We Stand For Peace

We Stand For Peace

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind;
the others have left and gone to Olympus.
Trust, a mighty god has gone, Restraint has gone from men,
and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth….

— Theognis of Megara, fl. 6th Century BCE

Hope has not yet left the world of men and women.  We too, here at Around the Grid, stand for peace.

I come of a generation from decades ago, many of whose children fought in a war that they had no knowledge or understanding of, while others protested in the streets back home to get us out of that war.  Jem’s generation was the next after, the one which inherited the fruits of our idealism.  We dreamed of a world where the artificial borders and barriers dividing rich from poor, powerful from weak, sex from sex and gender from gender, ethnicity from ethnicity and country from country, all would be gone with a wave of the hand.  Sadly, far too many in positions of power chose not to listen to the messages we offered; others co-opted the work and turned it toward their own ends.  I recall a news report back in the Eighties talking about how the generation which didn’t trust anyone over 30, now didn’t trust anyone under 50 — $50,000 a year, plus benefits.

Truthfully, we were too idealistic, those of us who did the work and those of us who merely supported.  Change on the scale we advocated does not happen overnight, or even within just two generations.  And the people doing the work can never, never, never set it aside, unless they have found another two people to pick up the work and carry it on after them.  It can never end until true justice and peace and freedom is achieved for all.  This is why the message of Barack Obama, his theme of Hope and Change, rang so deeply in the minds of so many in 2008, how he became the first black president of the United States — not because he was African American, but because he dared to dream of the greatness we sought back in the Sixties, alongside of Martin and Bobby and all the others who shared the dream.

That hope, reinspired in us by the words of Barack Obama, was quashed for a time by politics.  And since then, other matters have risen to further threaten the dream — the dragging leftovers of another war of politics, this time in Iraq, that has spiraled across the region and the world; repeated economic shocks that have made it harder for those stricken by poverty to find a way out; the continued barriers of race relations in the form of frequent shootings of black men by white police officers, and revenge shootings in return.  (All of the last exploding, ironically for me, as I was driving to attend the funeral of an African American co-worker at a “traditionally black” CME church.  I and my two white comrades from our store were the only grains of salt in the crowd, and we made to feel marvelously welcome by all there.)  These and more besides interfere with the dream of Isaiah that the lion shall live together with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the goat kid.

And yet none of us dare let go of the dream of peace — not just the peace of God, however each of us sees God, which passes all human understanding; but the more immediate peace between brother and sister.  If we let go of the dream, we lose Hope, and the final occupant of the Jar of Pandora will have escaped to fly away and torment humankind — by its absence.  So we, too, stand for peace.

So say we all —

signature 3 Jem's signature

Conan's signature

Addendum:  I just discovered that you’re supposed to tag three others to take the challenge on.  I nominate my best blogging friends for this, if they haven’t tackled it yet:  Cajsa Lilliehook, Gidge Uriza and Harper Beresford.  Have at, ladies!

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