Wednesday, December 31, 2008
"Peace out" in the New Year!
Why is it that I always think of peace this time of year? Maybe it's the turning of the calendar. Maybe it's the sappy, sentimental songs that romanticize change. Or maybe it's because I really enjoy change, and I happen to think the biggest change we can affect is peace.
Whatever the reason, this arbitrary, self-imposed turning-of-the-clock has afforded us time to "start anew." And every time I wipe the slate clean I think, "OK, maybe now I can start being less judgmental and start living as an instrument of peace in my family, on my street, in my town, in the world, as a representative of the human race. Maybe now we can learn how to love and forget how to hate." (Help me, I'm quoting Ozzy!)
World peace! That's a tall order. Yet, it can be won -- step by step. And it starts with one simple word and one simple act -- Love. All the great world religions espouse it. All the great spiritual leaders teach it. Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the mystics, the saints -- they all lived it. So, what don't we get about it?
It's the loving of people that matters most, not merely loving the idea of peace. Thomas Merton, the monk and poet, said it so simply:
"Instead of loving what you think is peace,
Love other women and men and love God above all else.
Instead of hating all the people you think are warmongers,
Hate the appetites and disorders in your own soul which are the causes of war."
May you sing peace. May you dance peace. May you be peace in this new year. Now, go out and love on somebody.