by: Sharon Delgado on January 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
I’ve been a part of conversations lately about whether parents should wait to take action for peace, justice, and the environment until their children are older, or even until they are grown. Although I understand how busy the lives of modern parents can be, I have come to the conclusion that postponing involvement in the great social issues that face humanity is not in the best interests of either parents or children. Caring for our children doesn’t have to shut us down or make our life smaller or keep us from taking a stand or from working to bring about social change. In fact, concern for our children can motivate us to work to solve the very real challenges of our world today.
I first became involved in working for peace when I became aware of some very real threats to my children. It was 1979, and Congress was debating whether to re-institute draft registration. I had preteen and teenage children who would have been required to register when they turned eighteen, and I was totally opposed to that happening (although ultimately it did). I had lived through the Vietnam War, and many of my peers had been drafted. The first social justice meeting I attended was the newly formed Nevada County Anti-Draft Coalition. I was so glad to discover like-minded friends.
I also started learning more about the threat of nuclear war, as the United States competed with the Soviet Union in building more and more nuclear weapons and changed its official nuclear policy from deterrence through Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) to “first strike” or Counterforce. This strategy put nukes in both countries on hair-trigger alert.