If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Yesterday a client asked me if I had the newspaper. The fact is, I don't read the paper anymore and cannot remember the last time I bought one or even accepted one of the free papers they offer at the subway stations. Too much violence for me, but doesn't that speak of the world we live in? Violence sells newspapers, simple as that. Since the beginning of time, violence, whether between individuals or societies, has been part of the human nature. We say it is time for peace, yet we continue to watch programs filled with violence and sex.
Not too long ago I learned that a group of teenagers were spray painting swastikas on a Jewish temple right down the block from where I used to live. Children are killing children or bullying them so badly that they kill themselves. Injustice surrounds us. And, can anyone remember when it was that there wasn't a war being waged someplace in the world? Religion has never been the answer. In fact, religion is at the heart of many a war. When one believes that their way is the only way, what else can we expect to happen?
Peace in the world starts within each one of us. It begins in our soul and spreads outwards to others. We may all be of different countries, of different races and ethnicity, but we all can be traced to the same source; we all share a common ancestor. We are all brothers and sisters, and if each of us sees each other as such and looks to each other with tolerance, love, peace, understanding and good will, then peace in our world will no longer be just a dream; it will become an attainable dream.
With that, I'd like to share the following prayer with you. It sends ripples of goosebumps down my arms every time I read it.
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly,
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin colour.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness,
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrow of our neighbours.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.
- Rabbi Harold S. Kushner -