No More Hurting People

Peace.  Photo by Callen harty.

Peace. Photo by Callen harty.

The image that haunts me most from the Boston Marathon bombing is not one of the carnage, although many of those pictures are deeply disturbing. It is instead one that was posted after we learned the identity of the eight year old boy, Martin Richard, who died in the bombing. It is a picture of Martin, proudly holding a sign that he apparently made himself. The sign says, “No More Hurting People. Peace.”

This is a message for all of us now–no more hurting people. Peace. Simple. Beautiful. Perfect.

No more hurting people. No more random shootings. No more bombs. No more drones. No more knives and brass knuckles. No more rocks and stones. No more arson. No more war.

No more hurting people. Peace.

No more Afghani women and children maimed or killed. No more Iraqis with lost limbs. No more prisoners of conscience beaten and tortured by their captors. No more torture. No more queer people murdered. No more minorities killed. No more domestic violence. No more rape. No more violence. Period.

No more hurting people. Peace.

No more orphans of war. No more wounded psyches. No more hunger or homelessness. No more physical, spiritual, or emotional violence. No more.

No more hurting people. Peace.

No more. We can take no more. In Martin’s death his words reach out to a larger world. In his innocence our own complicity of silence is exposed. In his martyrdom our shortcomings as human beings are laid bare. We must take this boy’s message and proclaim it to the world. We must live it. We must be it. We must start with our own souls, finding peace and sharing it with others. We must stop hurting each other and we must do it now.

No more hurting people. Peace.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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3 Responses to No More Hurting People

  1. marcea0k says:

    Martin’s simple message was glorious. Thank you for paying it forward for him, and may we all do the same.

  2. Jess Anderson says:

    Perfect in all regards, Callen. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  3. Debi Oswald says:

    No more!! Peace

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