Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Mankind.
It is what we wish for especially during Christmas and the New Year. Yet since the beginning of history, man has been in a constant state of war and strife. We have gone to war for religious or ethnic differences, to gain territory or other natural resources, to overthrow an unjust government or to stop the destructive actions of another country. Alliances have been formed and peace treaties signed to bring about peace on earth, but as one conflict is resolved, several more rage in different places around the world. The history of mankind has been one of continuous enmity, suffering, pain, and death.
Peace is a concept of collective friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. (Wikipedia). Peace is a lack of conflict or absence of war and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. Ironically, education and development bring greater insight about what is wrong with our world and creates a desire to do something about it. Most of our social and political advancements have come through fighting for them. For example, each of the human rights that we take for granted nowadays were achieved through struggle…the right to vote, equal rights, labor rights, women’s rights, education, natural resources, food, retribution, and the list is endless. In order to help those who cannot help themselves, and to preserve peace on a larger scale we go to war. War is entirely our creation, the product of human choices. War could end tomorrow if a relatively small group of people around the world chose to end it by becoming messengers of peace.
But how can one be a messenger of peace if drama, chaos, and grievances co-exist within one’s home–the very foundation where one’s physical, spiritual, and emotional being resides? How is “world peace” to be accomplished if we seem more focused on the shortcomings of our lives than on the merits, strengths and virtues? How can we claim peace when we don’t know how to say we’re sorry and don’t think of who loses when we win? Until we have personal peace in our hearts and homes, we can’t have peace in the world. So, peace really starts at home. It starts with you and me. Peace does not mean being in a place with no noise or trouble. Peace means being in the midst of all the chaos and still be calm in the heart.
I asked a boy of nine what peace meant to him. “Peace,” he said, is when I don’t hear my parents quarreling every evening.”
A young teen said, “Peace is when I no longer feel the twitch of hunger at the pit of my stomach trying to eat itself because there is no food to go around at home.”
Another said, “When my parents and church allow me to be who I am.” While another said, “When I don’t have to fear the physical threats of bullies just because I look and speak different, that’s when I will have peace.”
A family seeking political asylum said of peace. “When we don’t have to jump at every car exhaust that pops and bangs and at every door that slams taking us back to the terror of bullets, guns and bombs of war.”
I asked a lawyer her rendition of peace. “When justice is served, and the criminal receives what he/she deserves following our principles of fairness.”
A mother said this of peace.”Hearing my child breathe softly in the silence of the night.” “My family around the dinner table,” said another.
A priest responded with, “Peace comes with prayer. Prayer softens hearts to be more attentive to the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters. Love fills our hearts which brings greater peace to all.”
I asked a person whose body was weary of illness. “Peace,” said the person, “is what I long for… the eternal peace that awaits me on the other side.”
I believe in peace. I believe that I should have empathy and compassion to help others so we can live in a peaceful world. A world where there is no crime. A world where there is no war, no killing, no suffering. A world where children are not bullied or judged for their differences. I believe I have to share. I have to share for a world that feels the gnawing pain of hunger. I believe in the power of prayer and love enough to share with family, friends, and neighbors. I believe in peace eternal. I will strive for peace. A peaceful day’s living with a peaceful night’s sleep with a leap of faith in humanity.
This Christmas, may the true meaning of peace on earth find its home in your heart to share with others and with the world around you.
Happy Christmas and A Peaceful New Year 2023
Peace to all, always, in every way each and everyone visualize it.
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Amen to that Yeran. May each find his/her own inner peace.