(Photograph by Annelisa from Words That Flow)
The first BlogBlast For Peace took place nearly three months ago. As I traveled through the blogosphere this weekend it was uplifting to see so many Peace Globes still floating around on your blogs. As you can see, I've been working on a comprehensive list of "Peace Bloggers" that I've placed in the sidebar. Over the last two days I've collected original posts on peace written November 7th and December 24th of 2006.
Reading them has affirmed something that bears repeating here: the Peace Globe movement was not, and is not, a political statement. It remains - and will always remain - a simple cry for peace. A wish. A prayer. A symbol of hope. A united front with an honest message: Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace.
Conflicts rage across our world, not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Wherever violence rules, evil is king and war incarcerates the souls, minds and lives of those it touches. I did not begin the Peace Globe movement to draw attention to one conflict above another; and certainly not to isolate or ignore the suffering of people embroiled and trapped in the devastating consequences of war in lesser known skirmishes and battles. War is war. Violence is violence. Suffering is suffering.
The worth of a human being lies not in the wealth of its territory
or lack thereof.
Debilitating poverty, sickness, indignities and inhumanity are all consequences of the realities and presence of war. Innocent people are thrown into hellish circumstances, soldiers defend freedoms at the hands of and within arms reach of ruthless leaders ruled by economic strongholds and barbaric tradition. For a time the atrocities of war seemed safely tucked away somewhere else.
When I read your inspiring words and see our names scrawled across the blue graphic we call Peace Globes, I am reminded that before I became a writer in the blogosphere, I didn't know you either. I didn't understand what you might be going through in your own corner of the universe. It's hard to admit but I found it easy to go about my daily business globally unaware, indifferent, caught up in my own life story and unconcerned with issues that did not directly affect my own turf and welfare. A peacemaker I was; but on a much smaller scale. Compassionate, yes....as many of you are, but on a local level.
What I've learned from Peace Globes is that once those globes made noise the very first day in our blogworld, I began to see and sense a universal urgency for peace I never knew existed before. I heard a unified passion for peace in your writings - words that were individually crafted on individual websites by separate individuals.
And we all said the same thing.
It was then I knew that my carefully fenced kindnesses were full of hypocrisy. My prayers for world peace and an occasional thought toward poor starving children somewhere else, with a contribution conveniently drafted from my paycheck, smelled a bit like judgment and a lot like patronizing indifference.
My awareness has changed.My ideas have broadened. I have grown in a real and personal way. You have helped me do that. My understanding of the world condition and our place in it has transformed. But one thing has not changed.
And that is my fundamental belief - that words are powerful.In the pages and pages you've written, the one thing I hear over and over is the theme of gratitude. And being thankful is a good thing. But it can become a smug place to live if my neighbor - in Afghanistan or Iraq or Darfur or any other war-torn place - has little to be thankful for and I am content with my apparent abundance.
I hope you will take some time today to read what we have collectively declared in these posts and digest the meaning behind them. From blog post to blog post, from the pen of the most impassioned essay writer to a simple five-line poem, story, or illustration -you will begin to see an unmistakable pattern. It is not a declaration of strategy. It is not a call to agree.
It is the voice of kindness.
And that's a fine place to start.