"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." Albert Einstein
As this is being written, the leaders of America elected and appointed are preparing for war. Preparing for war against a nation whose leader, although militant and inhumane, has never posed a direct threat to the USA.
There are certainly many arguments both for and against this present course of action. Both sides speak convincingly regarding their positions.
While these preparations are under way, our self-declared ally, Israel, is attempting to use bullets, bombs and bulldozers to enforce peace. They are attempting to prove that the nation with the most weapons and will to use them can bring about peace.
Unfortunately history is on neither our or Israel's side. While military might has enforced a cessation of hostilities in the short term, it has never brought about a lasting peace.
While the victors savor the enforcement of their will, the vanquished are filled with shame, hatred and a desire for revenge. History is replete with examples of this pattern. That's why peace brought about through use of force is so elusive.
And, that's why war can't bring lasting peace.
So, how can peace be brought to this troubled planet? Will it ever be possible to put politics and peace in the same sentence?
National leaders must ultimately reflect the collective spirit of their citizens. For our leaders' political spirit to change, our spirit has to change. Their rejection of the beliefs and politics of other peoples are but a reflection of their citizens' attitude.
Until the "I'm right and you're wrong" or the "My way is better than your way" attitude is changed within each of us, there'll be no peace. Until we and all people in the world accept and respect the ideas, beliefs and rights of all of humankind, peace will remain elusive.
Some of you will say that this will never be possible. To you, I say, "Let peace begin with you." Each one of us has the power to begin the peace process. It starts with our thoughts, is formed by our words and seen by our actions.
It is exhibited by our consistent respect for all peoples and their belief systems. Are not we all created equally in the image of the creator?
We've tried the politics of war for a long time. Much too long a time. It's now time for the world to try the politics of peace. And, that starts with each one of us.
Larry Brophy, Payson