Thursday, November 04, 2010
Thursday Thirteen - Dona Nobis Pacem
For several years I have participated in the "Blogblast for Peace" which comes from this blog. This year it falls on a Thursday so I am offering up 13 things anyone can do to promote peace in his or her life or in the world.
1. Define it. What is peace to you? To me peace means no raised voices, no yelling, no domestic violence, no abused children, no wars, (and most definitely no negative campaign ads!), among other things. It means smiles and happiness, not fists and violence.
2. Think about it. Of course, you have to think about it to define it, but you also have to acknowledge a problem to deal with it. I see peace as a matter of priorities. Peace is not a priority for society so we don't have it. It really is that simple. Peace does not make money, bring profits, or send the adrenaline racing with violence. These are some of the reasons why I think we do not have peace. What are yours?
2. Talk about it. If you want peace, mention it to your friends, your family, and your coworkers. Examine the issues with another person and ask them why they do not believe peace is a possibility. How would their world change if there was nothing but peace in the world?
3. Organize events to promote the idea of peace. This doesn't need to be on a grand scale. Maybe you have dinner with your closest friends and you all sit down and discuss peace as a goal for yourselves and humanity.
4. Make changes in your own little world to promote peace. For example, do you yell and scream at the kids? Go for a single day without raising your voice. Better yet, try whispering for 24 hours and see what happens.
5. Seek resolutions. What would happen if politicians stopped arguing and actually began seeking solutions to the problems facing the world? Recently the TV has been filled with hateful verbage. No one was looking for answers because they were all so busy pointing fingers and calling names that resolutions and solutions were the furtherst things from their minds. Let's not do this in our individual worlds.
6. Be willing to act. You may be called upon to take a stand, write a letter, have a discussion. Don't shy away from the discussion, but of course do not let it become violent. You must also be prepared to walk away when voices raise in anger.
7. Create a sense of community. If you don't have peace within your neighborhood, or, God forbid, your own house, however will there be peace throughout the greater world? Get to know your neighbors. They aren't going to bite you.
8. Practice peace and patience in your own life. For example, when you're driving, don't give in to anger. For all you know, the person in the car that's poking along just lost a parent or has a very ill child. Give people the benefit of the doubt. They're so wrapped up in their own dramas that they have no clue that you're waiting impatiently behind them.
9. Use art to promote peace. Write poems, draw pictures, or tell stories to illustrate what peace means to you and how it might be obtained. Share these where possible.
10. Educate yourself, not only on the topics of the day but also on the larger philosophical questions. If you don't have a clue why humanity exists because you have never thought about it, then it is hard to convince someone else of the importance of something as broad-ranging as "peace."
11. Write letters to the local media and to your politicians advocating peace. Ask them to tone down the rhetoric. You can do this monthly if you want, but yearly is good, too.
12. Try to understand what is really the root of the problem and seek solutions, not ways to cover up the issue or circumvent the real trouble. Some issues are too large to have a single root but generally you aren't dealing with those, anyway. Look closer to home. What's really behind all the anger at work?
13. Meditate or pray. Every day, find your inner peace in whatever manner is comfortable for you. If everyone sought their inner calm, wouldn't the world be a little quieter at least for a few minutes a day?
Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 163rd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.