Can’t we all just get along? While this question seems timely in light of recent events, it unfortunately has become relevant in any month or season.
We spend a lot of energy and money in conflict – person to person conflict, organization to organization conflict and society to society conflict. Must there always be fighting?
The civilized world is under attack by a fringe group of extremists whose objective is to instill fear, destroy our way of life, take away our freedoms and spread war (not peace) on earth. For many of our children, wartime is sadly the norm and peace is the exception. Are we becoming desensitized to killing in all of its forms? How do we explain this to our children?
Freedom is the bedrock of democratic societies. Unfortunately there are totalitarian states and extreme ideological movements whose mission it is to destroy freedom of speech, control religion, restrict the press and eliminate free assembly. If they could control people’s thoughts, they would.
We are so accustomed to freedom we can’t imagine that our freedoms are not universal. We live in a country that allows us to practice the religion we choose (or practice no religion). We rely on the press to keep us informed and our public leaders honest. We can think freely, go where we want and voice our opinions without fear from people who do not like or agree with our opinions. We have the right to peacefully assembly for whatever reason we want. These rights are the “oxygen” of our democracy.
So as we send out our holiday cards, wrap presents and sing “Joy to the World”, pause for a moment and reflect on the hope for peace and goodwill. Maybe that moment will stretch into a day, and that day into a month and … well, you know what I’m saying. If we can’t believe in peace on earth, there won’t be. If we can’t imagine goodwill to all, there can’t be. We can’t sit in resignation that fear is our new normal. We won’t solve these problems overnight. But maybe our collective humanity will guide us to a better condition and restore our faith in the possibility of “peace on earth”.
Happy Holidays from Glenn Mangurian