Marsh Memorial had a special guest late Tuesday night, who was able to not only reach out to Springfield College students, but to people in the community as well.
John Dear, an internationally known voice for peace and non-violence and a 2008 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, talked to mostly people in the community with the appearance of some students from SC. He spoke of power and about all the different movements he has participated in.
Dear, a Duke University graduate, started peacemaking when he was just 21-years-old and out of college for that matter. He decided to take on this role as he described himself as a “crazy college kid.”
After doing this for over 30 years, he has traveled all around the world to places like El Salvador, Israel and California, and now resides in New Mexico, the top place in the USA for nuclear weapons.
The entire speech, Dear kept going back to the same quote: “Love your enemies.” He got this from the Bible and has based a lot of his preaching on this quote.
He is a man who strongly believes in peace. He does not support the killing of one human by another. He made points that “war never leads to peace, war leads to new war.”
For a man who believes in peace and non-violence, he shows what he believes in very adamantly. Dear has been arrested over 75 times and has been in and out of jail since 1984. He has spent more than a year of his life in jail for standing up for what he believes in.
Along with speaking to over 10,000 people in schools and churches per year, Dear is a Jesuit priest, activist, organizer, lecturer and retreat leader. He is also an author and editor of 20 books on peace and non-violence.
With his wit and powerful speaking, he described many events in his life with great detail. He puts into words his emotions on hearing bombs being dropped and guns being shot, all in short distance from where he was at the time.
All the events in his life are what molded his journey through finding peace. He is a man who believes that God will love unconditionally.
One thing that really stuck out to the crowd was when he explained his volunteer work with the Red Cross. He worked as a chaplain for family members who had lost loved ones in the World Trade Center disaster on September 11.
Dear was a remarkable person to listen to, and spoke with confidence and pride of what he was doing. To close out the night, he gave a few points to carry peace in everyday life.
“We have to speak out publicly,” Dear said in his speech. “You have to pick a cause and get involved.”
His No. 1 goal is to make a non-violent world and to stop nuclear weapons from being made. He wants everyone to be at peace with not only themselves and the people around them, but God as well.
He ended the night by explaining that “the perks of working with peace are fabulous!”