Creating Peace by Robert N. Meroney

Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope some day you’ll join us

And the world will be as one.

From “Imagine” by John Lennon (1971) [1]

 “Peace” seems such a nebulous concept. It is hard to “imagine”. Often the idea seems more defined by its absence than its reality. Indeed, there are many situations today where proposing peace directed solutions seems to strain credibility, and the proposer is deemed naïve, unsophisticated, ingenuous, unworldly, or even mad.

Perhaps the problem with conceiving peace is that most of us have not made a study of what peace requires, what peace demands from all parties, and we have not personally practiced the skill of peacemaking.   The subject has been studied by many philosophers, saints, and even heroes, but seems out-of-reach to the average person. Some of these remarkable people have suggested ways we can start, ways we can create peace inside and around ourselves. Let’s just consider five ways from the many available:

Find inner peace –how can you instill peace, create peace, or promote peace if you are mad and angry yourself?

“The only way we can make peace is for each of us to be the peace we want to see.”        — Susan Collin Marks, Search for Common Ground, Peace Ambassador

Resolve to be happy –how can you give or pass on something you do not have yourself? Be proactive about happiness, because others will recognize it, and want to share.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Forgive yourself and others –Try forgiving at least one person…get on with your life.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” –Nelson Mandela

“Being obsessed with anger only destroys us.”—Arun Ghandi, grandson of Mahatma Ghandi.

Visualize Peace – Imagine cooperation and feel joy in that belief.

“Dream. Dream. Dream. Be idealistic. Dream the world can be a better place.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Perform Acts of Kindness–Give back, make a difference, help someone else. How can you create peace if you do not practice it? Do you ever notice how astonished others are to be recipients of acts of kindness and love?

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” — “You don’t need a college degree to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

The list of thoughts above are only a tiny fraction of the wisdom peacemakers have shared. If you are looking for a “peacemakers guide” consider some of the following resources:

 

Bob Meroney is an Emeritus Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Wind Engineering with a long career at Colorado State University. He has been an active member of the Fort Collins Rotary Club and regularly researches a range of topics on modern life, issues and politics that serve to spark deeper conversations among friends and colleagues.

 

 

[1] Listen to John Lennon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgkThdzX-8

 

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