Our planet is beset with war, terror, hunger, disease, poverty and environmental degradation which must end soon if future generations are to survive and progress.

Perpetuating hatred, ignorance, bias, prejudice, selfishness, greed, fear, extremism, jealousy and misunderstanding from generation to generation perpetuates the world’s differences, disasters, degradations and difficulties.

Without an immediate, dramatic change of direction individually and collectively, our human race will come to where we are presently — and suicidally

— headed.

I and many others doubt whether individual actions or reactions to the planet’s universal problems can or will make any difference.

I personally pledge that I will forever peacefully condemn, resist and denounce killing, terror, war, crime, prejudice, vengeance and the loss or limitation of basic human rights – including, but not limited to:

  • The right to adequate food, shelter, clean water, clean air and clothing.
  • The right to health care.
  • The right to education.
  • The right to work for a living.
  • The right to worship one’s highest spirit and/or creator.
  • The right to a homeland free of challenge or aggression.

I will work to promote remedial action by those who have too much in favor of those who have too little; and, by those who can offer aid to those who need help.

I will not tolerate — without my active peaceful protest and, where necessary my peaceful civil disobedience — any government action that violates these covenants.

I support one planetary, plenary police power, consisting of fair representation from all nations, which will enforce the principles of universal law and peace through a multinational force governed by the United Nations.

I support one World Court, representative of all nations, to interpret and administer its universal rights and laws and principles.

I support a renewed and more responsible United Nations, free of veto power vested in any single nation or select group of nations.

Any declaration of war implied by any nation, government, individual or organized entity, other than the United Nations, shall be a declaration against all earth’s people; and, I will oppose any such aggressor.

I advocate the prompt mutual elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.

I will look anew at earth’s environmental status as well as my own in light of the damage humankind has wrought; and, I will endeavor to waste no resource, to conserve energy and prevent pollution of air, water and soil. I will try to use no more energy than is necessary to support my family.

I will teach my children and grandchildren principles of universal tolerance, love, equality, understanding, compassion, sympathy, empathy and freedom. I will teach the lessons of history and world events that have led us to this perilous time. This promotion of universal principles has become so necessary to the survival of humankind and the preservation of our earth.

I pledge to end the exposure of children to violence, including that portrayed in the media and I will also reject such portrayals myself.

I will pray for all those who are asked to understand this simultaneous planet-wide denouncement of violence and killing and vengeance even though they and their loved ones have been brutalized and victimized; and, I will promote the message that we must altogether say “enough” to violence, terror and killing. I believe earth’s present generations must agree to forgive terrible past and present wrongs and forego future wrongs and revenge.

I will respect and work to protect human differences in religion, culture, color, nationality, language, gender, age, ethnicity and political beliefs.

This dramatic and immediate change, so essential to preserving the planet and its people, will not come about through slow generational purging of the problems and prejudices that plague our earth.

We must act together to adopt sweeping, global change that will provide all people with the ultimate promise and hope, that we can together act to change tomorrow. I pledge to act responsively and responsibly to achieve this end.

I support a general amnesty for those who have engaged in conflict, so long as they terminate armed conflict and lay down their arms forever.

We must redirect worldwide economic resources from weapons and armies, fear and terror, to provide world sustenance, health, universal education and other basic human rights and needs for all. I will work for the preservation of the earth’s natural resources and development of clean renewable alternative energy to sustain future life on the planet.

I will urge others to take this pledge including my governmental representatives at all levels, my religious leaders, my nation’s military leaders, educational leaders and corporate leaders.

If we support these changes, there can and will be peace on earth and preservation of our planet and protection and perpetuation with dignity for humankind.

Thomas Lister is a trial lawyer, former Jackson County district attorney and circuit court judge. He is retiring from Fitzpatrick Skemp & Associates, La Crosse.