I am from the curd of Wisconsin. I am from cheese and beer and Friday night ballgames that the whole population of Eau Claire County showed up for. I’m from midwestern bowling leagues, back alleys, and 3 a.m. hunts. I’m from a blue hand-painted rowboat on the Chippewa River propelled by a crappy old motor my dad would scream at to make work. I am from the land of open fields where corn grows nine shades of yellow, nourishing an entire nation.
I am from Mrs. K’s classroom, where I drew pictures of the world that she would rip up over and over again. “Try again, Tyler. You’re making it too big. The world is small, and YOU are personally responsible for all of it”.
I am from a family whose core values are to cause world peace by resolving inner conflict first. I am from a mom who would not rest until she taught me that the reason we need to deal with our damage is because what’s not transformed is transferred.
As I pen this message, a large-scale operation is underway in Maine to apprehend a mass shooter who has claimed at least 18 lives. The war in Ukraine is causing unimaginable suffering. Israel and Gaza are enduring hardships and violence that WE WERE NOT MADE to comprehend. I could list more instances of distress; these are undoubtedly challenging times.
In today’s global conflicts, my roots drive me to act. While unsure of the grand solution, I believe all wars start within us, and outer peace depends on inner reflection, honesty, reconciliation, and examined behavior. Shared suffering unites us, and true freedom is collective.
Amid the overwhelming news, let’s remember hope lies in connection. Let’s stand with one another during these trying times, committed to the hard work of inner peace for lasting outer peace.
The time for change is now, and it starts with each of us.
I love you. Keep going.
Tyler Lewke | Good,Works