Monday, November 4, 2013
Dona Nobis Pacem
As I think about what peace means to me, I find my heart racing and my breath becoming ragged. Peace isn't as much as about avoiding war and violence as it is about finding connections to one another. Peace comes when we learn to celebrate our differences rather than use them as excuses to hate. Peace breathes when we learn to acknowledge what we have in common with the person we consider the "other" in this world. Peace happens when we reach out helping hands to not only those we love but to those we deem as enemies. Peace spreads when we learn there is no such thing as an "other" because we all inhabit this Earth together.
Peace requires we take action. We can look for ways to resolve our problems without needing to exert our power. We can accept that while different we are all equal. We can judge people based on their actions and not our misconceptions. Or better yet reserve our judgment by realizing we may not know the whole story. We have the power to give others a chance to be their best selves as we strive to be ours. That is the power of cultivating peace.
Cultivating peace may not be especially easy, but we make it harder than it needs to be. Peace culminates when we put love into the world when hate feels easier.
Peace lives in my heart because I love enough to invite it in.
What does peace mean to you?
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted and four books of poetry. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.