“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve started my reflection on this quote three times now, and three times I’ve erased it. They all sounded so…overbearing. Cumbersome. Like some stuffy academic pontificating on the troubles of society these days.
I hate those pieces.
So I’m abandoning the idea of easing into this with some smooth introductory paragraph and will simply speak my mind. That’s usually easier anyway.
The violence around us is crushingly sad. All of it. The innocent, the guilty, all of us in between. Black, white, every color under the sun. Straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, or however God made you. There isn’t a single person in any of these categories that deserves to be shot in the streets, beaten senseless, left starving and homeless, or considered less than. Not a single one.
We have a presidential candidate on tape in 2005 telling another man to “Grab [women] by the p***y. You can do anything.”, then discounting it in 2016 as “locker-room banter” in a private conversation (The Washington Post). Twitter blew up with a #notokay hashtag – millions of women posting their first assault to Kelly Oxford. Their first assault. Every age, every situation imaginable…women who learned quickly that violence is part of a girl’s world.
Still confused? Jesus said love one another as I have loved you. Not into the Jesus thing? Try the Golden Rule or law of reciprocity: treat others as you wish to be treated. Evidence of this principle has been found in Ancient Egypt, China, India, Greece, Persia, and Rome. It’s also proven an essential basis for the modern concept of human rights and economics.
Too many of us seem to have forgotten that it’s our understanding of one another which will ultimately bring about peace.