Peace on earth is wished in greetings of prose and song this time each year. But is peace on earth really possible or just a relic, an outdated greeting from simpler times long ago when there was a lot more of it? Giving up on peace would be a resignation of hope and I don’t think most of us are ready for that just yet.
But fewer and fewer believe peace on earth is genuinely attainable. It sounds warm, lovely and hopeful like many season’s greeting cards, but is just as quickly drowned out by the next hostile report of murder, war and mayhem next door or across the globe.
I, however, believe peace on earth is still possible.
Peace on earth is a movement.
What if you abandoned the impossible thought of global peace and viewed peace on earth emerging as a series of individual efforts which, consistent and connected, create the cause of peace and move it forward, if but an inch with each? Movements by definition, move. They gain momentum. They don’t stop. Those who would pay peace forward do so in small, imaginable, deliberate ways. And not because of a season.
Peace is the easing of pain, the healing of wounds, the comfort of the afflicted. Peace is a warm coat, a hot meal, a ride to the store or a touch to the untouchable? We can do peace. Each of us.
Peace on earth is a sacrifice.
It takes effort. Selfish people will never have peace because they never give it. It’s up to the rest of us. And this time of year, there is more indulgence than at any other. But conversely, peace-full people make extra effort. Stories of individual and family gives, abandonment of conformity to the commercialization of the holidays and ensembles of strangers uniting for the purpose of sharing with the impoverished abound.
Peace on earth is deliberate.
Peace on earth will not ride in on the coattails of a determined leader. It won’t take residence in a world of good intentions. It cannot be legislated or mandated. It won’t arrive in a wave of mass conviction. Peace on earth will come only deliberately, one act of goodwill at a time. And peace on earth is not bound by a time of year.
Peace on earth is an all-year commitment.
When the holiday season ends, so does the giving. Corporate giving isn’t expected to continue throughout the year when PR opportunities are fewer and less available. Likewise, individual giving drops. People justify their inaction by complaining they are tapped out. But the movement of peace doesn’t slow or stop simply because the season is over. It never lacks resources. It doesn’t take a break. It moves. It has to.
Very shortly, the celebration will be over.
But the cause of peace will go on, feeding the hungry, warming the cold and touching the neglected, with or without you, albeit with less momentum, but never lacking intention.
At this time and at all times, our wish must be
let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Don’t give up the hope. We can get there. Vow with me to keep the momentum.