The human family is wildly, delightfully diverse. We come in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Our religions and belief systems, our cultures and traditions, our languages and lifestyles, even our geographical challenges and adaptations, are rich in their differences.
For whatever reason, these differences have become reasons to fight with each other, or to claim superiority and power. We divide ourselves along the lines of our differences, seeing ourselves as the center of all that is good and right, and everyone else as “the other.” At their deepest, these divisions are expressed as racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other rigid walls of hatred, discrimination, and fear. If we’re truly going to live at peace in our local and global communities, we need to get over these arbitrary divisions, and learn to live together in harmony.
From The Peace Book by Louise Diamond, ‘Chapter Six: Peace and Co-Existence; Honoring Our Diversity,’ p. 71.
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Think of a category of people who you experience as “the other.” Make a list of all the ways they are different from you. Now make another list of all the ways they are the same as or similar to you. What do you notice?
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too.