You hear and see it all the time, young kids using the term, “Peace” or “Peace Out” when talking to their friends. But to many, the term, PEACE, is only a slogan that they use flippantly—without really understanding what they say. Because, being about peace is about consciously living your life in a peaceful manner. It means going out of your way to be peaceful.
But then again, I guess they are only doing what we grownups do—just spouting lip service when it comes to peace. Just talking the talk, but rarely walking the walk. We want our children to live in peace, but everywhere they turn, they see a world of violent chaos. From wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to extreme violence in just about every aspect of our Mainstream Media. They see Dads cursing and threatening the umpires in Little League and Moms swearing at other drivers who cut them off on the freeway.
So when we watch the horrific video of Derrion Albert’s murder, by young teens who look just like him; and who should be mostly concerned about midterms and sports and school dances, instead of gang fights and weapons and beefs, why do we always go into a state of shock? We knee-jerk and call for more cops and tougher prison sentences. Then we put flowers and candles to make us feel like we’re doing something, and after a short period, we go back to sleep.
I say that to say this: In The Search For Peace, We Must All Look Within—first! If we adults start living lives of peace, then it will eventually snowball and trickle down to the youth. If we counter and balance the violence in movies, with movies like ‘Nothing But A Man’ (Pictured Above)—a movie that shows a Black man and woman struggling together to survive and get ahead in life. The couple, played by Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln, have the deck stacked against them, but together they face their problems and grow stronger in the end. Even though they are faced with so many obstacles, they remain together and deal with their issues. And throughout this ordeal, they keep their dignity and self-respect for themselves and each other.
The quest for peace must begin with each individual. I will close this post with my poem, ‘Peace Begins Within’.
Peace Begins Within
How do we find peace in a time of war?
How do we show love in a time of hate?
How do we find a way to show kindness
And not be taken for weakness?
It begins within
It begins with loving yourself into a peaceful tranquility
We are all children of God, sublime creations of our Creator
Our bodies are living temples and testaments to his plan
Once we become like our Creator
And start loving ourselves like He loves us
We begin to realize that by killing another
We are killing our self
Love is the eternal answer to the eternal question
Loving yourself permeates love for other human beings
In the angelic faces of our children, I see God
We must show them
Peace begins within.
Rob Batista—Copyright 2009