One Peace At A Time: What the Experts Say

You must see the video titled “One Peace At A Time.” Activist Turk Pipkin travels to twenty countries and shows how small groups of people are solving some of the world’s most serious problems in small ways by making one peace at a time. You will be inspired.

I’m no expert on peace and I don’t think there ever has been one since Jesus, but there are a lot of people who know much about peace based on experience. I wonder what they would say about what’s going on in the world today as we ponder the tragedy in Tucson? What would they say if they had to deliver a speech about peace to the people of the world? What would they say about how to make one peace at a time?

I suppose it is only fitting that we give Mother Teresa the first chance to speak. She said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

It certainly does seem that way, doesn’t it? I mean we are all connected today. The oil spills in the Gulf affect all the people in the world. The abuse of human rights in Iran affects everyone in some way. What if we were all related to one another, would that make a difference in how we respond and react to each other?

Treating each other as brothers and sisters is the first step in making one peace at a time.

Benjamin Franklin was truly a man of wisdom. Not only did he have good ideas, they all seemed to help everyone. He said, “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”

Peace existed to some extent after World War II. Living in the 1950’s after the Korean War, I remember that things were kind of stable. People were getting their lives back together. There was the Cold War but at least men were not getting killed. It was a kind of peace. It wasn’t the best, but certainly better than war.  The Peaceniks of the 60’s shouted in their protest marches “Give peace a chance.” It would be nice that in all situations involving differences that we first give peace a chance. This is making one peace at a time.

John Lennon in his song “Imagine” said, “Imagine all the people, living life in peace, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” 

Life is a paradox. There are so many people in the world in many countries that do want peace; especially mothers who want their children to live a happy and safe life. So, why do we spend so much time killing people? Why do we spend so much money on inventing and making weapons that kill people? If we took a poll of people and asked them if they wanted more war or more peace, the overwhelming result would be “more peace.” Maybe the problem is we just don’t spend time first trying to imagine a world with peace. First imagining peace is making one peace at a time.

“If we wish to create a lasting peace, we must begin with the children,” said Mahatma Gandhi. One thing you have to admit about Gandhi is that he had the courage to live a life devoted to peace and he modeled peace. I’m not sure you can teach peace but it’s worth a try. What if every child in the world had to pass courses called “Peace 101” and “Advanced Studies in Peace,” would it make a difference? It may not make a difference with everyone but it would with some and that would be making one peace at a time.

“Men may cry, Peace! Peace! But they refuse to do the things that make for peace.” Martin Luther King

Well, that’s the issue isn’t it? People talk peace, even ruthless dictators talk about how badly they want it but it is just talk. When was the last time you elected an official that ran on a “peace” platform? That is, his or her sole purpose in running for public office was to bring peace and civility to the forefront and make it a national or international debate. Who can you name right now in this world that not only talks about peace but also is willing to do things to bring it about? Maybe this is what it means to make one peace at a time.

Maybe making one peace at a time starts with you, with me. Maybe we can be the experts on how to do it.

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