pledge was developed in response to the U.S.
invasion of Iraq in March, 2003.
"We understand that the drive behind terrorism
in this world is about conspicuous consumption
and materialism in the West that ignores the
needs of the rest of the world. The appropriate
response is not to destroy everyone who begrudges
us our excesses, but to cease our excesses.
As individuals we personally solemnly promise
to change our behaviors at this moment. We understand
that we have a government that does not understand
our deep aversion to harm other people in the
interest of maintaining and increasing our own
material possessions. In order to make ourselves
heard, we vow to make only those purchases that
are absolutely necessary to existence. That
would include food. It would not include long
trips, evenings out, or new purchases of material
possessions. We will make ourselves heard by
not acting like "typical" Americans.
We will say "no" to the American way
that buys and buys without regard for other
people and their needs and without regard for
how we dispose of those items that we no longer
need. We vow to become mature adults in a world
with real pain and real needs. We vow to support
those people in our own community who may be
affected by these decisions. We wish them as
profoundly well as we wish the poorest people
in Africa or Asia or South America. We vow to
behave like a community. We vow to care about
each other, support each other, and to choose
We have heard the cries of the world and we
refuse to answer those cries with our own weapons
of mass destruction. We will meet those cries
with a response that answers to their hearts'
needs. It is not unreasonable for a mother to
want to feed her child. It is not unreasonable
to want to be free of AIDS. It is not unreasonable
to ask for simple shelter. We recognize that
our excesses have created these needs in the
world and we say, "No more." We choose
to take our places in the world as full world
citizens who individually take no more than
our share of what is available in this world.
We choose to let our President know that we
are prepared to stand solidly on the side of
world justice and that we are willing to sacrifice
our own pleasures to that end. Now is the time.
We are the people. As we share our solemn promises
with our friends and family in person and through
the Internet, we see a country where individuals
stop their frantic activities and their excessive
buying. We envision a real change in the mood
of the country. People cease their incessant
hurrying around and turn to each other for true
human connections. We use that newfound time
to pray for peace and to send love around the
world. We refuse to spend a moment or a breath
in hatred toward anyone. We embrace each individual
and know that each of us wants to be happy and
free of suffering. We wish each person on earth
profoundly well and our actions support our
wishes. We become whole as individuals and as
a country. America finally lives up to the promise
on which it was founded. It is the beauty of
democracy that we can intelligently and individually
choose to go another way. We do not need to
wait to be led by a government, but can say
for ourselves, "This is the path, this
is the day, we are the people." We can
move toward our highest potential as a nation.
This is our true destiny!"
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