Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Have We Learned?

Let us build a world of greater peace and understanding.
Let us stop interfering with other’s choices.
Let us free ourselves from fear by not attacking.
Let us learn the spiritual lessons that come from loss.

My Dad was a pacifist and left his young family with an infant and toddler in the care of his capable but 23 yr. old wife.
He told us that he might not return since they placed him in the infantry.
He was clear he would not kill another man who might be the father of another young family.
As my Dad put it…..”Wars are never between the soldiers with the guns.
The disagreements are between nations and their leaders.
The soldiers are usually young men and boys who are taught to hate and kill.”
And so I learned to find better ways to win the war on hate and violence.

The history of mankind appears to reveal that warring never brought peace into men’s heart.
The healing of humanity seems to come through working, playing, talking and sharing hope and dreams.
When we learn about one another, we find similar hopes and dreams, beliefs and desires among all simple people.
When we remove the lust for power, the greed and avarice of the leadership, among ordinary people there is the deep and earnest desire for peace and safety, living simply and giving our families the opportunity for education and health care.

While I still have some visual memories of 9/11 and its horrific toll and aftermath of terror, I have strengthened my faith in finding a better way.
Many more than the number killed on that day have been killed in battle, in Spirit, and in suicide, plus the thousands of families destroyed by the pain and economic devastation of injury, death and psychological stress. For me, war is always an option, but there are better ways.
Taking the high ground is the call for great and enlightened leadership.

Now to those who have given their lives in duty to the leadership of our country, I
am deeply indebted and seek to give them everything we can to restore their lives to peace, harmony and health.
I mourn the loss of peace in our nation.
I mourn the loss of trust.
I mourn the loss of Christ-like ideals.

Remember, my Dad was a pacifist. a conscientious objector.
However, his beliefs were disavowed by the government and he was sent to the frontlines of France with a gun in his hands.
He was unwilling to hate and kill “the enemy”, even though he knew he would likely be killed.
With prayer, the war ended while he was in a boxcar on the way to the frontlines.
And my Dad came home physically safe and whole.
However, my father was never the same.
He would never talk about the war.
He held what we saw inside and desired only to find peace.
His life was devoted to making international friendships through American Field Service, an exchange student program, and through their personal travel to 85 countries as ambassadors of peace. Staying the homes of those they knew through AFS.
Seeking to always find a better way, he chose to work on mediation panels in his community and to mend any broken bridges.
Yes, I applaud my Dad and Mom for being willing to be leaders in simple and ordinary ways.

Taking the path of Peace is often not celebrated or appreciated.
Taking the path of peace means giving up the need to fight to be right.
Taking the path of peace means listening first and seeking to understand the others viewpoint.
Taking the path of peace gives everyone a greater perspective on the equality of all people, rich and poor, young and old, believers and non believers, educated and ignorant.
Yes, the path of peace may be lonely, but someone must step up and call for all leaders to find a better way.

I am loving and serving the Highest Good of all humanity the best I know.
Betty Lue