Today, in the aftermath of the four children killed in Gaza, as the ground assault has started there, as tensions are high in the Ukraine, we MUST think of peace.
I remember when I was in eighth grade and we students were practicing for our graduation. We were rehearsing the song "Let There Be Peace On Earth (and Let it Begin With Me)." One of the teachers suddenly stopped us. She told us that war had just broken out in the Middle East (ok, now I've really dated myself) and we should sing the song with feeling if we really meant it. I don't think at that time I understood much about peace and war, but this certainly brought home to me that these were quite important concerns.
Through the years, my feelings evolved. I have a button declaring: "War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things." But still, I don't think I really came to see war as the horrible choice it so often is right away. There may be times when it is necessary (WWII, for example), but I've come to see those times as really few and far between. History is too littered with them: wars that go on for years, claim way too many lives - too often those of innocents.
How long have we humans been on this planet? Long enough that you'd think we'd have learned by now how to solve our differences without violence. But no. We still shoot at each other. We still get out the rockets, missiles, land mines, and bombs. And the horror is there if we are strong enough to search out the reports and really look and read (and yes, just skimming some reports can be gut-wrenching).
It is critically important NOW, that each of us finds some way to oppose the violence and atrocities occurring around the world. Comment to the White House Comment Line (202-456-1111). Write letters or make calls. Maybe join a peace group or anti-war rally. Pray and meditate (I so believe in the power of prayer!). Maybe somehow, the little things will start adding together to make a change.
And we shouldn't forget music! Do your radio stations play much peace or anti-war music these days? Mine don't seem to. But here are a couple of links to get us going:
"War" by Edwin Starr and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & The Shondells