Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peace Contributions

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much a person can contribute toward world harmony if there is not total peace in his/her heart. Can angry anti-war protesters contribute toward ceasefire? Can a strong leader in peacemaking who has a violent temper really make a difference? Can someone who harbors a bitter quest for revenge call for justice?

These questions are sharpened by a comment from my brother. “Resisting a thing only causes it to push back with equal strength…” or something like that. It’s a logical statement first summed up by Newton (his 3rd law of motion). The chair only pushes up on us when we push down on it. There is equilibrium in the pushing. Or at least until I am more weight than the chair can bear and then it collapses.

If I am calling for justice, peace and shalom, does it matter how much integrity I have in my life in these areas? Do I sit down and wait for true inner balance and harmony with these values before I act, speak or give witness? Perhaps it is the direction I am headed and not necessarily the progress on the path that is key here. Perhaps it is the quest of balance, inner and outer peace, which actually brings about true peace. If this is so, essential to the pursuit are humility and courage.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I think natural models fall apart when we look at nonviolent protest. In the natural world there is the equilibrium of forces all around us. Darwin tends to lead us toward the thought that those who do not resist with equal force will not be the survivors. Jesus seems to point us away from the natural in our peacemaking efforts to a more counterintuitive model where those who do not push back realize a force beyond themselves or their organization that works on the opposing force and begins to dismantle it. I observe this dismantling being at the heart level. For each of us our contribution for true peace must lie in our attention to our hearts.

    With that I will go and reflectively weed my "garden."