“True peace is not merely the absence of war,
it is the presence of justice.”
― Jane Addams
What do you want for Christmas? Answers to that can range from “my two front teeth” to world peace with many specific points in between.
Is it a coincidence that our dreamings about what might be possible tend to collect around holidays in the darkest months of the northern hemisphere? This is when we watch for and celebrate the coming of the Light, the return of light, or the miracle of light which defies logic. This is when the fresh start of a brand new year offers to wipe the slate clean.
That longing increases when December brings us elementary school slayings (Sandyhook last year) or more instances of police brutality or terrorism (this year).
If you are longing for light, here are some suggestions.
If you would be healthy, see that other people have access to health care. This is both generous and wise since illness and frailty are no respecters of your character or wallet. If others can get sick, so can you.
For similar reasons, if you would have good food, work to support good food and plenty of it for everyone.
If you want safe, abundant water, work for water conservation and delivery for everyone.
If you want a well-educated society, support public education for all.
If you do not want to be tortured, see that no one else is tortured either.
If you would have justice when you are wronged, see that others receive justice.
Others have said all of this better.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
If you want peace, work for justice.
–Pope Paul VI
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
18 December 2014