Peacemaking isn’t a trickle-down activity. It requires believing in possibility and living into it. And sometimes it just depends upon our taking matters into our own hands.
As I was reading about hurricane Ian clean-up today, I read about two guys who spent the day before the hurricane hit picking up more than 350 pounds of trash on the beach — trash like lobster traps and other things that can do a great deal of damage blowing about inland. (I’m not sure where I read this and haven’t found it again, sorry.) A father and son joined them and they piled up the trash which was then picked up for disposal by their city. These two men have been plucking trash from beaches for years. One has promised to do it as long as he is able. In particular he works to clean up mangrove swamps because these trees do so much to sustain the environment.
These are men making Peace. No one is paying them; they are caring for the planet in the way they can manage and are making a difference in the health of the beaches and the mangrove swamps. Additionally, they are being joined by people who also wish to take responsibility for their world.
This article led me to information on “plogging,” which started in Sweden in 2016. Plogging is a combination of the Swedish word “plocka upp” and “jogga” — to pick up and to jog. Apparently some 2,000,000 people plog daily in ten countries. That’s 2 million people a day making a difference on our planet.
What if another 2 million started doing something else that was good for the planet or people and ultimately themselves? It seems that plucking trash while jogging or walking burns more calories, and tightens the waist as you stretch and bend. People are becoming healthier while caring for the planet. That’s a win for the people exercising. That’s a win for the planet. That’s a win for Peace.
As soon as we get involved in one such thing, we get involved in more. If we ask others to join us, they are far more likely to join than they are to start on their own. People find that Peacemaking is peace-giving for themselves. People have told me that they will start working on Peace when they are at Peace. My experience tells me that it works the other way around. Focusing on Peace has led me to be more peaceful as my understanding of what is really important to me changes and becomes more and more focused on Peacemaking.
I believe the actions we choose can make a positive difference for people, for the planet, and for Peace. I believe that on some level, Peacemaking in ways small or large, is what we desire to do. You and your efforts for Peace make me hopeful. May my work inspire you to hope as well.
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.