New new new spiritual sharings (and more to come)

12/1/10 – Fearful dreams which have the purpose of getting “more” for oneself at others’ expense never satisfy. However, all dreams, when transformed to include goals of shared peace, love, appreciation, understanding, respect and support for all of life, do satisfy.


11/30/10 – Our rational, logical brains have indispensible but highly limited utility. All quality lives and human relations are inspired and supported by helpful, loving, appreciative, accepting, intuitive, spiritual motivations and intentions that arise within.


11/29/10 – When we stop struggling to “figure out,” analyze, intellectualize and speculate on the motives, goals and purposes of others and ourselves, but instead, listen to the wisdom within us, we will feel no need to fear, judge or attack ourselves and others.


11/28/10 – We are God’s expression of consciousness, creativity and love. We are God’s hands, feet, eyes and ears. All of God’s power and knowledge lies within us. We are inseparable from God, from his wholeness, presence and power throughout all creation.


11/27/10 – We can know ourselves and others as “one” only intuitively, through loving appreciation and healing acceptance. But when we try to analyze, figure out and predict ourselves and others, we forget this oneness, and begin separating, judging and attacking.


11/26/10 – When we are feeling lost, we can remind ourselves of the peaceful goals we want, seek within for guidance in creating and experiencing the perspectives, actions, feelings, outcomes and days we want, follow our inner guidance—and let all our fears go.


11/25/10 – We can safely turn our days over to God, who already knows our deepest questions and real desires, as well as our infinite potential for creating and spreading joy, and for supporting what is alive and eternal in ourselves and in all others everywhere.


11/24/10 – All the power of God, mankind and creation is accessible within each of us. We can ask and receive understanding, answers, insights, love, joy and wisdom. Within us is God’s home, where all are one. Nothing spiritual, true, real or eternal is outside us.


11/23/10 – Our self-protective, logical, rational, defensive illusions, images, concepts, arguments, explanations, excuses, justifications and projections offer us and others only guilt and pain. They offer us nothing we could ever want, and many things we don’t.


11/22/10 – Nothing good, peaceful, useful, happy, meaningful or worthy can ever come from creating defensive, guilty, judgmental images and concepts of ourselves or others, or from guessing, projecting or analyzing our own or others’ motives or intentions.


11/21/10 – Our defensive concepts, analyses, self-images and projections set up exhausting, judgmental, false rules and realities which produce only harmful fantasies and painful guilt. We can ask to replace them with an accepting, healing spiritual vision.


11/20/10 – When we let go of demands and expectations, we allow ourselves and others to be the perfect, unique, lovable, beloved eternal creations we all are. When we live and let live, and let guilt and judgment go, we rest in loving circles of giving and receiving.


11/19/10 – Until we respond to all errors and mistakes as requests for healing and help, rather than as unforgivable sins deserving of attacks, blame, anger, judgment and retribution, we cannot know God’s eternal benevolence, forgiveness, justice and love.


11/18/10 – A good way to relate well to anyone is to establish, in advance, a peaceful, loving purpose—toward everyone. All relationships go better when founded upon a goal such as the golden rule, which derives from the gentle facets and permutations of peace.


11/17/10 – Reality is not “out there,” but “in here.” Reality is not about our bodies or a world “outside” us, but instead, the eternal, spiritual truth within us, which creates and animates all things, is the source of all life and all love, and is that which never changes.


11/15/10 – We are all fellow-travelers upon a road that is often dark and difficult. Yet we can bring light and hope and love to one another when we decide to neither lead nor follow, but to walk with one another as beloved, lovable and loving friends.


11/14/10 – We’re “wrong” when we react judgmentally, defensively, adversarially or aggressively toward others who are doing the same, and feeling “right” about it. The only “right” (and effective) response to such “wrong” is healing and help.


11/14/10 – Since no person, group, party, religion, nation or leader knows all perspectives or has all the “right” answers, “wrong” arises, not just when we make mistakes, but when we attack others for their mistakes, and thus add to the sum of the world’s injustices.


11/13/10 – Satisfying, peaceful paths are those that serve us, God and all mankind, drawing us all closer in our awareness of spiritual oneness. Efforts that compete, divide and separate, or that serve one person at the expense of another, must always disappoint.


11/12/10 – A personal self-concept must be defended, lived up to, lived down, regretted, explained, built up, grieved, avenged, elaborated upon, and consistently maintained. With no self-image, we’re free to freshly recreate all our relationships, moment-to-moment.


11/11/10 – We are on our right path, doing our highest will and God’s. All spiritual paths are confusing, difficult, boulder-strewn, filled with pitfalls and detours—and unique. Our way feels sure, clear, peaceful and safe as we let our guiding inner spirit lighten our steps.


11/10/10 – We can’t know everything, so we can’t judge others fairly; and because we can’t judge fairly, the only effective, inspiring, motivating correction we can offer is one which we would want for ourselves and our own mistakes—to love, lift and let it go.


11/9/10 – Are we lost, separate, mortal creatures in brutal natural competition with each other for survival, or are we God’s single, beloved, sacred and eternal expression, his will and reflection, perfect in oneness, diversity, uniqueness, interdependence and holiness?


11/8/10 – Our seemingly insignificant contributions, stumbling steps, counterproductive setbacks and fumbling mis-directions are our perfect, unique and indispensably holy paths to awareness, sharing and celebration of God’s oneness, forgiveness and love.


11/7/10 – When we want to say or do the right thing, calm ourselves, make a decision, find new perspectives and insights, order our priorities, be happier, understand, be better—we can go within, ask our questions, and trust the loving, peaceful answers.


11/6/10 – Our hardest lesson is to let go of our own guilt, defensiveness, mistakes, struggles, wrong assumptions, misdirected efforts, incorrigibility, anger, jealousy, resentment, weariness, despair and self-condemnation—and live fully, freely, now.


11/5/10 – We can choose to experience agelessness or aging, timelessness or time, beauty or ugliness, delight or despair, spirituality or cynicism, positivity or negativity, joy or sorrow, freedom or guilt, goodness or evil, life or death, love or fear, truth or illusion.


11/4/10 – Our daily challenges, struggles and mistakes are opportunities: to ask specific questions; pray to see things differently; receive miraculous insights, wisdom and love; and become humbled, grateful, open, accepting lifters of our fellow-travelers’ burdens.


11/3/10 – We don’t have to resolve the past or know the future. All we can ever do is live fully in the present moment, and do our very best with now—the only time we ever have to give and receive love, create, heal, forgive, cherish, lift, learn, appreciate and inspire.


11/2/10 – Physical, spiritual, individual, interpersonal and planetary health and healing are inextricably interconnected and intertwined, and always miraculously support each other, as we ask for, receive, and offer forgiveness, acceptance, love, peace and gratitude.


11/1/10 – We can accept ourselves and all others as-is, without reference to the past; or we can suffer from guilt, judgment, separation, anger, blame and attack. Self and other-acceptance are interdependent keys to all healing, peace, and creative power for good.


10/31/10 – We can see, create and extend our guilt and fear outward toward a cultural delusion of division, hate and death, or we can see and heal ourselves and all others as one eternally perfect spiritual creation, by loving unconditionally in the present moment.


10/30/10 – When we pray for peaceful solutions, when we let go of a troubled past, when we trust God to work and speak and heal and love through us, nothing is impossible.


10/29/10 – We can experience the joy and peace of God once again as we let anger and judgment go. Our sense of injustice arises from a perception of temporal separation; yet God’s justice knows and expresses creation only as one, whole, perfect and eternal will.


10/28/10 – God judges his creation, not as divided and competing, but as one, whole, inseparable, timeless good. Only this holy, all-encompassing perspective of an unconditionally-loving, eternal justice can heal our perceptions of temporal injustices.


10/27/10 – We fear chaos, insanity and meaninglessness. Yet reality, truth, purpose and hope lie, not in any past mistakes, but in humankind’s capacity to see, accept, appreciate, celebrate and love, with God, his imperfect/perfect expression/creation, right now, as-is.


10/26/10 – When we put our trust in ourselves alone, we feel neither safety nor direction nor help. When we nourish, through daily spiritual practice, our safe reliance upon God, we find strength, comfort, insight, clarity, sustenance, purpose and joy everywhere.


10/25/10 – If we are not mere bodies, but instead, eternal spirits—the will and expression of a loving God—then all pain, loss, suffering and sin are mere temporal illusions. If God is love, then so are we—blameless, unconditionally loved, and safe, now and forever.


10/24/10 – When we are harshly judging ourselves, others and the world, we can ask God to judge instead, whose judgment urges us to look and see, at every moment and in each detail, the goodness, blamelessness and sacred wholeness of his perfect expression.


10/6/10 – Our eyes and brains analyze all that seems “outside” us in terms we’ve acquired from our experiences, thought and culture. It works better to see only positive, eternal, loving reality, and not react to all the rest, which is only negative illusion.


8/22/10 – God is the power, insight and comfort in which I now receive infinite gifts of present and eternal peace, acceptance and unconditional love, and return them joyfully and serenely to that-of-God, humankind, nature and self comprising the One Self of all.


8/13/10 – The most honest and meaningful truth we can communicate on any subject always reflects our highest spiritual perspectives on the unchangeable safety, innocence, value, goodness and holiness of every single one of God’s beloved eternal beings.


8/12/10 – We can use the creative power of universal mind shared by all God’s eternal expressions to build a world of truth, beauty, love, joy and healing, and not in support of destructive cultural myths of sin, fear, guilt, despair, weakness, vengeance and evil.


8/11/10 – In all our relationships, we have daily opportunities to teach through our own words and examples—and thus simultaneously to learn and to reinforce—trust, faith, honesty, gentleness, forbearance, joy, generosity, defenselessness, patience and peace.


8/10/10 – Each of us fulfills a unique, loving, peaceful work in life which is our shared will with God, who gives us what we need to accomplish it, along with trust in our own innocence, and a sense of freedom from guilt, fear, inadequacy and defensiveness.


8/9/10 – We can give only to ourselves. Exactly how best, what, when, why, to whom, and how, each of us uniquely balances our giving, is always different for each person—and always perfect. When we feel conflicted and defensive, we’ve forgotten this.


8/8/10 – What makes everything and everyone beautiful? Recognition of the sinless innocence of everything and everyone at every present moment of eternity. It is this bountiful, unconditional forgiveness which Jesus’ life teaches, exemplifies and clarifies.


8/7/10 – The most valuable, essential lesson we can teach others is our own example of joyous, guilt-free living, which holds up a mirror for the innocence of others. The most destructive, pernicious, persistent cultural myth is the belief that being human is wrong.


8/6/10 – I gratefully accept the abundant justice of an eternity of peace and oneness with God, his ever-available gifts of comfort, strength and unconditional love, and the blessings of teaching, learning from, sharing with, and loving my eternal fellow-travelers.


8/5/10 – In the sense that we are all eternal, time doesn’t matter. But thoughtful choices about our use of time can exponentially lessen suffering and add to joy. We can seek help within to spiritually order our lives and priorities, and to know the next right thing to do.


8/4/10 – What matters? Recognition of ourselves and “others” as God’s one beloved immortal perfect innocent equal creation. What doesn’t matter? Any/every/thing else— because nothing else lasts forever. We live best in time when we remember who we are.


8/3/10 – When we’re feeling unsure about how to juggle all our imagined “competing” priorities, our guiding spirit restores our trust in God, renews our courage, strength, positivity, love and peace, and reminds us that all things work together forever for good.

More Spiritual Sharings

3/22/10 – Perfect peacefulness (comprising love, forgiveness, joy, and acceptance of all-that-is, all others, and oneself) is both cause and effect of spiritual wisdom, and vice-versa. Neither peace nor spiritual understanding is ever found apart from the other.


3/21/10 – When we ask our guiding spirit for another way to see all that is troubling us, and attentively await his answer, we can be sure we will always receive a brand-new, unexpected, surprising perception which will miraculously change everything.


3/20/10 – Power lies in all of us working peacefully together, and in none of us alone, because opposition weakens power, and weak power is a contradiction in terms. All that’s ever missing in any situation is our own willingness to share our love with all.


3/19/10 – Whatever thought, activity or task we do mindfully, joyfully, and in a spirit of love is a right choice, blessed by God, because we were created as one, to together create and extend love, learn and teach love, give and receive love, in all its forms.


3/18/10 – When we ask to know God’s will for us, we realize that what he wants for us is what we want—to lean upon his strength, grace and guidance, to be free from sacrifice, guilt, fear and weakness, and to be his own unique, powerful, loving expressions.


3/17/10 – When we’re feeling discouraged, we can give each one of our challenges over to God, remember that he celebrates, appreciates, loves, accepts and forgives us all unconditionally now, and begin again to faithfully accept, express and extend his love.


3/16/10 – We can give, receive, be and do more, when we seek and trust God’s guidance and miraculous outcomes, let go of guilt and fear, see only love or requests for it, and then surrender to God’s strength and healing as it works powerfully through us now.


3/15/10 – The term, “good,” comprises every expression of having, giving or receiving love, while the term, “evil,” comprises every expression of the fear of not having, giving or receiving love.


3/14/10- We can choose to joyfully contribute to God’s eternal process of creating, extending and expanding a loving spiritual reality, or stray temporarily into fearful, preoccupations; but we can change neither his outcomes nor his infinite patience.


3/13/10 – False humility is the illusion that we are weak and alone. True humility is the realization that we are powerful to the extent that we remember to ask for and rely upon God’s love, guidance and strength.


3/12/10 – Our purpose here is to share unconditional love in all its forms with all others. What should others’ purpose toward us be? We won’t ask that question anymore, when we learn to fulfill our own purpose perfectly, since we’ll already know the answer.


3/11/10 – We can’t solve our problems alone, because we’re feeling guilty, separate, inadequate, unlovable and unloving. But when we bring them openly to God, he solves them by freeing us to love ourselves and others unconditionally, as he loves all.


3/10/10 – Heaven is mindfulness, awareness and appreciation of the bountiful creation and eternal justice and love we all are and share; while hell is the misery of obliviousness to our one eternal, rich, abundant, innocent life and love, so generously given to all.


3/9/10 – We want to feel safe and loved, so we hurry to learn; but then we want to be right about what we’ve learned. Better to accept humbly how little we know, keep learning and loving, cherish our truths and welcome others’, and love the questions.


3/8/10 – Our bodies are useless for any purpose other than communicating love in all its forms. When we realize this, and when we have learned to use them only for loving, we’ll discover that we can communicate love just as freely and completely without them.


3/7/10 – To know what we “believe,” we can consider how we spend our lives. Beliefs which divide us from God and man mostly serve to depress, limit and harm us, while beliefs that draw us closer to love of God and all creation inspire joy, power and freedom.


3/6/10 – Our beliefs limit us to endure angry, fearful, separate lives weighted with guilt, resentment, hurry, competition, division, frustration, dread, suffering and despair, or they free us to celebrate joy, wholeness and peace, as one perfect, eternally-lovable creation.


3/5/10 – The eternal holy present is all there is, our only time to know God’s calming guidance, perspective and strength, our only time to live faithfully and fearlessly as innocent, loving, invaluable, beloved equals sharing peace, joy, purpose and oneness.


3/4/10 – Happiness is a choice about who we are. We can remind ourselves and others of our reality as joyful, peaceful, powerful, loving, beloved, eternal, innocent children of God, or suffer and die as hurried, vicious, vulnerable, sinful, guilty, punished mortals.


3/3/10 – We have no needs, changes or corrections to make, except to ask that God’s changeless, eternal peace and love might continuously see, greet, bless and give through us to that same changeless, eternal peace and love in others, in a limitless, endless cycle.


3/2/10 – Did a judgmental God create unequal, inadequate, guilty, helpless, miserable, doomed sinners, forever cast away from him? Or did a loving God create equal, innocent, lovable, beloved, loving, powerful, eternally joyous spirits, forever one with him?


3/1/10 – Meaning and peace always come from sharing our own unique, loving gifts with others—unless we use our gifts to gratify our egos, to inflate our little separate sense of self, or to build false concepts of superiority, specialness, difference or vindication.


2/28/10 – When we’re feeling afraid, defensive, confused, judgmental and alone, we can ask God to shine away the nothingness of our fears, and give us instead the loving, unifying perspectives which alone bring understanding and meaning to our relationships.


2/27/10 – Instead of seeing fearful, guilty, sorrowful bodies struggling toward death, we can ask to see now only the goodness, purity, innocence and eternal perfection in all, and thus remember with joy that we too are exactly as we were created and meant to be.


2/26/10 – We are boundlessly empowered when we use our unique talents, interests and abilities to support peace, healing and unity, to give and receive love and joy, and to encourage everyone else’s equal power to do the same.


2/25/10 – Relationships thrive when we recognize and appreciate one another as equally loved, innocent, eternal brothers and sisters, with no needs but to walk together in the holy present, joyfully learning, giving and receiving God’s boundless love.


2/24/10 – We are God’s expression, invulnerable in our eternal innocence and perfection, as we were meant to be. We witness our oneness when we entrust our problems, the instant they arise, to him who solves them, not with everyday illusions, but with truth.


2/23/10 – When I ask my guiding spirit to “decide for me,” I can then relax, confident that my priorities and energies will be directed thoughtfully and lovingly, and that I will have a busy, productive, peaceful day, keeping the highest interests of all in mind.


2/22/10 – Spiritual health, like physical health, thrives on discipline and vigilance. We can share God’s peace when we practice his presence, accept his love and grace, seek understanding and inspiration, and fully appreciate ourselves and all his beloved children.


2/21/10 – Peace, joy and love come to us when we share it. We can act out our cultural delusions of separation, lack, competition, pain, guilt, loss, death and retribution, or we can lovingly appreciate and enjoy our eternal oneness with God and his beloved creation.


2/20/10 – When we put all needs and all gifts under God’s guidance, and let go of everything but love—all guilt, fear, sacrifice, resentment, doubt, confusion—we can see and appreciate God in all his perfect, beloved children, and know all things are possible.


2/19/10 – At any moment, we can ask for and receive our guiding spirit’s help to see and accept ourselves and others with love, understanding and appreciation.


2/18/10 – God is one truth, one love, one meaning, one joy, one answer to all things. When we give, see, accept and love all things as he does, we will also understand and appreciate ourselves.


2/17/10 – When we ask our guiding spirit to help us stay lovingly in each present moment, we can let go of all our fears, and all negative thoughts about yesterdays and tomorrows.


2/16/10 – Our lives, as they unfold in all their beauty, complexity, pain, glory and tragedy, are God’s will, even when things seem to go wrong. Our job is to love and let-love. Our guilt and fear add nothing to life, but our love, acceptance and joy add a lot.


2/15/10 – God is the love in which I see everyone with full appreciation. I can let go of my fearful imaginings, and choose to see only through his loving, accepting, forgiving eyes all the beauty, purity and holiness that is his own beloved, eternal, perfect creation.


2/14/10 – I am God’s completion. His will and mine are the same—to share his joy and peace, not suffer pain. When I surrender to his guidance, and let him teach me to forgive, help, trust and appreciate every person in my life, I am choosing his peace and joy.


2/13/10 – God created us to learn about his love, communicate his love and extend his love, Nothing else matters or lasts. When we lose our way, God merely waits patiently for our return, saving all his love for us all, eternally.


2/12/10 – When we feel separated from others—attacked, unappreciated, resentful—we can remember to seek within the calm, certain reassurance of our shared spiritual reality as one eternal creation, one gift, one mind, one truth, one purpose, one love.


2/11/10 – There is never a shortage of love in any person or situation, but sometimes we let fear, guilt and judgment crowd love out. We can look at, and then surrender, all such concerns to God, who remembers that nothing except love matters, or means anything.


A Very Good Save-the-World Software Development Idea. Please Help Yourself! :-)

Will some brilliant programmer please step up and design a google-type software program that can linguistically analyze and determine a speaker/writer’s cooperative tone and intent?


Your new program could identify and distinguish among those writers/speakers whose communications promote a sense of division, partisanship, negativity, polarization, blame, attack, incivility, rudeness, destructiveness, unfriendly competition, bickering and hate—and those promoting a sense of positivity, creativity, life-affirmation, support, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, productivity, civility, courtesy, equality of opportunity, caring, cooperation and unity.


Your software could have endless useful and profitable applications. For immediate profitability, please consider using your product for security purposes, to helpfully ward off unfriendly attacks and attackers (of whatever kind) upon individuals and enterprises (of whatever kind.)


Imagine leaders young and old in every field vying for their communications to be screened and certified via your software. Why not simultaneously award a “Truth-bearer” (or some other such logo) “gold seal of approval” identifying individuals and organizations as positive communicators, healers, light-bearers?


Your prestigious and desirable software “accreditation” could motivate many people to investigate and understand the important distinctions between peaceful and contentious communication purposes, and to recognize and encourage humanity-unifying goals as non-threatening and potentially beneficial to all earthlings, while discouraging communications with adversarial, hostile ends. Your software would also surely stoke national dialogue, while heightening awareness about the many distinct (although often confusingly-disguised) differences between helpful and harmful human communications. Your software would take care not to exclude any gentle, friendly, cooperative practitioner of any ideology, religion, political party, nation, organization, affiliation, etc.


One important goal of your software would be to educate. Hopefully, everyone would eventually become enlightened enough to merit universal inclusivity (by acting as good, positive communicators) according to your accrediting software, which might also be developed Wikipedically, or perhaps Amazon-style—i.e., open-sourced, by inviting motivated reviewers and voters opportunities not only to build your site, but also to offer feedback opportunities and provide needed talent to shape and debug upgrades and develop next-generation software.


Recipients of your approving nods (such as Nobel prize winners and mild-mannered third-graders) could proudly display and announce their cherished new affiliation and certification on their websites, on Facebook, business cards, in TV commercials and advertising, on coffee cups, tee-shirts, shopping bags….


Additionally, your software could assist web surfers to more-judiciously select helpfully-screened websites, products and opinions as the very ones they will most benefit from investigating. Perhaps your software could also eventually include a function which would recognize and refute inappropriate co-opters of your symbol of acceptance and stamp of approval—an iterative process that would call out abusers while encouraging more awareness and discussion.


Your software will stimulate lively dialogue; increase the impact and number of creative, thought-provoking, and controversial-but-civil exchanges; reduce (by virtue of indifference and neglect) the quantity and influence of divisive communications arising anywhere in the world; universally improve facility in verbal and mental processing of complexities, innuendo and nuances; and inspire us all to pull together cooperatively to resolve our common personal, local and global problems.


While you're programming, please give extra points for humor?


And if you're not a programmer, but merely a earthlinged, godlinged promosapient like me, please pass this idea on to any similarly-inclined programming/software folk or foundations, or to whomever might be interested!


Thank you…. 🙂


Nancy Pace




















































































Are Hiroshima and 9/11 Morally Equivalent? Obama and Wright Disagree.

Barack Obama recently disagreed with Jeremiah Wright’s statements equating America’s wartime efforts with terrorism. Wright had cited biblical passages wherein God condemns (damns) anyone who deliberately kills innocents, whether at Hiroshima or at Ground Zero (9/11).
Although I support Obama’s candidacy wholeheartedly, I disagree with him here, preferring Reverend Wright’s logic. With Wright, I see no moral difference between a weak, fallible organization (or individual) setting off a suicide bomb in a marketplace, and a big, powerful, fallible nation dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population—except, of course, that powerful nations have more options. Both warriors and terrorists say they’re fighting for survival, and both often choose strategies which collaterally harm innocents over diplomacy and other alternatives because they think such violence a quicker, surer way to attain their goals.
Both soldiers and terrorists justify deliberately killing innocents by the rightness of their causes—the only difference being, of course, that powerful nations have access to huge armies and limitless lethal technologies, while less-powerful groups have weak armies, few weapons and little money. That’s why terrorists, hoping to maximize their impact, focus international media attention on their unaddressed grievances (and harass their oppressors) by strapping on cheap explosives.
Soldiers and terrorists alike feel they are forced into doing the bad things they do to prevent further injustices. Yet this argument for “just war”—that sometimes violence is necessary to prevent greater injustices and harm—is also a perfectly reasonable argument for terrorism.
Mind you, I don’t buy either argument. Positive, peaceful alternatives often work, if one only accepts that compromises, though disappointing, are never final and are changeable later, regardless of the unsavory present trade-offs necessary to prevent further catastrophes.
War doesn’t prevent injustices. War itself is always a grievous injustice to all involved in it. Most soldiers and their families are catastrophically exploited by war. 90% of the victims of war are civilians. Unfortunately, when citizens manipulated into vindictive indignation over present and past injustices march into wars, they rarely consider all the many future injustices which that war will inevitably inflict on both sides.
Whether or not we act violently, injustices occur. Whether we fight wars or rise up together in peaceful protest, some people will suffer unjustly, some will die. The Jews died in the Holocaust despite the war effort and perhaps also because of it. Europe is now united; tyrants come and go. No matter whether we choose peace, terrorism, or war, we cannot prevent all injustices. But we can avoid adding to their sum by accepting compromises, listening to all sides, and steadfastly rejecting the gravest injustice of all—war itself.
I’m not a pacifist. I would defend my family and neighbors from bad guys climbing in our windows and knocking down our doors—a scenario far less likely to happen if my government maintains strong local militias and promotes international good will by working for international justice and against war. I certainly would not travel to another country and throw my weight around, except as part of a globally-mandated UN peacekeeping force.
Violent solutions to conflicts, whether war or terrorism, always make problems more intractable in the long run. Violence sometimes seems appealing in the short-term, but not when both sides of the story are heard. Over time, just as in families, violent solutions stoke anger, resentment and vengefulness, and prevent and postpone just and lasting resolutions and peace.
Although there are always two sides to every conflict, loyal combatants often resist hearing out the ‘other’ side. Powerful greedy nations that initiate wars of conquest against weaker forces often refuse to negotiate with their enemies. Why negotiate when you can get what you want through attrition, slaughter and unconditional surrender?
When wars end, war-weary citizens on both sides, hearing the stories of the victims who bore the tragic consequences of the stubbornness, greed, ignorance, intolerance, hubris, vengefulness, anger and megalomania behind all wars and terrorism, finally realize that it was never the courageous, idealistic grandchildren they sent out to kill each other who were most to blame, but rather the safe, rich, hard-headed old leaders on both sides who failed to keep the peace.
Too often, we prefer being “right” to living and letting others live in peace. We think we have to be right about so many things—about who’s the bad guy, who started it, who’s at fault, what happened, who meant well and who didn’t, who did what to whom, whose ideology or form of government is superior, whose religion is true, who is weird and strange and cultish and backward and disgusting, who gets to be in control, who gets to be the one with the gold who makes all the rules….
The truth is that nobody yet has a clear picture of what human life is all about, what we’re doing here, and how best to look upon the world, ourselves, and one another. Even the leading scholars agree that the more they know, the more they know they don’t know. In every conflict, humility, acceptance and mutual respect are the wisest guides.
When we insist on being ‘right’ rather than making the compromises necessary to live together in peace, we are making the choice of terrorism/war over freedom. What is freedom, if not the freedom to live one’s life and pursue one’s dreams in peace?
Someday, they will give a war and no one will come. This will happen when we stop worrying about being right and in total control (both are foolish illusions in this nuclear age) and instead, hold ourselves accountable to the highest universal standards of treating all others as we would like to be treated, respecting and supporting human life everywhere. When this happens, we will enter a more peaceful, harmonious age.
We will, that is, if some of us are still here. The work of global peaceful transformation is so urgent. As Einstein famously predicted, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Since we can no longer completely control nuclear weapons, we must work now to transform ourselves and our own violent cultures into cultures of peace. Amish, Quaker and Buddhist families alike learn and teach gentleness successfully; they all enjoy unselfish, peaceful cultures. Why shouldn’t the rest of us learn, too?
Cultures change whenever individuals learn peaceful ways of dealing with their own personal conflicts, and then optimize their cultural institutions to educate others about harmonious relations, diplomacy, and global justice. Institutions such as public media (the airwaves and the internet) as well as private media, educational systems, charitable foundations, political and service organizations, private corporations, public agencies, and international cooperatives can all be exploited to promote peace.
People are realizing that war and terrorism are mirrors of each other. They are merely two forms of culturally-acceptable (in certain circles) violence we inflict on one another. Until more cultural leaders make the paradigm shift away from both war and terrorism—and the rest follow—we and all our children everywhere will be increasingly at risk for more injustices, more wars, more terrorism, more Holocausts, more Hiroshimas….
Someday, Barack too will see that this is true.