Praying for Peace
After reading the news this morning and attempting to make sense of the scenes in Ferguson, MO, and all across America right now, I decided to revisit an article I read in August shortly after Michael Brown was shot and killed. I initially found the article because the accompanying photo caught my attention. It is of a sweet friend of ours along side a friend of hers. My friend is white. Her friend is black. The blog entry is a letter entitled, “Dear White Mom”, written by her friend, Keesha, in response to the terror in Ferguson, MO. Please read it here.
After reading her letter then, I wrote a letter to myself with some goals … goals that I’m glad I revisited today:
1. Mother Teresa said, “Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families.” Home – it’s a good place to start to plant the seeds of knowledge, peace and love.
In her letter, Keesha had this to say: Talk to your family about what their black and brown friends might experience that they don’t have to. Teach you family to empathize with, and give the benefit of the doubt to, people whose world and experience is far outside their own. She tells us to teach our kids that racism is not only history but here and now, that the news tends to be unbalanced and unfair to African Americans, and to speak up to anyone we know who might be prejudice or oppressive. We have the greatest influence in and among our own family and close friends. It’s a good place for peace to start.
2. Get to know someone different from you – someone with a different political view, religious view, a different sexual orientation, someone who dresses differently or acts differently. Do this with the intent of learning about them, not trying to change them, not fearing they will change you. You might find that while they go about things differently, they hold a very similar desire … peace.
3. Critique your own beliefs as much as you critique those of others. I read an article (here) with these words of wisdom: Have the strength to doubt and question what you believe as easily as you’re so quick to doubt his beliefs. Live with a truly open mind — the kind of open mind that even questions the idea of an open mind. Don’t feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love.
4. When you encounter opposition, and you will, challenge yourself to always follow the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.
5. See and know others as human beings.
I am praying for peace today and recognizing the suffering of all individuals involved, for … When we find tragedy in the suffering of some and gloss over the suffering of another, we have strayed far from love.
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This post was syndicated with permission.