I had a rebel thought while trying to write a meditation. The theme is peace and I had been writing as if “peace” were defined as “not war”. Life isn’t like that. It isn’t war or not war, it’s war or peace. Our culture has made war into some sort of natural state of humanity. I think that the reason most history is a list of wars is that they are the big disruptions in human history. Let me restate that. Real history is made in peacetime,…the invention of the wheel, the firing of pottery, glassblowing, valentine cards, sugar free chewing gum. All the important things.
Our culture has turned war into an industry. I know all about the military-industrial complex; we have let them get away with it. War is entertainment in the USA, i.e.. movies, toys, video games, books, Halloween costumes. Some women’s fashions sport crossed leather belts with bullet like studs on them. God help us, I’m afraid I’ll see a little Uzi shaped rattle in the baby section at the store someday.
No, war is not the subject for our meditation. Peace, the life blood of humanity, the cradle from which fine minds soar, and tender hearts reach out to love, is my topic. Peace is the state in which schools can be built, and bridges made to soar over obstacles to progress. Intellectual peace cultivates new points of view, fresh artistic inspiration. Peace touches the smallest of us with opportunity to grow, to build even a tiny sand castle of our own.
Here I must share my dream with you. I believe that we should teach the achievement of peace with the same gravity that we use when describing periods of war. What events led to peace? Who were the prominent peacekeepers of each peace time? Where are the statues of peacekeepers? Why not emphasize the dates of peace periods, giving them titles, stressing human progress made in each era? We need to analyze those events that contribute to maintaining peace with the diligence normally reserved for dissection of battle strategy. If we did so, quite possibly future historians would point to the period when humanity began to stress peace instead of war, as a turning point in our evolution.
Copyright © 2013 Joan Cook – All Rights Reserved.