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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Reflection

The national news showed the events of the day. People at a Christmas market in Germany were attacked by men driving a transport truck which mowed them down. A Russian diplomat was killed in Turkey. A vacationing Newfoundlander was one of ten killed in Jordan. People, including children, in eastern Aleppo, waited for transport out of the death and destruction which surround them. Acts of terrorism fill the news. There is no peace on earth this Christmas.

For several years during my teaching career, I sang with an ecumenical choir in Buchans, Newfoundland. We sang a variety of music, but one of the songs which spoke to me was Let There Be Peace on Earth. 


"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." So true! How can we expect peace on earth if each of us doesn't do our part to create peace in our own lives? Why do we allow petty differences and misunderstandings to separate us from people? Why do family members not speak to each other, or neighbours not even acknowledge each other?

Pride can be so destructive. It can keep us from saying, "I apologize," or "I am sorry." It can also keep us from accepting an apology and cause us to harbour resentment and anger, which are detrimental to peace and are self destructive. They keep us from being our best selves.

We can't expect peace this Christmas or any Christmas until it begins in our own lives. A movement towards peace starts with each individual who makes a commitment and lives that commitment in her relations with others, family, friends and even those she doesn't know. It begins with an openness to others. 

I learned of openness from my father. He had many reasons to be angry and resentful towards his father. Instead, Dad worked at developing a relationship with him, and his father wanted and worked on that relationship too. We all benefitted from this reconciliation, knowing our grandfather and learning how to let go of resentment and past hurts.

Sometimes, the hurts are too great and the relationship cannot be restored but forgiving and letting go means you can move ahead, free and unencumbered. Lacking the anger and resentment, you can be open again, not needing to protect yourself any more.

 

I am a work in progress at peace. I know what I have to do but I haven't been successful all the time. Let it begin with me indeed. 


18 comments:

  1. I wonder if there will ever be peace on earth at Christmas or any other time of the year.

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  2. Well said, Marie. I agree with everything you have said here. I will cultivate peace all around me and hope it spreads out from there. Thank you for the fine post you wrote.

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    1. It starts with each of us, Jan. There are seven billion of us who must do it though. It seems impossible but it has to start somewhere.

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  3. The world is a frightening place these days. We are very fortunate indeed to live in a country where we are removed from many of the destructive forces that are shaping the future. I worry about what the world will be like when my 4 little grandies are grown up.... and their children... and their children.... Peace on earth is probably a fantasy.

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    1. We must do our part, Shammickite. It begins with us.

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  4. It needs to start with all of us. Small steps, necessary steps.
    And yes, I too am a work in progress.

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  5. a very timely post, Marie. Thank you. :)

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  6. A good post for trying times when people seem to be at each others' throats.

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  7. That quote, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me," is one of my all-time favorites, Marie. We are so much on the same page. Thank you for sharing these heart-felt sentiments that are TRUTH.

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    1. Thanks, Ginnie. It begins with each of us!

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  8. Very good advice. I need to work on that too.

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  9. Many of us could improve in the area of peace, FG.

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    1. Merry Christmas, Barbara; hope it is a great one for you.

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