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It is not only possible to live in peace, it is necessary

A proactive antiwar mindset just needs to start in each indivisible home. Our children need to understand the pursuit of peace, from the playground to the edges of the world, as being among the highest values.

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Fr. Nick Mezacapa
Fr. Nick Mezacapa.

The great Mahatma Ghandi once said, “It is possible to live in peace.”  

What do you think? Humankind hasn’t been able to do that so far. With all of the conquering conquests, conflicting ideologies, and autocratic regimes that have slammed the corners of the Earth with battles and bombs, the possibility of peace seems remote.

Beginning with the current brutal imposition in Ukraine, and including other places at war today — South Sudan, Peru, Darfur, Angola and others — the prospect of more war continues.

Looking back through history, world wars, civil wars, conquering hoards, and viscous mad-despots, reveal what might be a flaw in our brains that puts us onto the list of "endangered species." Our ability to compromise and to reach a "win-win" conclusion for our disagreements and misunderstandings, continues to be "unexercised."

From the simplest places, to the world's inner-circles where political greed is energized, the insatiable thirst for domination and one-sidedness continues to breed.

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The lessons taught by war are too easily forgotten.

War was not a sad inevitability for Ghandi.  I want to agree that it is "possible to live in peace," but establishing a peaceful foundation is not easy. It would seem to me that it starts with coming together around the table and setting-up a system of trust and the willingness to listen. (Must have been the idea for the United Nations.)

Maybe the setting of that "trust table" starts in the homes of the world, in the lessons of communication and empathy taught to the children by the adults. However, the  myriad systems and structures in the world, cause that to seem insurmountable.

A proactive anti-war mindset just needs to start in each indivisible home.  If the parent says, “when you get punched, punch back,” it more than likely sets-up a vengeful mindset. Not good. Our children need to understand the pursuit of peace, from the playground to the edges of the world, as being among the highest values.

Are we all teaching that today, and modeling communication and empathy?  Let’s work at this, together.

Nick Mezacapa is a retired Episcopal priest. He lives in Rochester.

"From the Pulpit" features reflections from area religious leaders. To contribute, email us at life@postbulletin.com with "From the Pulpit" in the subject line.

Related Topics: FAITHFROM THE PULPIT
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