Violent stories surround us. Brutal beginnings, horror-filled middles, despair-inducing endings. We need better stories: stories forged in the furnace of conflict, narratives that kindle compassion and ignite hope. In the pages of I Am Not Your Enemy, writer Michael T. McRay visits divided regions of the world and interviews activists, peacebuilders, former combatants about their personal stories of conflict, justice, and reconciliation. In Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa, he hears from grieving parents who partner together across enemy lines, a woman who meets her father’s killer, and a man who uses theater to counter the oppression of his people, and many more.
In a time of heightened alienation and fear, McRay offers true, sacred stories of reconciliation and justice, asking what they can teach us about our own divided states. Must violence be met with violence? Is my belonging complete only when I take away yours? Will more guns, more walls, more weapons keep us safe?
We need stories that cultivate empathy and tell the truth. We need stories to save us from our fear.