Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Don't Understand

There are a lot of things I don't understand. I recognize that more and more every day as I age. But some things seem to be so blatantly important that common sense screams for their implementation.

We just celebrated the second Sunday of Advent and in our community of faith we considered together the ideal of peace. Some of what I say in this blog I stated on Sunday. But I am one that believes repetition is necessary.

We joke that a standard answer for every Miss America contestant is that she hopes for "World Peace." I sense that it really is something that many desire and the longer conflict continues, the more folk seem to ache for it. We pray for peace but pay for war. Or at least that is supposed to be a part of the tax plan. If you worry about the financial crunch that our nation and our globe is presently experiencing, look, in part, at the use of our treasury on present and recent unnecessary wars. We fight them with no declared plan to pay for them. The money has to come from somewhere, so most of us somehow feel the crunch.

Which brings me to what I don't understand. Our corporate life is geared toward defense and seeing that such is well established. We sometimes wage war. Why not learn to wage peace? It is hard work and it takes courage. Why not find practical solutions that challenge our consciousness and move towards transformation in our attitude about conflict and violence.

Why do we not have a PEACE STUDIES program in every school? We study our history and know of the unfolding of violence in so many different quarters. Why not consider ways to counter the violence? More colleges and universities, especially those with Departments of Religion and Philosophy, are adding Peace Studies to their curriculum. I have only heard of an extremely small number of Peace Studies in public or private schools, but where they do exist, the classes are packed.

Peace Studies offer not only a chance to study war and possible alternatives, but also consideration of family violence, violence against women, prejudice and bigotry against those of a different race or sexual orientation, and hostilities against any form of diversity. What could possibly be wrong with that kind of effort?

John Lennon was right. Give Peace a chance. I just don't understand why we can't find practical ways to work on that issue.

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