beautiful-16736The topic of peace is perennially important. It has been the dearest wish of social activists, great thinkers, spiritual leaders, and the general citizenry since the dawn of civilization. While there are certainly people who do not wish for peace, they are thankfully in the minority. Those warlike and raucous people who stir up trouble are globally and decisively dealt with, and peace is allowed to reign supreme once again.

If the cause of peace has such a magnificent and universal appeal, why then does it seem so hard to come by? Why do we still have crime, poverty, war, and all the terrible fall-out that these conditions bring? What can we as believers in peace do to improve the situation?

First, we have to remove the illusion of separation between ourselves. We as people are experts at classifying, listing, and registering ourselves and others into easily digestible categories. Race, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, nationality, ad infinitum. Even within these artificial barriers, we seem to have a compulsive need to divide even further. We may think, “Yes, they are Christian. But, are they the right kind of Christian?”

These separations do not serve us. They do not serve God. If they serve anything or anyone, then it is a force for evil. We each, individually, have to make a conscious choice to stop seeing people as being different from ourselves. Race is an illusion. We are all the same species. Culture is relative, none is better than another. Sexual orientation is none of our business. Nationality is an artificial construct. We did not choose the borders, or where we were born. It is a small planet, dividing it further is just silly.

Next, we have to completely forget the idea that our way is the only way. That intractable attitude turns believer against believer, family against family, nation against nation. We all have something to learn from others. Provided that their personal religion, belief system, or philosophy, is based on love and helps you grow closer to God, see what you can learn from them.

While the broader geopolitical issues of government and territory are largely beyond us as citizens, we can do our part locally. We can remember to think instead of reacting. We can accept others that are different from ourselves. We can elect responsible politicians who strive to improve society, instead of inciting it to violence for their own purposes. It is our responsibility to teach our children to love, not divide.

In times of trouble, we must become closer to one another, and become closer to God. Together we can reclaim our title as the peace loving majority. God has his Angels of Peace surrounding us as we speak, inspiring us to change our ways and embrace the path of love. One moment at a time.