I joined the peace bloggers in 2012. And every November 4th since then, I have blogged for — and about — peace.
This year’s theme is “Peace in the time of quarantine.” Although I do not believe in the possibility of world peace (because war and other international conflicts are never our personal choice but are fostered by others or foisted on us by circumstances), I do believe in personal peace, in finding peace within ourselves no matter what happens to provoke us into chaos.
We tend to think of peace as a passive thing. An absence of strife. Effortless calm. Yet, when we talk of unrest and chaos (or whatever is the opposite of peace), it’s always about action, doing something, committing something — committing acts of terrorism, declaring war, fighting, rioting, tormenting, bullying.
Maybe peace is also about action, about committing acts of peace. We as individuals can’t arrange truces between warring factions, whether global or familial. We can’t bring peace to chaotic countries — ours or anyone else’s. Often the best we can do is bring peace to our own lives, arrange a truce between our inner and outer selves, find a way to ease our anger, create art (because people who are involved in creating a piece of art are also creating a space for peace), meditate or take a walk. Commit acts of peace.
It’s odd to think that this time of quarantine, which because of enforced isolation and orders to stay at home should have been a time of peace, has been one of the most violent times in recent years. But the country at large, especially the bigger cities have been ablaze with chaos.
Of course, being forced into isolation — any sort of force, actually — can’t bring about peace. It’s no wonder people were so ready to erupt into violence — isn’t that some sort of law of physics? Equal and opposite reaction and all that? On a smaller scale, victims of abuse were forced into situations where they had no escape, so for these people, instead of bringing about peace, the quarantine brought about more horror.
Apparently, I have nothing positive to say about peace in the time of quarantine, even though my own life during this time has been quiet and contemplative. I’ve managed to stay away from strife — except for occasionally getting riled up by all the lies and idiocies going on. I’ve even managed to commit acts of peace — if only by taking solitary walks, blogging, reading, enjoying a rare visit with friends.
If you don’t have a blog or think this a hopeless cause, you can still participate in this event by committing an act of peace. I hope you will.
Please check out my new book!
“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”