When Will We Ever Learn?
There is a song by Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson entitled, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.” In the song there is a lyric for today, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?” Day by day it is becoming increasingly apparent that we have not learned. You would think after 1000’s of years, we would have learned that war is not the answer to conflict between tribes and countries, but we have not. It is a hard lesson to learn when the mind is closed and the ego is bruised.
Recently, a talking head on cable television asked when we would rather fight North Korea: now or when North Korea has fully developed its nuclear arsenal? Can you see the problem with this question? There is no option for peace or creativity. Fight now or fight later. When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn that even when a victory is won in war, the seeds of another war are sown? It has happened time and time again. When will we ever learn that even if a foe backs down, the conflict has not ended? The current posturing with North Korea and statements by our president and some members of Congress are evidence of a failed strategy. They will not be the first to make this losing strategy work. Thousands of years of repeated history and experience are apparently not enough to illumine us.
What To Do
What do we do when we see the same destructive pattern repeating again? The work we do as spiritual seekers is always first and foremost on our selves. This is the beginning.
Fear contributes to the problem, so if we are fearful, we must find our peace. If we are angry, we are part of the problem. Fear and anger are in hand-holding distance from one another. Together they form two fists that strike out, fists that fail to open to grasp a hand and form the peace.
What to do? Take a breath. The body tells us to breathe when we are fearful or angry because we gasp for air. Fear and anger shorten the breath, and we are less able to “go the distance” required to discover the path of peace. Fear calls for us to either fight or flee. Anger is only the beginning. Anger prolonged is resentment, and resentment can become hatred, and when we hate another we think he is insane, a devil or an instrument of evil. Anger and fear blind us, and there is no attempt to determine what it is that the other person or nation really needs. What does all the posturing say?
What if we could ask, “What do you really want, what do you really need?”
So the work begins at home; the work begins now. Peace be still, my soul. As a being of Spirit I have nothing to fear. Nothing of the earth can touch me. I breathe no air, I drink no water. I am pure Spirit. Peace, be still my soul. Join me in the meditative, prayerful thoughts above…
Peace Is Here
And as the peace dawns in us and we no longer have to control our breathing because the breath is naturally long and deep, we remember that our minds are not our own—our minds are avenues for God’s expression of ideas and insights never enacted before: we need ideas now, ideas that compel us to action making us instruments of God’s peace.
The day will come when we no longer ask the question, “when will they ever learn,” for the lesson is learned, and the long trail of tears and woe and war and death will be replaced with another question, “Will the peace we discovered ever end?”
And the answer will come, “Never, because we found we did not need to make the peace, we only had to discover that it was ever with us.”
Pass this blog along to as many national, state and local leaders and friends as you can.