To commemorate International Peace Day, I asked my students to create their own brief messages of peace. Specifically, I asked them to address these comments to the citizens of countries that some might consider America’s enemies—Iran, North Korea, etc. Here are a few of those peace messages:
--The citizens of the United States have lost control of our government. The leaders in Washington no longer represent the American people. I am deeply sorry for what our government might do to your country. If I had my way, I would get our government out of international affairs
--"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." -Baruch Spinoza. All we want as a country is to have peace in all countries, but first we must take a step back and gain peace in our own country first.
--Peace can be universal, with the combined tools of cooperation and compassion we can achieve peace. Put peace first.
--I've always believed that every man has their God, whether it be Buddha, Jesus, Allah, and I've also always believed that in a way, it's the very same star, we all stare up at, just conceiving it differently. Should I hate a woman (from a supposed “enemy” country) simply because of her nationality? Do we all not love the same way? Do we not all cry tears, regardless of city and state? Do we not all get hungry? It wouldn't matter what he was, if a baby was crying, wouldn't we instinctively soothe him? Yes, we have differences...but we all have hearts. Peace starts when hearts find the grace to forgive, to grow, place differences aside and work towards goals that seek unity of life and nation.
--I searched the Bible all morning for what I thought was the perfect peace message. I found lots of good advice, but I finally stumbled across this: "Do to others what you would want them to do to you." -Luke 6:31