"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking in Oregon to a large, enthusiastic, and diverse audience at Williamette University. The event was organized by the nonprofit Oregon PeaceWorks. Each time I have a speaking engagement I feel incredibly uplifted to be among people who are committed to making peace not only a reality but a lifelong movement for generations to come.
I believe there are more peaceful Americans than are portrayed in the media, that government-inspired terrorism (like our actions in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan) only begets more terrorism on many levels, and that it is only through peace that we can find a way to unite and empower our individual and collective dreams of a better world.
Although warmongers and politicians incite us through fear, we don't need to buy into that illusion. Rather, we can choose to see the soul of the world, instead of the economic or material trappings that often blur the vision of what is the true reality of our lives.
Each of us has an important role in changing the world by laying claim to our passions and committing ourselves to fulfill our dreams for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.
Peace results from compassion coupled with action. If we truly want a peaceful existence then we must each actively promote more compassionate spirit, environment, and society. We must promote it and live it. This is the world I hope for my grandson and I know you hope for your children and grandchildren.
We are poised at a crossroads in human development. I for one am confident that we will take the "road less traveled" and make it in our lifetime the "road most traveled." We will place peace above all else. We will stop creating a war economy and instead create local and global economies that bring rewords to those individuals and companies that work to clean up polluted soils, air, and water, help starving people feed themselves, and develop sustainable energy.
A wonderful example of one person's passion and a model peace project: Mr. Peter Bergel, Executive Director of Oregon PeaceWorks and founding editor of The Peace Worker is the driving force behind the extraordinary MyPeace Project.- Launched just this week, it will run through the month of October in Salem, Oregon.
Peter describes the project in this way, "The MyPeace Project is Oregon PeaceWorks' (OPW) local peace visioning project. It interlocks with regional and national projects aimed at articulating a clearer vision of what the peaceful world Americans want to build and live in looks like, which OPW calls 'reinventing the American dream.'"
Imagine if this project existed in every city across the nation!
What can YOU do to make this happen?
Compassion is our strength, passion our driving force, and action is the catalyst. Let us reject the corporatocracy, predatory capitalism, and those who would keep us enslaved to a military economy and a media that would have us believe we have no power. Let us replace the subversive status quo with hope, passion, and empowerment for everyone (instead of just a few). We WILL make the world a better place.