Thursday, December 13, 2012
This time of year I plug in the peace wreath every night when I get home from work.
Casting its white glow against the front of our house, the fresh evergreen circle in the shape of a peace sign is our way of telling sharing the most important message of the season. The peace wreath offers as a gift our wish for peace on earth and goodwill toward everybody.
Perhaps naïve and simply innocent, the message stands strong against war, violence and hatred that shapes what has past and what is likely yet to come. But maybe peace will survive. Maybe peace will spread. Maybe peace will ignite fervor for love and understanding in the New Year. Maybe peace will prevail.
Maybe not, though.
Peace shapes the same circular conundrum as war. Round and round and round it goes. Where it stops nobody knows. A dog chasing its tail? A shooting Christmas star? Generations of soldiers fighting because those who created them also fought? Greed, ego and want giving rise to greater desperation that in the past? Is peace the answer? What was the question?
All these thoughts and more dance in my head this time of year as I sometimes stand across the street from my house at night before locking up and going to bed, looking to the light and taking comfort in knowing that my life for now and hopefully forever is secure.
Not everybody knows peace.
Countless people live in fear and longing for better times, better lives and better ways to find happiness that is all to often elusive. Too many people worry and find anxiety rather than the calm peace of mind that best serves humanity. Too many people long for respect, decency and goodness that never come their way.
I’m no expert in peace so I practice every day.
You might find my commitment to peace at odds with what you sometimes hear on my show, as I talk and listen, listen and talk and sometimes seem at odds with anything even close to the peaceful flow of thought, commentary and analysis that would seem the norm for a man of peace.
Introspection and eruption is part of the practice. So is plugging in the peace wreath, And when the wreath comes down, I’ll carry its light for the rest of the year at the center of my being.
Since I’m thinking out loud here, using words to convey the complex confusion that makes me who I am, I’d like to invite you to join me in the practice of peace. Peace does not exclude disagreement or even argument. Peace does not prohibit self defense through word and deed. Peace does not disallow standing in the face of adversity, political corruption or otherwise, and taking a stand based on honor and principle to help people in need.
To do otherwise would hurt peace. And, of course, we must not hurt peace. Instead we must become great warriors of peace. We must work for peace each day through our actions. We must side with the hope for a better when more and more people who deserve peace in their hearts and minds, peace in their minds, peace in the world, find peace in each moment of an often cruel, cruel world.
Please humor me if you think that I’m rambling. Rambling is part of my personal peace process.
One the air the other day I told you about putting up the peace wreath and about how my wife and I will likely keep the wreath in place until St. Patrick’s Day. The message of peace runs all year round but our neighbors would likely prefer that we take it down and don’t keep it up all year round.
Besides, I like putting up the wreath, even through it took us two hours on Sunday and my fingers bled from a whiplash I received from cutting the strong, plastic cord from which we hung the peace wreath.
Yes, the peace wreath bit me.
But I’m healing and the message of peace is still coming through loud and clear. So consider this column my holiday card to you even if you shake your head and tell me my brain is not firing on all cylinders. Mock me. Laugh at my wish for peace. Then ask yourself if you are at peace and, if not, what, if anything, you’re doing to change your way.
If peace eludes you, take a deep breath, think a happy thought and exhale peacefully. Breathing lets you know you’re alive and is always a good sign. From there, almost anything’s possible in your outlook on life.
Then think about getting a peace wreath of your own.
Peace feels good. Peace is good. Peace is the answer.
War is over - if you want it.