I’ll admit it — most days I am perplexed by the world and the people who live in it.
Perhaps it’s a North American thing, but I have been conditioned to believe that peace is a desirable state of affairs. I am confounded by the constant fighting, torture, rape, and general brutality, in many parts of the world, far away both geographically and culturally. I won’t add religiously, because any time people say their religion calls for violence, I doubt their intent, and their love of God. (Killing an attacker or a combatant is one thing, killing for the sake of killing without being personally endangered is another.)
I don’t want to sound like John Lennon because I thought his sentiments were naive and unrealistic (air-headed), but “imagine there’s (sic) no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people living life in peace…”
Imagine the Middle East, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa with males who want to work and raise their families more than they want to kill each other. Imagine religions without divisions (sects or tribes) with followers who no longer kill each other because of the competing beliefs and interpretations of their holy books. Imagine we didn’t hate each other because of race or religion, but accepted that there is one God and we all seek and serve him in different ways. Imagine allowing women to live to their potential and contribute to society. What an imagination we must have!
When people want to live more than they want to die, when they want to work, provide for their families, praise God in their own way for his goodness and mercy, and walk their daughters down the aisle (or whatever they do in other cultures), then peace may begin.
If fighting factions laid down their weapons tomorrow and agreed that “killing each other is not the way,” that’s it’s not achieving anything except more dead bodies, and sought other solutions. What if they just stopped, put down roots, cared for their families with love and kindness, ah, “What a wonderful world it would be.” Surely it’s better to live life they way one wants, and let others do the same.
In a speech before a National Prayer Breakfast in 1998, Mother Teresa said that when parents don’t have time for their children (for a myriad of reasons), it is tragic; “for it is within the child that the love and peace of adulthood begin, therefore, it is within the family that love and peace must begin.
How this differs from parents who will use their children as pawns in a war, or to hide an IED, or whose daughters are kidnapped and used by the “enemy” for evil purposes. In the West, society is set up to protect, defend, love, and educate our children, and hope they become caring, responsible adults.
(Parenthetically, while Mother Teresa was saying this, as well as condemning abortion and contraception, another person at the head table noted that Hillary Clinton took a pad of paper out of her handbag and started making a to do/shopping list.)
So simple, but not likely.