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A Message of Peace in the Season of Compassion
By Justice Fields
To believe the media din, war is imminent and so are terrorist attacks. For some of the world this is not news, it is reality, and has been for some time. So once again the Season of Compassion descends upon our Earthly realm. Peace reigns.
Optimistic? Foolhardy? Daft?
I don't think so. Grandmothers, the world over, want safety and life for their grandchildren and children. The feeling is universal. It is that feeling that promotes the avoidability of war. It is up to each human heart to find peace if there is to be PEACE. The road to peace is paved in compassion; a one word expression of the ultimate ethic to love others. If all is love, who can kill?
Let there be peace and let it begin in me. Each one can become an expanding expression of compassion by broadening our inner circle, those who matter.
I suggest the simple step of broadening your definition of 'loveable other' to include animals. This simple, profound leap of consciousness would immediately invite all humanity (a subset of all animals) into your active life. You could no longer accept the killing of an innocent Iraqi child any more than a baby calf. Understanding compassion to be avoiding killing becomes a guiding light up the way toward peace and therefore, PEACE.
Ultimately, we must face the question: "Why are these people shooting at us?" Why? How hopeless has a life become when blowing yourself up is a godly idea? How bad does existence for some have to be before others will notice that the situation is dire enough to be worth alleviating. What role do you as a person play in unraveling the issue of why they explode and what do they want?
I suspect they feel that they live in a huge dysfunctional family where some gorge while others starve. Food, energy, technology, safety are necessities to all, but only shared by some. Massive redistribution of these resources presents challenges. Individual decisions add up.
Many people have made great changes, yet we still straddle the abyss of armed conflict. What more must we do? What magic key is missing to illuminate the age of peace, a time when no one will accept violence in any form.
As cliche' or trite as it may sound, I exhort you to let there be peace and let it begin IN you. Pledge to root out all that is violent: diet, communications, and physical violence in all forms. Then actively build bridges in your mind between you and those you would currently accept killing as collateral damage in an armed conflict. If you make their death unacceptable, we'll move closer to peace.
As a race we are violent perhaps because we eat violence. For too long the image of the conquest of others, has been the dominant theme and fuels world domination and conflict. Other countries are not resources to be developed. They consist of people, animals and environment with the same needs: safety, shelter, health and love.
Imagine a woman living without basic needs watching American TV. Flipping from channel to channel she witnesses car racing which is men and metal burning oil in an ever increasing circle of waste while the crowd roars its approval. She has no oil to build a fire to sterilize water for her child.
In another place a pig, a chicken and a cow view through the lens of the eaten. Ribs, legs, muscles of their kind are ripped apart and eaten over and over again. That suffering alone sends up a roar across the earth. When you can hear their cries and heed them the human heart has hope of healing.
The magnitude of the needed change seems so great that it threatens to envelop us all. But that is illusion. Seek not to change in others that which you would not change yourself. There is an individual message to all people in this season: Let there be peace.
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