Tag Archive for peace

Rome?

I feel like I’m in Nero’s Rome. Come on, people. We’re better than that. We can band together and practice peace and justice!

A Fitting Tribute this Memorial Day

Today, pause to remember the men and women who died fighting America’s battles.  Their goal was to stop tyrants and regimes that treat people like insignificant, disposable, unworthy non-humans.  This was their contribution to upholding the dignity of man and working toward peace.  A fitting memorial to them is to carry on their mission.  Not fighting in a far-away land but living our daily lives as though those around us, those of different skin colors, religions, socio-economic status–everyone–were human beings.  Such a peaceful, tolerant attitude must start with us individually, in our homes, schools, and workplaces and spread to our cities, states, nation, and, ultimately, the world.  Maybe such a global attitude will prevent tyrants and hate-groups from getting a foothold.  Yes, this is idealistic, but so were all those who died in uniform.  Carrying on their idealism is an appropriate way to honor them.  Even if we succeed in making a more peaceful, tolerant world just in our own lives, that is a tribute to the principle they fought for.

A Peaceful Wish

During this month of many spiritual observances by many different believers, I wish our world peace, now and in the future.

An Important Lesson for Our Children

Today commemorates D-Day, the largest military action attempted back in 1944. It was successful. But so many lives were lost. And it didn’t end wars. This day makes me think about peace and how we achieve it. I believe that a more peaceful world begins with our children, who will be the caretakers of the future. And with us, their current caretakers.

We can teach them peace in simple ways. Avoid video games, TV programs, and movies that glorify war, violence, torture, and destruction. As parents, we can be an example by working out disagreements without our engaging in a shouting match and certainly without hitting each other. In fact, even hitting or punching each other in jest sends a message to a child that violence is a game. We can find something specific to do when we or our children get very angry, whether it’s listening to soothing music, reading a book, or sitting quietly in a special spot in the garden. Although no single negative action will necessarily create a violent person, replacing any one of them with a positive action heads a child toward a more serene adulthood.

Is Mother’s Day Radical?

Honor the early history and spirit of Mother’s Day in the U.S. (It actually goes as far back as the ancient Greeks.) On the first Mother’s Day celebration (1858) at a W. Virginia church, Ann Jarvis united mothers to fight infant mortality. During the rest of the 1800s women’s peace groups perpetuated the idea of bringing together mothers for just causes. After the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe called on mothers to unite against war and promote social justice. In 1872, Anna Jarvis suggested an official Mother’s Day. She got the idea from her own activist social worker mom, who, noticing that adult Americans were neglecting their mothers, felt strongly that all mothers should be honored for their contributions. So, Mother’s Day represents much more than greeting cards and flowers. It honors all the women who, even in the way they raise their children, have mothered our world toward peace and justice.

MLK Day–for Children

Today is Martin Luther King., Jr. Day. What’s important is to focus on what he stood for: peace, equality, and justice.

Let’s start with our children. Encourage them to talk instead of fighting when they find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Ask if they’ve been picked on or have seen other children being picked on, and explore the topic of bullying. When a child does something that physically or emotionally harms another child, get him to put himself in that child’s place to experience what she feels, and decide together what positive action, not punishment, is appropriate to heal the situation.

Read children’s books together featuring a person of another culture and talk about the similarities between the character’s life and their life. Engage them in a game that involves taking turns and sharing, adding a penalty rule for arguing and bonus points for compromising and working out differences.

n short, help your kids think and act in ways that help bring about the world MLK worked toward–one of peace and compassion.

Remembering The Arizona & Veterans

have vivid memories of my experience in visiting the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.  The visit began with a film showing the horrors of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  My eyes blurred with tears.  Then there was the choppy boat trip to the monument, a short distance from other coffin-ships which suffered the same fate as the Arizona.  So many names filled the wall behind the altar-like steps, and the hush of the crowd echoed the silent voices trapped deep beneath us.  Little was said on the trip back to land, as we all found ourselves deep in thought.

This Veterans Day I’m thinking the Canadians are right to call it “Remembrance Day.”  It’s important to remember and honor our veterans, those who fought for our way of life.  It’s even more important to remember that we should work toward a time when the reason for such occasions is only a bad memory.

Hug a veteran.  Pray for peace.

 

Seeds of Peace

Because of the significance of the season--notably Good Friday today, beginning of Passover tonight, Easter Sunday in two days–I’d like us all to think about peace.

PEACE is God’s loving gift to us.  All He asks is that we accept it together.  All of us, from all faiths.  One way is through “The Peace Seeds.”  These 12 prayers were prayed in  Assisi on the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace.  They are Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Bahai’, Shinto, Native African, Native American, Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian.  They may refer to the Life Force in different ways, but all call on it to help us attain the peace our Father wishes for us.

Let each prayer touch you deeply, where your longing for peace lives. Feel the unity of the world is in its craving for peace.  Then call upon God using each prayer.  You may want to change the references you aren’t comfortable with: “Vedic Law” in the Hindu to “Holy Law” or “Buddhahood” to “Your Will.” Remember: God wants not mere words from us but a unified desire to accept His gift.

You’ll find the Peace Seed Prayers at http://chaplaincyinstitute.org/library/blessings-and-prayers/interfaith-prayers-for-peace.

Those Outspoken Kids

Kids marching peacefully. Kids respectfully making demands of lawmakers.  Kids standing up for what is right and just and humanitarian and common sense.  They already understand what Bishop Belo means by today’s Thursday Thought quote.

 

“Under your shoulders. Dear young people of the entire world, weigh the responsibility to transform tomorrow’s world into a society where peace, harmony and fraternity reign.”  —  Bishop Carlos Belo, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner 

 

What the Heck Does “Speak Truth to Power” Mean?

It’s a phrase that has recently become popular, although it is, by no means, new.  It goes back to 1955, when the Quakers used it to urge our country to stand up to all forms of totalitarianism, especially fascism. (It was the title of one of their pamphlets.)

Today, it refers to holding a deep belief in what you say about injustice and using all nonviolent means to have people hear you.  It’s standing up and speaking up, often (but not always) to government.  “Speak truth to power” takes the courage of your convictions.

Too often the phrase is used to justify saying something to Authority that people in authority don’t want to hear.

But, for many, it’s intention is the same today as it was in the 1950s: to change our old thinking about violence and injustice; to reject both; and to embrace peace and justice.  I like that idea very much.