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In Theory: What do you hope for?

May 27, 2010|By Michael J. Arvizu

A cover story in last week's Pasadena Weekly chronicles the work of Sam Lundquist, who, inspired by an Urban Plunge Community Service event at Eagle Rock's Christian Assembly Church, decided to begin a project gathering stories from each block of Los Angeles, getting to know people and serve them better with "The Hope Chronicles." With a video camera, audio recorder and journal, Lundquist would approach strangers in all walks of life to ask them one simple question: "What is your hope?" "It is my hope that we would start connecting more and talking more and really understand what it looks like to be neighbor, and be there for them if you can," Lundquist said in the Pasadena Weekly story. What would you say to Lundquist if he approached you? What is your hope?

First of all, I would probably ask Lundquist if he had heard a certain man-on-the-street interview joke, which I dare not repeat here! But then I would tell him that my hope is that all wars would end, and that we wouldn't learn war anymore.

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I was very upset when we went to war in Iraq under the previous president, and I continued to be upset when our current president did not end the conflict in Afghanistan. True, there are people in this world who would love to bring down the United States, but by fighting two wars so far away, what kind of message are we sending?

Al Qaeda, and some radical Muslims who may not be a part of Al Qaeda, really believe that the United States is trying to stamp out Islam (in spite of the fact that so many patriotic American Muslims are living here in peace). There is an old saying that continuing the same activity and expecting a different result is a form of insanity.

I believe that if we really think we can destroy all those who wish ill for America, then we are exhibiting a certain form of insanity. I don't understand how endless wars will make us safer. The more we kill, the more they recruit. The dream of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah in Chapter 2, Verse 4— "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks"is still unfulfilled after 2,700 years.

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