Being a cultural anthropologist is like being an academic hippy. Instead of love beads we wear boots and instead of a guitar, we carry a field notebook. The department office computer’s password is ‘peacebaby’ and one of my favorite profs has a bumper sticker, “peacemonger”.
And we have purpose. It is peace and unity through knowledge and communication. Because it’s harder to hate someone when you know them.
Our world is exploding with hate lately. How can we even talk about pace without sounding like Miss Congeniality, “And World Peace”? World peace really has to begin with peace in our hearts.
So this week I challenge you to be an anthropologist, be a peacemonger. Take a look at a group that has always made you uncomfortable and dig around for a little knowledge. Look them up on the internet, just be careful of your sources – don’t wander into some ultra-conservative right-wing whacko place.
If it is scary homeless guys, that has bothered you, find the stats on the homeless population. If Syrian Muslims scare you, find out what it means to be a member of Islam rather than a member of ISIS. Give me a holler if you want research help – because I’m really good at this.
So, today we lit the Peace Candle. Let’s start peace from the inside out, become a closet anthropologist.
Each week of advent (the weeks leading up to Christmas) we'll publish an advent reflection from Tannya Forconne. Tannya shares her reflection during the advent candle lighting on Sunday mornings at Harmony Springs. Tannya is a Anthropology student at the University of Akron, has conducted valuable research on food insecurity in our community, and she has served Harmony Springs as an Elder and worship leader (among many other things).