Betsy Mulligan-Dague runs the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center in Missoula, Montana. She is also a Harley Davidson rider, a boxer, and an inventor. She believes it is important to explore different perspectives. Together, with Dan Gallagher, they found a way to bridge the divide that can exist between veterans and peace activists.
“We have things that bind us together that we can fall back on when we start talking politics, or something else where we diverge in opinion.”
We can only change ourselves. I can’t change you. I can’t make you do anything, or believe anything, or feel anything. If I operate from blame and judgment, I’m giving you the power to control how I feel, what I think, and how my day goes. I need to focus on what’s true for me. What are the assumptions behind my thoughts and values?
Commit to spending time every day with something that you disagree with: read something or talk to somebody that’s outside of your circle, go someplace you don’t usually go, try to do something that doesn’t fit the mold of who you are. Push out of your comfort zone. If we only stay with people who agree with us, we’re not making peace. We’re just staying comfortable. If we’re going to change the world, we have to be willing to get on the edge and push it. Every day take a baby step toward learning something new. These are the things we need to teach our children.
Betsy Mulligan-Dague short audio clip
Betsy Mulligan-Dague full audio
- Who have you given the power to control you by “operating through blame and judgment?”
- What is something outside of yourself that you’ve not been open to? How can you be open to that without compromising what you believe?
- How do you understand the connection between personal peace and global peace?
- How often do you approach reading the news like you would approach another person? How often do you live out what you speak about?
- Why do you work for peace even if you see it as unattainable? Is peace something to be achieved?