Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Dona Nobis Pacem - Grant Us Peace
"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Jesus Christ." Galatians 3:28 NRSV
Whether you believe in Christ or not is immaterial to the meaning of the verse. African, Asian, Australian, European, North or South American - we are all members of the human race - we all have the same DNA. One's country, social standing, wealth or gender does not make one person more "valuable" than another. Yet, everyday, people are killed senselessly, without a thought to the fact that each one is a precious person.
I am greatly troubled by the war and violence throughout the world. Three more soldiers dead in Iraq today; one newborn baby found dead in a recycling plant by workers sorting through paper; rape and killing continuing in Darfur. Everyday we see too many examples of inhumanity in our country and around the world - both within countries and between countries.
What can we do? Sometimes it all seems so depressing and daunting, the quest for peace. I started thinking about some of the the generic things we can do. We can vote. We can write letters to our representatives voicing our opinion. We can write letters to the editor of our local paper.
I spent the morning pondering what else I could do to make a difference in the world. I was in the grocery store parking lot and a woman was turning into the spot next to mine. There was a shopping cart in the way that she hadn't seen when pulling in. I put my hand up for her to stop and I moved the cart out of the way. She gave me a big, cheery and very surprised sounding "Thank you so much!" I had barely gone out of my way - yet she was so appreciative. That's when it hit me. I may not be able to stop the war in Iraq, single-handedly - but I can do a kindness for my neighbor. Isn't being kind to one another what peace is all about?
I challenge you all to do a kindness a day. Just one. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Compliment someone. Donate blood. Go without a meal and donate the money to a charity. Give up a seat on the bus to someone who looks more tired than you feel. Leave a supermarket coupon on the shelf where someone else can use it. Let the mom juggling a baby go ahead of you at the bank. Use your imagination. Your kindness might turn someone's day around - it might even cause a chain reaction of kind acts.
It will take time and effort to achieve peace in the world. But meanwhile, we can try to achieve peace in our hearts and in our towns.
Many thanks to Mimi for her wonderful dream and call to action for world peace. Dona Nobis Pacem.