1% - Jacques' Story - The Beginning
The spirit of 1% was first given life through the undying loyalty and devotion of Jacques our 4 legged storyteller.
Hello my name is JACQUES from Boston. I'm a Bouvier Des Flanders herding dog known the world over as perhaps one of the most devoted and courageous breeds of our species. The Bouvier earned their reputation for bravery and intelligence as messengers during World War 1 and were actually sent out under the cover of darkness to bring in the wounded. Our entire breed came perilously close to extinction.
I've been raised as an ambassador of PEACE and GOOD WILL, never dreaming I would one day evolve to a 1% storyteller relating wonderful tales of adventure, hope, promise and the power of love and connection.
OUR journey started in 1992 with a walk from western Massachusetts to Canada to raise awareness about world hunger and continued with backpacking, hitchhiking, peace mobile journeys throughout America and beyond. There are powerful memories such as sleeping nose to nose with my 2 legged companion in a one creature tent in secluded areas all throughout the country (and he had the nerve to complain about my breath). Using our wits while spending restless nights in Washington & Union Square parks in NYC and wondering about the soul of America as we experienced the poverty, despair and hopelessness of the south Bronx, facing head on the apathy and separateness of our society as we felt stranded four days and nights on route 40 in Oklahoma. We struggled time and time again with perplexing human happenings such as being shut out of shelters and churches regardless of weather and in some very unwelcoming areas, asking only for shelter for the night.
One particular time comes to mind in Louisville, Ky. on an especially dreary, rainy Monday evening the two legged hurried excitedly to the side of a church after reading the "ALL ARE WELCOME" sign at the front of the building. Hearing voices he knocks, only to have a very gruff clergy person, upset over being interrupted, open the door and BARK (worse than any of mine) "What do you want?" "Just a place to stay for a few hours. Were walking through the country for less violence. This clergy guy looks at us like we just rummaged through his garbage. "Well maybe YOU can, but not that DOOOG" and my companion retorts in as loud a voice as I ever heard from him" DO YOU THINK JESUS WOULD LEAVE THE DOG OUTSIDE?" And the church keeper bellows even louder "THIS IS THE LOOORDS HOUSE!!! "And jack he's really getting into it now, "THE LORD WOULDN"T SET FOOT IN YOUR HOUSE...HE WOULD RATHER BE OUT HERE WITH HIS 4 LEGGED CREATURE. Perhaps the strain of the journey was starting to show. Well I tell you, I've been proud of this guy before, but never more than that rainy night in Louisville... I gave him an extra bump of affection on our way to the nearby park.
On the bright side, we did meet lots of kindred spirits, many folks told us uplifting tales of a remarkable woman, PEACE PILGRIM who had walked the country for more than 25 years with her heartfelt message.
"This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."
1% Welcomed by young local women who had witnessed the horror of war in Bosnia.
WE would share stories with many open hearted, welcoming creatures in homes, churches, schools, playgrounds etc. discussing much of what we had learned of some of history's heroic peacemakers... francis, Mary Dyer, Martin, André Trocme, Franz Jaegers tatter and of course my great grandmother, Jacquette, who died a valiant death defending her flock from a pack of predators.
So in march of 1993 my two legged soul mate journeyed to Bosnia, 1st on a caravan of conscience with 65 Irish folks, demonstrating with quiet dignity to raise awareness of the tragic events taking place only 100's of miles away from the cities they visited; Dublin, London, Munich, Vienna and Budapest. Then in December, while I was left behind again, rather than being quarantined for 6 months in Europe, the two legged journeyed with 18 others on a "seeds of peace mission" to the besieged city of Mostar.
The 1% story started taking on more focus.
The horror & futility of war ravaged innocent lives as over 50,000 brutal rapes of woman and children were reported as a tactic of ethnic cleansing. Our 1% storyteller realized that a very small number of cruel, power crazed individuals were able to manipulate enough others by appealing to their greed, patriotism, separatism, and fear and that small minority was able to hold a divided, disconnected populace hostage with their distortion.
The storyteller could not escape the thought of something happening that would help two legged creatures to transcend boundaries, perhaps something bold and powerful like an inclusive peace army as Gandhi envisioned.
"You see things as they are and you say ... why ... but, we dream things that never were ... and say Why Not?""
George Bernard Shaw
THE DREAM OF 1% A PEACE ARMY WAS BORN! So often when we visited civic, school, church groups we are quick to point out that it matters not whether the violence is within, in our family, our neighborhood, town, country or beyond for "we are not disconnected from the pain" and that the simple act of connecting with other kindred spirits will start the journey of healing.
So when the day comes when I am no longer able to carry our wonderful message of hope and I am lying around with the grandpups, I'll think of those long roads, steep hills, dark nights, when I kept him safe, sleeping in parks, cars and cellars, on sidewalks in NYC, ever so grateful for the kind strangers offering water, munchies, a dry place to rest. Yes, I'll remember the South Bronx, Hartford, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Madison, Fargo (almost lost a paw) Penn State, Purdue, U of Minn., U of Wisconsin, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles. I'll remember the pride of a job well done. My ancestors will welcome THE BOUVIER FROM BEACON HILL for carrying the message of 1% to connect all living creatures for a less violent society.
A Message from Jacques Bouvier - 10/25/01
1% Scout checking for safe lodging.
"One day while we were having lunch the Berlin Wall came down and another day an attentive neighbor prevented a young girl from being abused and a teenage boy stepped in to stop a bully from further intimidation and a man with a video camera filmed the wretched conditions in an orphanage in Romania and a clerical worker offered her support to a co-worker she suspected was being battered at home and a 10 year old girl asked an adult to be kinder to a neglected 4 legged and as the years went on one day, millions came to the realization of the folly, immaturity and waste of governments spending over a trillion dollars annually ON armaments while children starved and elderly went without medical care and entire populaces lived in squalor. 1%, Were connecting the 8 year old with the 88 years young, the hunter and the vegetarian, the Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Secular Humanist, the well off and poor, the liberal and conservative."
"THE GREAT STRIPED TIGER SAYS, WHY, WHY, WHY and THE BIG BLACK DOG SAYS, BYE, BYE, BYE"
FROM GEORGE SANTYANA...
Doreyl Ammons Cain
Oh world, thou choosest not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise,
and on the inward vision close the eyes
but it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
save one that faith deciphered in the skies;
to trust the soul's invincible surmise
was all his science and his only art.
Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
that lights the pathway but one step ahead
across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine
by which alone the mortal heart is led
unto the thinking of the thought divine.
(Thank you Jacques for our 1% dream of a less violent society)
Nov. 7, 1989 - Oct. 25, 2001
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