The song “Let There be Peace on Earth” has become a global anthem for peace and one of my favorites. Despite the violence and injustice that surrounds us, we continue to sing this song, and in the singing, affirm our optimism, hope, and continued belief that peace is possible. And most importantly, the song acknowledges our own responsibility for bringing this possibility to light. A few years back, Robert Fulghum wrote a popular book titled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. So in that spirit, I propose that all we really need to know about letting peace begin with us can be found by really reading the holiday cards that are arriving at our homes and businesses – and then make these the goals you strive for and the path you demand of our representatives.
- Take time to listen.
- Make time for family and friends.
- Share what you have with those less fortunate.
- Enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
- Seek harmony, understanding and patience over anger and conflict.
- Forgiveness and redemption are possible.
- Practice kindness and goodwill toward ALL.
- Look for the best in ourselves and each other.
- Celebrate and protect the wonder of the natural world.
- Cherish our children and care for all creatures great and small.
- Be a star – a light in the darkness.
- Figure out the gifts you have to give to the world and do so generously.
- Speak up and say the things that need to be said.
- Look forward with hope.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or some other holiday this season, I wish you opportunities to let peace begin with you. And on behalf of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center Coordinating Council and myself, I thank you for continuing to sing this hopeful song, and for all the ways you support us. We hope we continue to earn your support.
In hope and peace, Betsy