Judy Rawlings reflects on silence at the Women in Black vigil

What attracted me to the Women in Black vigils was—and still is—the silence. I really like not having to say anything or to respond to either positive or negative responses from those who observe our silent witness.

When I stand silent for half an hour, I meditate on the violence in the world, the causes of that violence, the victims of the violence and the peaceful response to violence. Since the WIB vigils started in January, I have thought about violence in our community, in our country, in Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan and many other places. I imagine what might be accomplished if we put that many resources into achieving peace. Food, clean water, shelter, health care could be provided to everyone to start.

I'm not sure if silence is an effective political tool. I'm more certain that it is the tool that I'm most comfortable with. I've demonstrated against war and violence using other "tools" and I find the silence most useful for delivering a message of peace. It's very difficult to argue against silence. As a colleague described it, "you say a lot without saying anything."

Next reflection>