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by Joy
Rated: E · Essay · Inspirational · #698237
Peace... Its time has come. Do we have a chance? Some thoughts...
          A little girl attempts to make people "think God" in one of the "Oh, God!" movies, starring George Burns. I wonder what would happen if we applied the idea to thinking "peace." To think "peace" may neither be as glamorous as romantic love nor as energetic as hatred or revenge, especially when revenge cloaks itself with the attire of justice. Yet, there is no corner on earth where peace is not needed.

         Peace is the glue that holds together our personal and collective psychological well-being. So, we wish for peace alongside with love and joy every Christmas. Then, why is it that we let peace stay inside a Christmas wish only?

         Once, a political science teacher said that, on earth, the affairs of nations are very similar to the affairs of men. Although these words were uttered decades ago, I still see the wisdom in them. Like individuals, all nations believe that they experience the world positively from their own point of view, and they feel they are righteous in their actions. Like individuals, each nation has and internal structure. Like individuals, each nation is at a different stage of development limited by the proportions of its own story. Like individuals, each nation sometimes finds it difficult to feel empathy with the other side.

         Yet, there is always the other side. This means we need to change something in our perspective. For each time we change something in our perspective and understanding, we will take another step toward peace.

         If for years the mighty has looked down upon the weak, isn't it in human nature for the weak to hurt the mighty, given the slightest chance? For example, wasn't it common practice for our beloved Hollywood to portray the citizens of weaker nations in clichés, as dull, idiotic, crooked or anything negative one can think of?

         Shouldn't we change our perspective in all areas where we are pointing fingers at others, be it with anger, be it with scorn, be it with disapproval? People we accuse or ridicule do not represent the biggest problem. The problem, most often, lies in the fact that we accuse others without truly examining ourselves.

         If a nation does not back our undertaking in any one area, does it stop being our friend? Why is it always my way or no way? Why do we allow mental conflicts to break up our relationships and our spirits? Peace is heavenly but it is also fragile. Everyone deserves to be treated with tenderness, but we forget this fact when we disagree strongly.

         Is the change in perspective and understanding enough? No, it is only the first step, yet a step nevertheless. Peace is not an abstract possibility; it can be done because we as human beings do not lack compassion, but sometimes in our materialistic trance, we unknowingly avoid it. When peace -- in a personal or collective way and without seeking to dominate the world-- becomes our greatest aim, we can create miracles with human imagination and effort. First, we have to learn to forgive, not only to forgive others but also ourselves.

         We have to forgive ourselves for accepting material values over those that elevate the human spirit. We have to forgive ourselves for backing the evildoers at one time when that meant material gains for us. We have to forgive ourselves for looking the other way when injustice was exercised. Then, we have to forgive others for whatever negative feelings they foster toward us. Plus, we have to learn from past mistakes and not repeat them. Moreover, we have to open our hearts to human suffering. Living inside a magnificent palace or country while others outside are dying of hunger is not conducive to peace.

         We can utter the word peace repeatedly or chant it like a mantra, but no mantra will move us forward if we close our eyes to the rights, to the experience, or to the inexperience of others. For peace, we must forgive repeatedly. For peace we must cherish insistently, not only those close to us but also those who are far. For peace, we must learn to search the truth inside each event. For peace, we must recognize everyone and put on display and respect the distinctive talents and brilliance of each nation. For peace, we must learn to find pleasure in others' achievements as well as in ours. For peace, we must see ourselves as belonging to the wholeness of human community before belonging to any one nation or group. For peace, we must surround the world with such love that fear and hatred will never have an opportunity.

         At this time in human civilization, we are at a turning point. At this time, we have the chance to allow love and brotherhood form the basis of our existence instead of our habitual money and power games. At this time, we have the opportunity to change the entire human culture into one that accepts peace. At this time, we must embrace peace, because history is daring us to go for it.

P.S.-- The original title of this piece elsewhere is Peace: Why it Shouldn't Be Only a Christmas Wish. I changed it to fit the title line here.

© Copyright 2003 Joy (joycag at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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