Monday, 7 March 2016

Gratitude for Peace and Promoters of Peace

Pink Peace Blanket

You might be wondering what an image of a pink cot sized blanket has to do with peace or thanksgiving and gratitude? Short story – long story!

If you ask most people are they for peace or against I am sure most would answer for peace, but I wonder sometimes what we do or can do in our daily lives to work for peace.

What is Peace? Is it passive? Is it the absence of anger and aggression? Or is it something else. Can thanksgiving help towards peace? I probably have more questions than answers, but I have learnt a few things along the way. Peace doesn’t come without people being actively engaged in promoting it. The media loves fermenting a ‘good heated discussion’, and the daily stress in life can lead to anger and peace going out the window.

Thanksgiving helps us to see what we have, here and now. It helps us to take a deep breath and appreciate what is important in our lives. Not what someone else thinks and not at the expense of other people’s well being.  I am not advocating being passive, but I am suggesting that when we take a long hard look at what we truly value in life it enables us to work towards a goal without destroying things we value along the way.

And my pink blanket in the photo? I knitted it to support “Wool Against Weapons”, a campaign against the renewal of Trident missiles. For me it seems insane that we can literally destroy the world several times over at the touch of a button. If you read the stories of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki you can begin to see that nuclear weapons are unacceptable. They don’t just kill they go on destroying for generations. I know others will disagree with me. I know I would defend my children when they were young against anyone who sought to harm them, but nuclear weapons do far, far more damage than anything we can imagine.

Today: I am grateful for all who work for peace – mediators, peace-keepers, and those like the Dali Lama and Nelson Mandela and Malala who show us how being peaceful is possible even when we are attacked and marginalised without loosing their integrity. I ask myself who do I want to thank today for their peaceful presence or who do I want to say sorry to if I’ve been argumentative or rude or angry inappropriately?

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