|My presentation begins at time 02:24:00|
It is very appropriate that Dr. Paige’s birthday on June 28th has been designated as International Nonkilling Day. This date always reminds me also about the historical event of my Doukhobor ancestors. It was on midnight of June 28, 1895 that 7,000 of my Russian Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobor ancestors burnt their guns in the first mass protest in history against militarism and wars. They reasoned that the spark of God and Love resides in everyone, therefore it is wrong to kill another human being.
Russian writer and philosopher Lev N. Tolstoy pioneered this idea in his book The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894); his message of getting rid of wars inspired the Doukhobors to drop their guns and then get rid of them. When persecution followed, Tolstoy, his intellectual friends and Quakers helped with the migration of one-third of the most persecuted (7,500) to Western Canada in 1899. My grandparents were part of this group.
At the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum in Hawaii in 2007, I was honoured to add Tolstoy as one of the pioneers of Nonkilling to that of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and other world leaders and humanists. (Proceedings, page 207) Tolstoy absolutely condemned all wars and looked forward to a new vision of humanity. This vision in modern times came forth from Dr. Glenn D. Paige with the Nonkilling paradigm and hope for a new world order.
Historically, Tolstoy and the Doukhobors both used the word ‘nonviolence’, but their real meaning, I discovered, was nonkilling. I am honoured that Glenn Paige gifted this insight to me which I have since adopted because nonkilling encompasses the broader notions of love including compassion, universal humanity, and world citizenship.
As a peace activist in many organizations such as the Canadian Peace Initiative and the World Beyond War Inc, I have often used the word ‘Nonkilling’ to describe what I consider to be one of the urgent needs of the day to save us from the scourge of war, terrorism and abuse and preserve our civilization. Routinely, I end my emails with the words: ‘In search of truth and a nonkilling society.’ Let’s hope the new generation will embrace these important values that Glenn Paige pioneered for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and the society of human beings.
With the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at 100 seconds to midnight, we must urgently work together to stop the slaughter of humanity. Nonkilling is the hope and the way to the future.