- Focus more on the gift of presence than the gift of presents—we need far more connectedness in our lives and far less “stuff.”
- Create prayer and/or meditation time—just ten minutes can calm body and soul.
- Reduce noise—replace the blare of the TV with soft music . . . or just the welcome sounds of silence.
- Stay home—the malls and shopping centers distract us from our true centers.
- Rediscover the family meal—experience the gift of sitting together around the table with all technology silenced.
- Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward all.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
- They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
- Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being . . . We must be the change we wish to see.
- When, as individuals, we disarm ourselves internally—through countering our negative thoughts and emotions and cultivating positive qualities—we create the conditions for external disarmament. Indeed, genuine, lasting world peace will only be possible as a result of each of us making an effort internally.
–the Dalai Lama
- If there is to be peace in the world . . . there must be peace in the heart.
- The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
- If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
- Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
- Peace be with you.
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
At a social gathering in northwest British Columbia—in a frontier town of 11,000 some 900 driving miles north of Seattle—I was greeted with a cross section of our ethnically diverse world: in a group of 13 adults, three were from Africa, four from Asia, one from New York, and the remaining five from various Canadian provinces.
As I traveled throughout British Columbia, this diversity was noted wherever I went. In small towns and larger cities along the route from Vancouver to Prince George and on to the coast in Kitimat, I encountered Canadians from the Middle East, the Far East, India, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, as well as, of course, First Nation peoples from throughout Canada. A street scene in Vancouver—the third largest metropolitan area in Canada—is a smorgasbord of ethnicities where the Far East rules and where Buddhist and Sikh temples appear to be as common as the more familiar Western places of worship.
This local diversification—an interesting example of the micro more and more imitating the macro—is a recent phenomenon in the story of humankind, no older than a generation or two ago. And with greater diversity on the micro level comes the natural blending of the races through intermarriage, something that no longer surprises us, as it would have within the recent memory of most of us alive today. How far we’ve come from just a few generations back where laws forbidding interracial marriages were common in many parts of the US, not to be struck down by the Supreme Court until 1967!
As I observed all this, my thoughts turned to eastern Africa, where the hominids evolved from that elusive common ancestor and, over many generations, spread throughout the world, adapting to the various geographies and climates and morphing into the different racial groupings of homo sapiens—racial groupings that may now be disappearing. Are we today standing at a juncture in our evolutionary history where our allotted run of ethnic separation changes course? Is the natural intermixing that follows micro-level diversity leading us back to that African Eden? Could it be that we are witnessing the first stirrings of an evolutionary movement back toward the oneness that existed at the dawn of humanity?
The times they are a’changin’—and what fascinating times they are!