Doesn’t everyone want peace? I certainly do, but not at any price, and not by any means. Peace through strength. Peace that builds up those around us is what I want. Do you?
That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode.
Dona Nobis Pacem is the title of a beautiful song done as a round. Only three words in the entire piece; yet it is beautiful, moving and inspiring. How do we get to pacem? I am not a pacifist. Peace does not mean surrender nor does it mean accepting cash and in kind payments from the authorities in return for staying quiet and safe.
Today’s Key Point: Peace, true peace, is achieved through working hard and consistently to make real contributions to yourself and to others.
The point is not to seek peace for the sake of peace itself; that determined focus can all too easily lead to unacceptable compromises. Work to raise up yourself and those around you, and find peace there. It is the same way with happiness. Don’t seek happiness for the sake of being happy, seek to do the right thing and find happiness that way. You can be at peace while being oppressed or an oppressor, and be happy while on drugs. Seek to do the right thing with yourself and others, and find peace and happiness that way. Frequent fliers with Revolution 2.0™ may remember that I am an admirer of the late Chalres Krauthammer, MD, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist syndicated in 400 publications worldwide, a cable news personality and author. After battling all of his adult life with the effects of a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Krauthammer died prematurely of cancer at age 68. Yet this is how he summed up his life. “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life–full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
The opposite of peace is strife. We must all deal with the strife and stress that comes accidentally, perhaps through injury or illness. The volunteer strife comes when certain people, groups and politicians prosthelytize doctrines like Critical Race Theory, white supremacy and the overall belief that America always was and is systemically racist. All while selling the notion that if they do not get to run everything, including what can be said, what cannot be said, and what must be said, that America will always be racist. The opposite of peacemakers, these charlatans intentionally create strife and conflict for personal and political gain. I drill down on these beliefs and motivations in other episodes. My short form episode format does not allow for that repetition here. I invite you to look for and enjoy those episodes.
Throughout recorded history, we see different groups, classes and dogmas, both political and religious, oppress, rule over and dominate others. The motivation to rule over and belittle other groups is as old as mankind, only which groups are on top and which are on the bottom changes. The groups can be determined by inherent characteristics, e.g., race and gender, or artificial differences, e.g., income, social class or beliefs. During, WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt interned 120,000 Japanese Americans in camps after forcibly removing them from their homes. And the Supreme Court approved this mass internment. BTW, the 442nd Infantry Regiment, best known for its history as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei) who fought in World War II, was the most decorated unit for its size in military history. The unit’s motto was “Go for Broke”.
These days, at least in the US, strife promoters have invented a new class of undesirables: those who do not actively, sufficiently and repeatedly say and do what is demanded of them. In other words, simply minding your own business can be met with shrieks of racism and other accusations and insults. Silence is violence is just one example, as is being insufficiently anti racist, or not being anti-anti trans enough. Insufficient hand wringing, apologizing and groveling while telling the world how sorry you are for the color of your skin, or for the pluses you have enjoyed in your life is seen as insensitive at best. At best.
Q. So, Will, what do we do? How do we get to pacem, to peace? A. Change ourselves. Which, when we think about it, is the only thing we can ever change. Let’s go back to today’s key point: Peace, true peace, is achieved through working hard and consistently to make real contributions to yourself and to others. Resisting the temptation to respond in kind to those who frustrate us, go back with me a millennium to hear timeless wisdom from an ancient monk.
“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.” Written by an unknown Monk around 1100 A.D.
We’ll add Revolution 2.0’s more recent two core tenets for living; the two main principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Ben Franklin gets the penultimate comment, “If a man has done his best, he should await the results in peace.”
The final quote goes to Tom Paxton, “Peace, let it begin with me.”
Doesn’t everyone want peace? I certainly do, but not at any price, and not by any means. Peace through strength. Peace that builds up those around us is what I want. Don’t you?
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.