War is not an accident. War is a mindset that we come from. War requires planning, preparation, decisions, and finally a declaration. And then we must endure its consequences.
Peace is not an accident. Peace is a mindset that we come from. Peace requires a vigilant, vigorous vision of respectful co-existence that is in the best interests of all who inhabit the earth. It is a commitment, a way of living, and a way of being. Most importantly, peace is everyone's responsibility. It can't be left for someone else to do.
All monumental movements begin with a sequence of small acts. Clear-minded, peaceful thoughts give birth to new visions of harmonious humanity and peaceful actions are the natural outcome.
We Declare: The Truth About War and Our Responsibility for Peace exposes the human face of war and calls upon all of us to be instruments of peace in our daily lives.
Penny Rock, as an Army nurse stationed in Vietnam, silenced herself for over 30 years. Since breaking her silence, she has seen her responsibility to not gloss over war, but to use the lessons of war as a teacher for peace.
Power of a Clear Mind
This book, of poetry and prose, encourages us to shift our focus from pointing fingers, finding fault, and laying blame, to engaging in respectful dialogue to create a personal and national priority to embark on the path of peace.
I was an Army Nurse stationed in Vietnam during the period of the Tet Offensive. All of us with wartime experience have seen too much. Too much death. Too much destruction. Too much carnage. We also saw not enough. Not enough lives saved. Not enough respect. Not enough truth.
So, how do you deal with all that is “too much” and “not enough”? How do you make sense of the insensible? My way of dealing with the insanity of war was to write. I wrote about what I saw and felt. I wrote prose and poetry to put words to describe life in the midst of death. And I wrote secretly. I shared none of what I wrote with others. My words were privileged communications between my mind and my heart.
After returning to the United States, I thought it was important to speak the truth about what war requires of, and does to, those who are in the midst of it. My desire to share what I had learned was not enough to elicit attention, reflection, or action from those not otherwise engaged in some form of protest. Even many engaged in protest saw us as traitorous for having been in the war regardless of the need for our skills or our personal positions on the war.
I found there was precious little interest in what I, or any of us, had to say. I stopped speaking. I stopped writing. I couldn’t stop remembering.