By now, you’d think the whole world would be asking the same question Dorothy Day asked over 50 years ago, “Why not prepare for peace?” Why not try better ways to respond than fear, hatred, and violence? None of that can make peace on earth. It’s impossible. There are no seeds of peace in fear, hatred, or violence from which it can be born. And while we may not be able to change the world, we can change the way we think and live. We can all make peace on earth. Of all the ways, here are three:
Compassion is what love looks like when we respond soulfully to the needs of others; our hearts go out to them. We experience their suffering as our own. Our lives are positive, loving, and creative, or negative, selfish, and destructive. It’s a good time of year to think about how we create either heaven or hell on earth by the way we think and live, because in order to make peace on earth, we need to be compassionate
Treat Everyone Fairly
The kinds of justice the whole world hungers and thirsts for is equality and that kind of justice only we can make. We are the ones who create inequality, and only we can correct that soulful violence. Nothing breeds hatred and violence more than inequality, because nothing makes us angrier than being treated unfairly. If you want to make peace on earth, hunger and thirst for equality. Treat everyone fairly.
Be Kind to Animals
Violence of any kind toward any living creature makes peace on earth impossible. How we treat the least among us has everything to do with making peace on earth, and that includes animals. So be kind to animals. Treat them as the divine creatures they are; and while you’re at it, revere trees, flowers, and plants as well.
We can never make peace on earth until we abandon completely even the most ordinary forms of violence as a way of life. According to Christmas myth, animals talk on Christmas Eve. Would that we could hear what they have to say about how we treat them. I suspect they too believe being kind and compassionate is the only way to make peace on earth.
Until next week, think about this: “We have just enough religion to hate, but not enough to love one another.” --Jonathan Swift
Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She's also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at KarolJackowski.com.