The headlines skyrocketing around the world at the moment are anything but inspiring. They can, in a sense, be condensed to the observation that a few (possibly a single person) ill-intended individuals created an insulting video that has allowed fanatical Islamic factions to goad generally peaceful segments of the Muslim populace into extreme acts of violence. Whereas just a year ago––actually, just a week ago as well–– many in the Middle East were calling on the United States to support rebel fighters throughout the region, now U.S. embassies are under siege from one end of the Arab world to another.
It’s a road down which too many have stumbled bleeding, screaming, and dying before. Nothing of sustained progressive value has ever been found at its end. The only truly useful final resolve may very well be that of the individual who in the face of blind violence and mindless opprobrium insists on anchoring her- or himself in responses committed to peace.
The quote above is from the well-known poem Angel of Healing: for the Living, the Dying, and the Praying. It offers one proposed form of peaceful response. The following quote is from The American Poet Who Went Home Again and offers, as we sometimes like to say, food for thought:
“Peace is not so much a political mandate as it is a shared state of consciousness that remains elevated and intact only to the degree that those who value it volunteer their existence as living examples of the same... Peace ends with the unraveling of individual hope and the emergence of the will to worship violence as a healer of private and social dis-ease. “
Contemporary award-winning author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.