Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

Peace on Earth

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We all long for a world of complete peace on earth where there is no more war, division, suffering and death; a world in which all people can realize their god given potential, live as free human beings, enjoy fresh air and clean water, assume their full human rights as persons of God and citizens of the universe. This desire is for every living  person who lives on this good earth to have peace of mind and peace on earth with other human beings. It is rooted in the ancient traditions of compassion, common ground, mutual respect and a love of community. It is a peace that celebrates the differences of every human being; affirms the power of a creative, imaginative God to have fashioned us all similarly, uniquely and differently but all as part of one human family. It is a perspective that values those differences we have in common and appreciates our uniqueness  as human beings. We long for this kind of world; a world of peace and hope, justice and prosperity.

And so in our longing for this world, many of us are saturated and cloyed by the vitriolic rhetoric of our society; the language of division, violence, devaluation and depreciation of human beings who are different or other or who share a different life view, world view or other view. We are all tired of the manner in which human beings divide and destroy one another; dismiss and denigrate one another in the name of politics, race, religion, culture, economics class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or some other category. The philosopher Plato said misanthropos influences mislogos and mislogos inspires the spread of misanthropos. The hatred of human kind is fanned by the language of denigration and devaluation of human beings and the reverse. What we need is the construction of systems of language that will reinforce the positive life enhancing values and positive change that we seek in the world; a lexicon of hope, respect and mutuality that will inspire in the words of the poet Tennyson the recognition that “I am a part of all that I have met.

As we move through this holiday season may each of us become instruments of hope and peace for a more just world. Let that justice and peace begin with each of us in our hearts, homes,  communities, nations and world. May we forge common ground with people that we do not fully understand in order to get to know them better. May we build bridges with those whom we have called our adversaries. May we understand that pain inflicted upon us can well be pain that we inflict upon others. May we in the midst of our conflicts and differences and pain find a way to see ourselves in others and others in ourselves.

Let us therefore create the kind of world in which every living soul can have peace of mind and a living peace that will ensure the creation of safe space and a true and lasting peace that creates harmony out of dissonance and order out of chaos. May each of us find that center of ourselves and the center of the universe that draws us nearer to one another and affirms the goodness that comes from a present and common well being that can be found in a beloved community.

Let there be peace on earth and let that peace reign in each of us forever and ever.



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