This I Believe

Timothy - Pittsboro, North Carolina
Entered on August 9, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in the power of peace; the peace in a lullaby, in a hug, a gentle kiss, an encouraging pat on the back. I also believe in the power of peace to allow us to dismantle our nuclear weapons, our defense systems and our armed forces; the peace that would finally unleash the full creativity of humankind to become what we can now only dream. It is the dream we all would like to be unafraid to dream. Because we don’t think it possible, the seed of that dream lies dormant within us–waiting.

I believe the seed waits for us to make the choice. The choice for peace will be the rain that tells the seed, “it’s safe to come up now.” We can have what we choose.

We have colleges for war. We have strategies for waging war. We have huge industrial capacity to forge the weapons of war, and, we have those who will fight on our behalf. The result for all this effort is war. We’ve bought the lie that war is inevitable.

I believe that if we choose peace, study it in our schools, teach our children its rudiments, practice it without reservation, and divert our wealth from killing to building peace, that’s when the human adventure will really begin. Have we got the guts for this adventure?

The journey to peace will be hard. It will take brilliant strategy, unity of purpose, and dogged persistence. Peace demands cooperation over domination. Peace requires sharing. Peace also insists on forgiveness. Are we ready? Dare we not be?

Perhaps you think me naive. As a 17 year old boy in 1969 I read the sermon on the mount by Jesus of Nazareth. Since that day I’ve wrestled with the concepts of turning the other cheek, doing good to those who hate you and loving one’s enemies. I’ve been both a religious fanatic and doubting Thomas; but through it all I’ve learned this simple lesson: people treated kindly, respected as equals almost always behave in kind. I like those odds.

This is our destiny. It’s why we’re here; to exorcize out our demons and realize what it is to be truly human, truly at peace.

The seed of the dream awaits the rain our choice. I believe the swollen moisture of the human yearning for peace is ready to pour itself upon us at our choosing.