While we all strive to find our balance and our personal Peace, Peace, writ large, is a communal activity. This happens in (at least) two ways.
First, we live and work in communities. Those communities thrive when their citizens actively work for Peace in their hometowns and workplaces. We are constantly invited to sign up and participate and continuously seek Peaceful solutions to the issues at hand. This is daily living for a Peacemaker and its importance is not to be underestimated.
Peacemaking, however, is more than that. A second way of Peace is extending our hands in invitation and welcome and creating a Peace community, that may be part of where we work and live, but may also be so much bigger than that. The invitation to join in the work of Peace is an acknowledgement to move beyond the superficial to pursuing knowledge and understanding about one another.
I recently heard someone say that it’s time to move beyond the Golden Rule, where we treat everyone as we wish to be treated, which is a laudable thing as far as it goes. The Platinum rule invites us to treat everyone as they wish to be treated. This is Peacemaking. It requires me to get to know you, and you to get to know me, so that we can begin to offer each other true welcome and a sense of belonging in the work of Peace. It’s a bit earthshaking, isn’t it? This rule doesn’t offer tolerance, it opens its arms and embraces and accepts. Wow. This is my goal for proclaiming myself a Peacemaker.
What’s important to recognize as I talk about Community and Peacemaking is that I would not have had the strength to begin consideration of Peacemaking if I hadn’t been born into and continued to create a community of Love around me.
I know that I am very lucky. I was born into a loving and fairly functional family. It was a great start. Not everyone is so lucky. A woman who helped care for my father once asked me, “you had a great Dad, didn’t you? He loved you, didn’t he?” “Yes,” I replied simply. “You are so very lucky. I’m amazed that I could even look at him and know that. My father was a very hard man.” Yes, I am lucky. Lucky so that even though many of my family are gone, prematurely, their love taught me to love and seek love. So I am supported by community as I go about work that, while it isn’t their work, is respected and commended.
We all deserve that kind of community. Each of us is beautiful and interesting. Community balances us, steadies us on our feet, and encourages us.
Let us find community and make community. Just as you don’t have to be at Peace to start about trying to make Peace, the work will help you come around to Peace. In the same way, just because you don’t yet have community, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start to build one and populate it with people you think are interesting and supportive — people who ask you to be interesting and supportive of them and yourself.
Let us do this and thrive. Then, let us make Peace.Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.