My mom and dad were hippies and it definitely rubbed off on me. I’ve always been considered kind of a peace-maker; among friends, family, co-workers. I strive for a smooth, peaceful environment, and most of the time, succeed. But I have to admit that it’s increasingly difficult to be at peace in a world so increasingly filled with violence and war.
This quarter’s theme for The BeZine is Waging Peace: balancing personal and global crises and needs. What does something like this encompass? Well, in the words of our editor, Michael Dickel, “How do we work together to help each other find inner peace and to wage peace globally? How do we share resources that help individuals and also build peace, rather than manipulate, exploit (horde, deplete)? How do we wage peace collectively while also facing-off against pandemic, climate crisis, economic inequity, and personal challenges / issues?”
That’s a pretty tall order. And what does it mean to “Wage Peace”, anyway? I recently came across something that made me pause and think about what that phrase really means. It’s from the book Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.
So peacemaking doesn’t have to mean being passive. There are active ways to Wage Peace, even in such chaotic, unsettled times. Here are a few to consider:
Use your passion to write a poem, or a song that expresses your feelings. If you’re a visual artist, create a painting or perhaps digital artwork that shows others why you care, and why they should, too. Never underestimate the power of art to move and motivate people!
Even if you can’t or don’t feel like creating something, you can probably spare a morning’s stop at Starbuck’s to help out those making a difference in fighting against wars or helping survivors and refugees. Right now, one of the biggest worries on concerned peoples’ minds is how to help with relief in Ukraine. Here are some legitimate agencies who are providing help to that particular area. You can rest easy knowing that your money will go a long way to helping those in desperate need.
Maybe you’d rather Wage Peace closer to home. No matter where you live, even a small donation to a charity like The Red Cross, Salvation Army or a local food bank can help those in need. We all feel more peaceful when we have full bellies, a safe place to sleep and hope that tomorrow won’t just bring more misery. Waging Peace doesn’t have to mean railing against military wars, it can be just as effective to fight against those social ailments like poverty, homelessness, hunger and domestic violence.
Maybe you don’t have the extra cash right now to donate (you’re not alone). But perhaps you have some free time? Volunteering to help with relief efforts, even those locally, can be a great way to Wage Peace and give back. Since the start of the pandemic, volunteers have been in shorter supply, everywhere. Find a cause or injustice that you’re passionate about and see if there are ways you can volunteer to help. Your efforts probably won’t be refused, and can definitely make a big difference!
No matter how we choose to participate, we can all be active and Wage Peace in our own ways to make the world a little bit better. There are people fighting for peace every second of every day, all over the globe. Will your contribution and actions make a difference? Absolutely! Something is better than nothing. Actively Waging Peace is much better than being passive and watching the world get worse.
BE THE PEACE.