Dona Nobis Pacem – 2016

Dona Nobis Pacem
(Grant Us Peace)

dona-nobis-pacem-2016

On 4 November (today, on NZ time) bloggers from around the world come together with one purpose. That is peace. I’ve missed the past couple of years, but as peace is something I feel strongly about, this year I’m back blogging for peace.

But before you think I’m not writing about topics you usually find on this blog, please keep reading. Peace affects us all. We all have a voice, and we can all choose to use it to call for peace in all types of situations.

Peace. What is it? What do you think of when you think of peace? It’s one of those words for which we know what it means but we can’t always put words to it. I went searching for a definition that fits what I am talking about. How’s this?

Peace is a stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there’s no fighting or war, everything coexisting in perfect harmony and freedom.
– Vocabulary.com

I think we tend to think of fighting and war as the opposites of peace. Others suggest hate. Today I want to suggest another opposite of peace.

Indifference

If we do nothing, we will not achieve peace whether it applies to world politics or peace with a neighbour or even a partner or child. If we leave it to others, or we just don’t care enough, then we will never have peace. To achieve peace, we have to do something.

When I was twelve I learnt this song at school.

I know you know it, but listen to it again anyway. Allow yourself those few minutes to hear it again.

It was the late 1970’s and to a twelve-year-old, it was a kind of cool song. I loved singing all the verses (including those added later) but I really had no understanding of what it was all about. I’m sure our teacher told us it was something to do with war, but I loved singing and would probably have sung anything. It was up there with singing ‘Hotel California‘ and the songs from the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar‘.

But now, Pete Seeger’s song leaves me feeling sad, and a little bit empty. I can stay like that and think it was sad what happened with World War 2 and the Vietnam War. But the song still applies to our world today. Rather than simply being about those two wars, the song is more about the futility of all war. How history is a cycle that we can’t break. That’s what is sad, and what remains if we do nothing.

Right now there is so much going on in our world that is about fighting and war, indifference and what I will call a lack of security. Who knows what is ahead? I read just yesterday that World War 3 is coming. I didn’t need to read it because I know. I know that unless we do something then we can have no security for the future. We have no certainty of peace.

Above, are those great words of Martin Luther King Jr. that I repeat here because they are exactly what I want to shout out to anyone who will listen,  when such turmoil, hatred and uncertainty are a part of our world:

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

I don’t have to accept what right now seems almost inevitable. Actually, I don’t think World War 3, as one example of the hatred and fighting has to be inevitable.

If I want peace, I need to speak up and say so. I need to do something. Indifference will only achieve fighting and war and I am completely opposed to those.

It is not just for my future that I have to do something, but for the futures of the so many people in our world who aren’t in a position to speak up. When I speak up for peace, I am speaking up for the people of Syria, for the refugees, for those who have no voice for a thousand different reasons.

It’s easy to do something. Sign a petition or join a protest rally. Give a simple bunch of flowers to the neighbour you have been arguing with. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and often the smaller offerings are more meaningful. Just do something… towards achieving peace.

There are some simple words that all the bloggers posting for peace today know:

if words are powerful…. then this matters

Words are powerful and so this does matter. Do something. Don’t be guilty of indifference. Speak up for peace.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
 – Edmund Burke

Thanks for reading

 

Cate

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18 thoughts on “Dona Nobis Pacem – 2016

    1. Thank you so much Jamie. And for sharing your post. I love those polar bears but what I loved the most was those words “Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm”. Those are very much words to hold onto right now. Thanks.

  1. Beautiful, Cate. I’m crying, such is the beauty of your words. Once again you’ve proven what an inspiration you are, and what a remarkable human you are. I (like you, I’d wager) am so often discouraged and disgusted and angry and heartbroken with what is happening in our world, but I don’t lose hope because I know there are people like you out there that help tip the scales back toward sanity and, well, peace. People like you and Ruby and Claudia. I feel so privileged to call each of you friends.

    Thank you for writing this, Cate. (Still crying.)

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Sid. I think all we can do is hold onto the good people in our lives, knowing that they are what is good about our world. Maybe that goes some small way to ridding our world of what is bad. That I can be one of your good people is indeed a great honour. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment Gemma. I’m sure that right now indifference can make too much of a difference (if I can say that). That’s one of the great things about Blog4Peace. It shakes people up who see the peace globes. The people who might have otherwise remained indifferent.

  2. I did take the time to listen to the song again. Thanks for added it to your post. It does still apply and always will, I think. The little way I try to make the world a better place is buying a college student something to eat from time to time and helping them outnwith coffee during mid-terms and finals.

    1. I’m glad you listened to it again. It’s one of those songs we know so well that it’s easy to forget the message. I love your helping students in that way. I’m sure it does make the world a better place. 🙂

  3. Yes, we have heard enough from those at the top – time for the common folk to raise their voices and insist upon a better world. Benjamin Creme said “there can be no peace without social justice”. A good place to begin.

  4. Cate – Your peace post has been talked about and celebrated by lots of peace bloggers. You changed some minds out there. Those who might not otherwise have spoken for peace, those who needed a little push, those who needed inspiration.
    You inspired me as well, Cate.
    Well-written. Passionate.

    I sang that song many times and it always made me sad.
    Thank you for writing such a beautiful peace offering.
    We are blessed that you spoke to us so eloquently.

    Peace globe #10,356 in the Official Peace Globe Gallery @ blog4peace.com

    1. Thank you so much, Mimi. I really value your opinion and am also overwhelmed that I was able to inspire some others too. It makes that hard work the day before, well worth it and I’m really glad to be back as a Peace Blogger.

  5. Pingback: “To Carry The Universe Or Be Crushed By It” – Infinite Sadness… or hope?

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