I woke up this morning and shortly thereafter, “All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance” was playing in my head. I still miss John Lennon. He was a messenger, another man born before his time whose life was cut short because of it. I walked a couple of times in peaceful protests against the Vietnam War and we sang those words, “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” over and over. The marches were heartfelt by those longing for a shift in consciousness from warring to side-by-side peaceful living. It IS disappointing that all these years later, we are worn down by the lies, cruelty, power-hunger, racist autocratic behavior and thoughtlessness of those in power in the U.S., but they are precisely why it is NOT time to lie down. We need to take to the streets, peacefully and powerfully, letting them know we refuse to accept their darkness. They will either wake up to their own light within, or leave.
That is our power–if we first commit to finding peace within. It’s the only way; peace doesn’t come from outside of us. And peace has to be more important than our pride, positions or personal beliefs. We need to believe that everyone deserves to live in peace, and we have to speak up. I don’t know how to ‘overthrow’ those who press down other people for financial gain or utilizing some ‘ism,’ but Gandhi did and so did Martin Luther King, Jr. Peaceful, centered-in-love, protest is a more powerful force than tanks and guns and ammo—hands down. We just have to want to live in peace with all our hearts and to desire the same for others.
It’s easy enough in this world to believe we’re not living a life, a human story, that matters. But think about it—think about the enormous potential within all of us for love and goodness and compassion. Think about family and good friends and how the circles grow larger and more inclusive as we live out the course of our lives. Think about how complex each human being is, and how we are all so much more than our sexual preference or our politics.
We each make such a powerful difference in the world–our thoughts and actions building our lives–and we may not even know it. Let us find precious seeds of hope within ourselves and spread some of that magic at this most needed time.
Live and love in peace, and bless others so they may share in the same. It’s why we are here.
How do we humans make real contact with each other? Isn’t that what life is all about, connection? Imagine if you woke up one day and after exploring your entire city, you found not one other person. Imagine you had access to every store, even all the banks. Would that matter if you had no one to share all the stuff with? Even the thrill of choosing any home you wanted wouldn’t last long.
Even if we don’t know it, it’s real contact, relationships, we long for. We need people to care whether we make it home or not, families to gather and celebrate with, friends to share experiences with, educators to teach us. We need to expand and grow and we can’t do it alone.
The scarier the world gets, the less we may trust—but that’s when we need each other the most. You and I are not so different from one another and neither is the person or group of people you least trust. We are all made of the same forces, both light and shadow, by the same Creator, and all of us have many mistakes to our credit. We are no saints and we cannot know the tragedies of ‘the other’s’ life until we walk in his shoes.
It does great harm to suspect someone of being evil or less than us because of the color of their skin or their religion or their sexual orientation. The world is a hard place right now. We can soften the whole system by expressing genuine interest and concern, by listening to ‘the other,’ and by extending a hand up if needed. It’s up to you and me to be the peacemakers the world so needs.