This I Believe

David Lee - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love, peace

Understanding what peace is not, is what I believe peace is all about.

Peace is not an indulgence—

Not a political rally?

Not a protest?

Not a verbal condemnation of a group, person, or their actions?

Peace is not a fest; a fair; a vigil;

Neither a demonstration nor a flag-burning, nation/leader-bashing event.

Not an indulgence?

Not the involvement of kids at political rallies?

Not teaching children whom to play, or which races, religious or social groups to shun?

It does not begin with sentences like “It is because of [the/your] government” or the fault of fill-in-the-blank?

Peace is not, “It is because of American foreign policy?

Peace is not nationalism, elitism, ethnocentricity—”they don’t belong here” mentality?

Not looking for cause(s) or grievance on which to base hatred of another group, because when such cause(s) is/are addressed eventually, another must of necessity re-emerge—to fight, or live for, however diabolical?

Not a word, proclaimed—and the deed realized?

Peace is not allowing millions of Africans to die of natural yet avoidable causes; HIV/AIDS, while others’ plight are deemed higher?

Peace is not an existential issue though on the flipside, it is…an existential issue, depending on which extremes one wants to lean

Peace is not a trip to a synagogue or shrine?

Not a Sunday self-gratifying attendance of a church service?

Not a Friday mosque prayer followed by violence and “Death to America” chants?

Not “Wipe [fill-in-the-blank ‘country, group, or people’] off the face of the earth, and voil–!

Peace is not self-indulgence—

Peace is not playing it safe?

Wearing a risk-averse mantle; a stay in my shell attitude?

Peace is not allowing one’s values and moral code to be bought with money, whether via social services provided or propaganda, for intellect— when all else fails— is humankind’s last hope. Yet even that hope becomes blurred when “loyalty” is on market. And so,

Peace has nothing to do with religion and proclamations of its peace when the individual’s morality and loyalty is already paid for?

Peace is certainly NOT assured through some vague security model called “noninterference”?

Not robbing your neighbor, bedfellow, family, or friend of “your part” in their happiness as if ‘boomerang’ is merely fictional?

Not an ignorance and self-centredness, modus vivendi?

Peace is not starting a relationship you know you’re not 100% committed to seeing through positively?

Peace is not asking someone to love “only” you when your posture is a “wait for a better person out there” posture?

Peace is not crying foul, be it “Help! International Community, we’re dying”, or “Cheat!”, when you have been a sneaky snake yourself?

Peace is not crying foul just because as a consequence of your inconsideration to your family, friend, or lover, harmony is deficient?

Peace is not a get away to Hawaii, Venice, Tahiti, Bali…

Not even a poor man’s get away to New Jersey or the ravine at home.

Peace does not exist somewhere in between the Middle, the East, the West, and the perpetual hyperbole in invocations of “the International Community”, “terror”, “massacre”, “terrorist” “martyrdom”, or the hyphen that separate the Middle from the East! After all, there’s a wider Asia, wider Africa, Europa, and the Americas, not to mention Oceania, where in Australia to name one example, natives are dying and immigrants are suffering unprecedented racism, says BBC?

No. That is not peace…

Peace is something we give first. And keep giving and sharing anyway, because it is almost insatiably fragile by its very nature. That is why people like me, cannot ever divorce a discourse and demonstration of peace, from Love itself.