Karen Tse of International Bridges to Justice

I have two stories in my head.  President Carter said earlier that when he was president all these countries were dictatorships, and now the world is a different place.  There is an exciting movement in the world.  I remember when Marcos was in power, and then the people removed him, how I felt.

Still in this day with the progress so many are being tortured, arbitrarily detained and for them, so even in many new democracies for regular people the law is a dream.

So that is one story going on, all the countries, we’ve written declarations, we spend so much on other things but haven’t implemented human rights in so many countries.  Why?

The second story in my head, is about a sister who influenced me greatly, when I was in Cambodia and police officers were torturing people.  She said, if you want to change this world, if you want to work with police who torture people, you have to find the Christ or Buddha in each of them.  This is about the power of transforming love.  You have to find a way to reach their humanity.  Remember one thing, she said, whatever you focus on will grow.

In some ways there have been changes, in other ways there is still suffering.

We must recognize our mutual humanity, the humanity of those who are not in this room and try to reach out and work with them.  I am inspired by what I am hearing, but I also see a disease, a feeling that there are good people and bad people.  Who are we shutting out of this process some that we need to work with?  There is something else about our spirituality, our faith.  Everywhere I have worked it is about the spirit coming forward.  Spirit is moving.  We can use that.

We will work with the police officers.

Bringing together the two stories to say more of the international community, we need to move beyond our own selves feeling like we’re the right one’s doing all the work and we’re the ones who need to be here, and find the spirit in the others we need to reach.