I began accepting a painful truth in the last year – something I’d known in my head, but had been unable to allow myself to feel in my soul and body: our human family engages in war.
For me to point my finger at another – whether it is a person, a country, or our President, and to say, “You are the one. You are the one who makes war, not me,” is to deny my humanity.
This is how I contribute to war: when I ask others to be responsible for making a place for it. It’s easy for me to claim a place for peace; it makes me feel like a “good” person.
A teacher of mine once said: “The most harm comes from those who try to do good.” What an odd statement. Then I remember: so many wars in the name of God, Christianity trying to “save” Indigenous people, bringing democracy to other countries.
I am a woman: a granddaughter, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, wife, and mother. Throughout history, our fathers, grandfathers, sons, grandsons, husbands, brothers, uncles, and nephews have taken more human life than women.
My inheritance has included a protection from having to kill another human being. Babies can grow inside of my body. My connection with life is as a woman, not as a man. So I make a home inside of my soul for men and ways they have needed to disconnect from their hearts, their bodies, their families…to cope with war.
I pray for gratitude to guide me, and I ask myself: how can I contribute to peace, for our children, our descendants — the future ancestors? I honor veterans of wars from all lands, and I make a place inside of my soul for war. Our veterans, so many of whom live are homeless, invite us to look at what we do not want to see:
War needs a home.
So I do my best to give make a place for war in my soul, to give it a home, without judgment, without moralizing….so that we may have peace.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.