Red-faced, fortysomething pickup truck driver yelling at eight silent “Women In Black for Peace”: “Peace comes from YOU! Not the government!” as he jabbed his finger aggressively at us. “YOU! Not the government!”
Right on, sir, right on, I thought to myself as his tires squealed on his hasty left turn onto Canyon Boulevard.
Monday is the United Nations International Peace Day. We are so preoccupied with war and money that the idea of hoping for peace, praying for peace, being deliberately peaceful in our own lives seems sort of hokey or quaint.
But that angry guy has the right idea. Until a critical mass of people, especially here in the U.S., are peaceful just within their own lives and determined to spread the warmth across the world, we’ll have war, and the U.S. will cling to its provocative status as empire.
Dr. Judith Rich, in the Huffington Post, asks: “What is required to lay down one’s ‘weapons’ of war, be they machine guns or a sharp tongue? What is required to let go of the need to annihilate and destroy the ‘other’?”
Domination, humiliation and exploitation of others whether by you, parents, teachers, police or government yields angry vindictive people. The U.S. dominates and humiliates and exploits people all over the world by our domestic and foreign policies, with nuclear weapons as our capstone. Join with others to explore, teach and change these aspects of our society.
“What is the cost to the psyche and the soul to live in a state of perpetual war? There are millions of children all over the world who’ve known nothing else. What can we expect from them as adults?”
Doesn’t peace require action as well as intention? Your action doesn’t have to be big or flashy. Your willingness to act is the gift.
What about extending yourself to someone who’s been on your “enemies” list, Rich asks. Apologize.
Create your own personal commitment to be a guardian and promoter of peace. The University of Colorado has a Students for Peace and Justice group (sfpj.org). The organization serves as a vehicle for non-violent student action to achieve an end to U.S. militarism and to achieve an increasingly peaceful and just world.
Make deep peace with yourself through contemplation, meditation, solitude, journaling, letting go of negative judgments and opinions about yourself
Join the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (rmpjc.org) or another peace group and give to it heart and soul. Start this moment and you’ll be right in step on International Day of Peace on Monday.
Judith Mohling is a member of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center._