The other day, I received an e-mail with

Laura Nethken Published:

The other day, I received an e-mail with the salutation Dear Uncle. I realized I was reading a young womans e-mail to her uncle regarding the impending war with Iraq. She wrote, I believe that our peace will come from this war! Weve given these people 12 years to disarm, and they are truly in violation; if we let this slide then well, I cant even imagine what could happen! War may not be peaceful, but it can bring us peace.

The e-mail brought to mind Mother Teresas refusal to take part in an anti-war movement. While everyone looked on in astonishment at her refusal to the request, she lovingly suggested that she would be delighted to take part in a pro-peace movement. Its a slight shift, but one that makes all the difference.

We find ourselves on the brink of a war with Iraq and perhaps with North Korea as well. It is imperative that we question our motives.We must be careful not to match energy here. When we declare war, we are coming from the same mentality as Saddam Hussein. As long as we are focusing on war, we can only expect war. By shifting our attentions to peace, we may begin to see solutions outside the box. If we wish to see something in the world, we must become it ourselves. If we wish for peace, we must each internalize peace.

Saddam Hussein is wrong; theres no doubt about that. But its time that we take responsibility for our part in all this. We certainly were not acting in a responsible fashion when we supplied these countries with weapons and nuclear plans in the first place. Did we actually believe the day would never come when these countries would use this force against us? We have spent generations, Republican and Democratic presidents alike, manipulating countries into giving us what we wanted, when we wanted it and becoming compliant in exchange for weapons, plans and sometimes entirely new governments all in the name of peace.

But what kind of peace are we speaking of? The peace of a wife, mother or child whose husband, son or father may not come home. The peace of a family torn apart in one bombing blast. The peace of a nation riddled with fire and decimated beyond all imagination. Are we speaking of the peace of a victorious nation sitting back and wondering when it will all begin again? This is not peace. This is manipulation, power and political control. To have peace we must each create a peaceful environment within our own lives and watch how that peace radiates out to others to beget more peace. If peace is what we are truly after, then we must take another stance. Peace will never be achieved through war.

What we focus on expands, so if we want peace, we must all focus on the peace that is already present in our lives, and the peace we wish to live in. A Native American grandfather was talking to his young grandson one day. He explained that within the young boy lived two wolves that were struggling with each other. The first wolf was one of peace, love and kindness the other wolf was fear, greed and hatred. The young boy looked up at his grandfather and said Which wolf will win, grandfather? And the grandfather replied, Whichever one you feed. Lets make the choice to feed the wolf of love, peace and kindness.Can we learn to treat each other with love, compassion, and kindness or are we called mankind for nothing?

Fitting In is written by Debbie Darling. E-mail her at darling@apk.net.

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