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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The International Day Of Peace: September 21, 2014





With the International Day Of Peace fast approaching, September 21, 2014, we, as teachers and parents, neighbors and workers, are challenged to assess our own personal efforts on behalf of peace. Peace in so very many ways is a deliberate choice to be others-centered, patient, gentle, thoughtful, compassionate, tender-hearted, and kind. Peace cannot live well in a place where the air is thick and angry with loud polarizing dogmatic opinions which seem to so quickly become fiercely held narrowly scoped self-serving demands. Louder and louder we get in our attempt to make our point over the ever growing cacophony of everyone else attempting to do the same. Louder and louder the opinionated roar deafens and frustrates and alienates and infuriates, until the pitchforks appear and threaten, and then the strongest arm becomes the voice that silences the rest. Pointless. Fruitless. Hate-evoking. No. This cannot be the way we live or teach our children to live. To come together under a peaceful umbrella and then play nicely together in the sandbox of life, we need to reach and see beyond ourselves and listen to our neighbors. We can disagree and still be loving and respectful. Despite your politics, your sports teams, your perspective on issues and headlines, at the heart of you is your heart; precious, unique, valued, priceless. You are uniquely gifted and critically important. So too is your neighbor. Peace begins by turning the volume down, laying the opinions aside, turning the selfishness off,  and loving your neighbor. It's time.