Nicholas Piediscalzi and Christy Hightower
Recorded November 13, 2016 Archived November 13, 2016 34:34 minutes
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DescriptionNicholas Piediscalzi, a retired United Church of Christ minister, talks to us about his personal experience and relationship to peace, as well as his work in peace-making in larger settings. As a minister in Chicago in the 1940s and 1950’s he worked for social justice for the African American community through, among other things, working to desegregate restaurants. Now Nick participates in the juvenile hall ministry where he offers compassion and solidarity with the young people there through listening and through storytelling about growing up in Chicago and the hostility to immigrants and Italians that he and his family experienced. Regarding the 2016 US Presidential election Nick talks about the importance of honoring the dignity and ingenuity of working class people who have acquired wisdom through self-education and life experiences rather than formal education. Nick explains how peace is an active verb. Peace is not being in euphoria all the time, instead it is working with justice and compassion, both internally within yourself and externally in the world. Because of its nature, there will always be conflict in working for peace, and the work of peace is overcoming resistance, both internally and externally. Equally important to peace-making is finding your center, that source of meaning and ethics, the divine source within yourself. Nick is always reminded of what Albert Camus said: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” Our task is to constantly rediscover that invincible summer within ourselves, and to balance activism with centering so that we are refreshed and can return to action.