I had tea with a friend the other day and she was talking about this cool thing she is doing – walking 1000 miles for peace over the course of a year. (Starting and ending on her birth day.) She asked me if I might be willing to write something up on how I define peace or what I think a peace might be. She mentioned that I seem like someone with lots to say — which is such a kind and diplomatic way to say “hey, you’re opinionated and have a big mouth” that I could hardly refuse.
Plus, the question stuck and it’s been rattling around in my head off and on. It’s gonna stick there ‘til I look at it so here goes. (Oh, and I fully acknowledge that if you ask me next week this post might look totally different… my definition, like myself is a work in never ending process… and hopefully progress!)
An initial “brain dump” looks something like this :
Peace is: active, indivisible from justice, creative, willing to be confrontational, flexible, avoids either or thinking, hard work, fun, forgiveness, sacred, connections, interconnected, being in right relationship, embraces conflict as a necessary force for transformation, muddy, Gandhi called nonviolence an experiment with truth, calling people to act from their highest selves, assuming goodness/good intentions, “I will not harm you”, chaos, organized and strategic, embrace contradictions, holding accountable ourselves and each other, community, constructive, challenging…
I could write an entire essay on each of those words. (And that was just what came out in 2 minutes) But, I guess for me, at the heart of it peace has something to do with the sacred interconnectedness of all living things. It is about honoring that interconnectedness. Someone – at some meeting somewhere along the line – spoke about peace as being in “right relationship” with each other. That fits too. It seems to me that striving to be in right relationship with myself, with others, and with nature/the environment is a way of honoring that sacred interconnectedness.
According to my friend, Melissa (age 10) “peace is joy, happiness, and freedom from evil.” My other friend, Melissa’s sister Evelyn (age 8 ) adds “peace is being in nature. Also peace is being fair.”
Smart and articulate friends I have!
What is your definition?