Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
This week the theme for our KIDS N ALL Service is PEACE. PEACE is such a beautiful word, yet the actual experience of peace and peacefulness is often very far away.
This week I found the web page of International Alert (A non –governmental organisation whose focus is on laying the foundations for peace. They describe peace as:
- When people are able to resolve their conflicts without violence and can work together to improve the quality of their lives. Peace is when:
- Everyone lives in safety, without fear or threat of violence, and no form of violence is tolerated in law or in practice.
- Everyone is equal before the law, the systems for justice are trusted and fair and effective laws protect people’s rights.
- Everyone is able to participate in shaping political decisions and the government is accountable to the people.
- Everyone has fair and equal access to the basic needs for their wellbeing – such as food, clean water, shelter, education, healthcare and a decent living environment.
- Everyone has an equal opportunity to work and make a living, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other aspect of identity
I find their description helpful and inclusive. We can apply it not just to places currently in conflict in our world, but also here within our own nation of New Zealand, within our own networks, families and of course within communities of faith of whatever religious practice.
We each have a responsibility to be an instrument for peace and peace-making. Jean Vanier the founder of the L’Arche. (An International Federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities) offers these six points for peacemakers. I offer them to you and me in our practice as peace –makers…
- Respect every individual human being;
- Create space for people to grow and become mature;
- Always stay in dialogue;
- Keep adapting mutual expectations;
- Enjoy the differences among people;
- Always direct your attentions to those who suffer most;
Meanwhile peace not just in words but in practice and in our experience