Monday, September 21, 2009

On Peace...

We are a world of war. A world where the strong survive and the weak perish. Where those with money and power and influence can fix it so that they get more of the same by taking from those without. It is a world of injustice, where so often "justice" comes in the form of pent up anger which becomes a fist to the face of those who have caused us to suffer. It is a world that encourages conflict... for our entertainment... for our safety and way of life... even, perversely, for our continued peace.

Peace is word that conjures hippies, and radicals... people with rose colored glasses... Gandhi... Martin Luther King, Jr. And look what happened to them. We act as if death is the worst thing that can happen to us. Our most basic desire is, afterall, survival.

Yet, there are lines and shades of gray in all of this. I would not shoot a person in cold blood. But threaten my family... and the gloves come off. Without hesitation. So the power is there... right in my itchy trigger finger, through which blood flows from a supposedly peaceful heart. Situations always override philosophies. And every one of us has that breaking point.

So how do we pursue peace in a world that is so permeated by a need to fight? It is an nearly impossible task. It makes our eyes hurt to consider it. It becomes justification. Thin slicing. Endless scenarios on which writers, filmmakers and news moguls revel.

It is a tiny step at a time. The quotations are there every day.... "The greatest achievement is selflessness." "Love thy neighbor as thyself". "There is never a good war... or a bad peace." "We shall find peace. We shall hear angels. We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." "Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous."

And lastly... from the Dalai Lama: "Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.

Today is the UN International Day of Peace... spread the word... and spread the peace. One small situation at a time


  1. I don't know. Somehow it seems that like survival, conflict is a natural instinct. And I've heard over and over psychologists say a certain amount of conflict in a relationship is healthy - which must be similar to the "good stress" theory.

    Hate on the other hand...can never be reasoned away...