. And some move back to clean the rubble, rebuild the mean streets gentle, and they promise the town will live by its name. Choices my dear ones, do you see? It’s all choices!”
That moment, in that odd place, what she said made sense.
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