December is full of holidays and goodwill and wishes for world peace. This isn’t the first December of these wishes, so why haven’t we achieved world peace? I can hear some of you now, it’s the other guy’s fault. And the answer is, no. It’s not. To make your December wish come true, you have to be willing to do the work.
The Dream of Peace
Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.—John Lennon
Obviously, no matter how many people dream it, dreaming doesn’t make it happen. What will? A change in the way you interact with the world. For those of you are saying hell yes, stop for a moment. Are you so vehement in your protests that you are part of the problem? For those of you who think, you need not change? Seriously? If you don’t change with the times or because of newly acquired knowledge, then you are part of the problem, too.
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.—Martin Luther King
We all need to stop and consider our most basic beliefs. If they denigrate someone else for ANY reason, then you are part of the problem.
Respect is the First Step
We all need to find a way to communicate with mutual respect. Even when the other person may not deserve respect, treat them, speak to and about them with respect anyway.
About now, someone will say we can’t tolerate abusive behaviors or intolerance. That’s true. But you can hate the behavior without hating on the person. You can protest abuse and intolerance peacefully. Think Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, and Leymah Gbowee.
Call out the behavior but don’t resort to name calling. Will calling out the behavior change the person with the bad behavior? No. Sadly, it won’t. But if you don’t want to have bad behavior be accepted as normal, you have to be willing to expose bad behavior without denigrating the person.
How to Expose Bad Behavior
When any person of authority uses denigrating terms referring to a person of lesser authority and especially a child, that is bullying. When that person is the President of the United States that is behavior unbecoming a President. And when adults ignore or defend that behavior they are people who have forgotten decent behavior. See what how that works? No insulting names; just naming bad behavior.
Let’s Work Toward Peace
Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.—Menachem Begin
We can make your December wish come true. We can make world peace come true. It starts with each of us. So the next time you’re tempted to fall back into revenge or tit-for-tat behaviors stop–and don’t just wish for peace. Make it happen.