Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When I was the chair of a peace & justice group, I took on the job of cleaning out the group's storage cabinet. Underneath piles of out-dated booklets, I found a PLETHORA (that word feels so good rolling off my tongue) of peace bumper stickers just waiting to be adopted by someone (me).
So now, on my day-timer, there lives a beautiful "Create Peace" sticker.
I often hear that the Inuit have a gazillion words for "snow". The Greeks have many words for "love". I think that we need a lot more words for "peace". Kinda like all the many types of Bubba Gump Shrimp in Forrest Gump ("You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried...")
We could have words for:
- the kind of peace that comes with an absence of war
- the kind of peace that comes with clear and kind thoughts
- the kind of peace that comes with a beautiful sunset
- the kind of peace that comes with negotiation
- the kind of peace that comes from beating others into submission, a.k.a. war (I don't find that to be peaceful at all, but some people would need a word for that)
- the kind of peace that comes when everyone just leaves you alone
- the kind of peace that people feel on Christmas eve - as long as they live in a country without war (see #1)
- the kind of peace that comes with some religious experiences
- the kind of peace that comes when the war stops right here, right now, with me
I'm not sure that there really is more than one kind of true peace, but using different words to communicate what we really mean might make the world, um, more peaceful.