2017 LESSON 4. PEACE AND COMPASSION ARE IN OUR NATUREThis was perhaps the most shocking, humbling, proud, and inspiring moment of 2017. This was the moment I stopped running from the title “peacemaker.” This was the moment A Chance for Peace became peace itself. By the first week of August, we’d already thrown 2 peace events and gotten 550 people to commit to peace. But would our efforts pay off? With just days left until the election in Kenya, I knew we had to do something big. History was not going to repeat. Six hundred thousand people would not be displaced again. Not if we had anything to do with it. But what more could we do? I had heard rumors that gang members were the small minority that was paid to create the violence in Kibera in 2007-08. If this was true, then it could happen again. Political elite would target the most marginalized communities, exploit their need to survive, and create chaos in their thirst for power. If they did it once, they’d do it again. So I asked Collins if he could gather the gang leaders in Kibera for a private viewing of A Chance for Peace. He came back a day later with three words that astounded me: “I got them.” It was this gathering, just days before the election that we gathered rival gangs to talk about peace. To our astonishment, not only did they do that but they also aired their grievances with one another, brainstormed their own peace actions, and every single one of them committed to maintain peace during the election, no matter what. If that wasn’t enough, at the end of the gathering, they held hands and sang the Kenyan national anthem in solidarity with one another. These are rival gangs! And to add astonishment on top of astonishment, even members of the Taliban showed up, watched the film, and committed to peace, as well. When the election came around we were still waiting to see if they’d keep their promise - and they did! Some of them showed up to the demonstrations and just stood there in silent protest, keeping their word and keeping peace. The 600,000 displaced and 2,000 killed in 2007 was now reduced to zero. These men revealed what I knew to be true: peace is truly is our nature.