An angelic chorus is recorded in the Gospel of Luke with having greeted the birth of Jesus singing “glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men.” I sometimes wonder if they were singing of another earth. This earth has known very little of peace. I don’t have an answer for it. No one else does either. So I am just going to try live peace on my little bit of earth for one day. Twenty-four hours. What follows will be my diplomatic strategy.
–Be Quiet. Much of the strife in my world comes from my propensity to over-appreciate the right of others to hear my obviously well-informed opinions. Though they may suffer some, others will not die from not knowing what’s on my mind for a day.
–Be still. Tranquility is as tranquility does. Modern life is a beehive and we are the busy bees (ironic, since our activities seem to be killing off the actual busy bees that pollinate our crops and share their honey). Being still tends to create a sense of peace naturally. My world calms when I do.
–Read something online I disagree with and not comment. To anyone. Especially in the “Comments” section (otherwise known as “The Pit of Despair”). Just think about what was written. Let it breathe a bit. And then go on with my life. I might just give myself a chance to grow.
–Do something nice…for someone I don’t especially like. It takes nothing to be nice to those who are nice to us. But awe and wonder arise when we give rise to our better selves and just reach out to someone we consider less-than pleasant. Sometimes we are surprised to find they aren’t as unpleasant as we thought–sometimes our impressions are confirmed. But whatever, for one day I will act peacefully toward someone it doesn’t seem natural to do so. If there is ever to be that elusive peace on earth, it will be because enough people get tired of being enemies and decide to act otherwise.
–Smile and greet everyone I meet today. Some people will return it. Some people will ignore it. Some people will think I have a screw loose and I will see it in their eyes. But I might just cross paths with someone today who desperately needs just one person to acknowledge them in human warmth. I might make their day. Who knows? A made day could change their life.
–Avoid all 24-hour news for at least twenty-four hours. It will be more effective if I can do so for twenty-four weeks, months or years. I’m guessing my anger level will drop by a minimum of 24%. Minimum.
That’s it. I have to keep it simple. Merry Christmas everyone. May there be peace and goodwill in your little corner of earth.