After visiting Busan and Gwangju, Nadine and Jungjoo visited with human rights defenders and peace educators in Gwangmyeong City on 5-6 November 2018. They were so pleased to receive attention. We could feel how people called to peace and justice work have suffered themselves, leading to a deep sense of compassion for others. Both the half-day Liberation training with human rights defenders the one-day Trauma Resiliency training with peace educators were powerful. Jungjoo was very pleased to offer time and attention to peace workers outside of the two main cities, Seoul and Daejon, where most of the training and visitation happens.
Many of the participants were women who said they always focused on taking care of others.
They always heard that doing so was their work. This was the first time in their life they had ever been invited to stop and think about how they take care of themselves and ask for help from others. Through all the events this week we could see more clearly how the behaviors that keep the cycles of oppression going in human society are embedded in our personal identities and relationships, which then get amplified in public life. Rooting out these behaviors and balancing attention and help among everyone changes our experience of community and society. What a gift to see such deep healing in the people so dedicated to the broader society.
We talked about how transformative these activities can be, but that it will fade if we do not practice regularly. So at every event we talked about ongoing companion groups to continue to work on inwardly stopping, listening to love and conscience, softening to be gentle with ourselves and others, discharging emotional distress, reprocessing memories, bringing a clear mind to seek direction that unites us, and finding the courage to stand up for what is right and loving.