Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Peace on Earth

May the peace of Christmas cease-fires last throughout the year.

Wishing you all a relaxed and peaceful Christmas, with a little song about Snoopy and the Red Baron, Snoopy's Christmas.

From the internet:

ARTIST: The Royal Guardsmen
TITLE: Snoopy's Christmas
Lyrics and Chords

[Capo 3]

The news it came out in the First World War
The bloody Red Baron was flying once more
The Allied Command ignored all of its men
And called on Snoopy to do it again

/ D A7 / - D / - G / A7 D /

Was the night before Christmas and forty below
When Snoopy went up in search of his foe
He spied the Red Baron and fiercely they fought
With ice on his wings, Snoopy knew he was caught

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ring out from the land
Asking peace of all the world
And good will to man

/ GA D / / GA DBm / GA D /

The Baron had Snoopy dead in his sights
He reached for the trigger to pull it up tight
Why he didn't shoot, well, we'll never know
Or was it the bells from the village below

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

The Baron made Snoopy fly to the Rhine
And forced him to land behind the enemy lines
Snoopy was certain that this was the end
When the Baron cried out "Merry Christmas, mein friend!"

The Baron then offered a holiday toast
And Snoopy our hero saluted his host
And then with a roar they were both on their way
Each knowing they'd meet on some other day

{Refrain twice}

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Dedication Required on the Road to Peace

The world will never have lasting peace as long as men reserve for war their finest human qualities.

Peace, no less than war, requires idealism, self-sacrifice, and a righteous and dynamic faith.

- John Foster Dulles

This quotation says it all. Our finest human qualities are needed for peace, to bring an end to war. Peace is more than the absence of war; if we all use our finest human qualities in educating for a culture of peace we have a much better chance of succeeding.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another Point of View

I make no secret that the paint brush and the pen are my weapons of choice in the quest for peace. Occasionally I struggle with the concept of using weapons that kill in this important and huge battle. Peacekeeping is an admirable occupation, but how far can one go with the definition of a peace-keeping army? When do peace keepers become oppressors and killers? I am not sure that I have a definite opinion on this; I do not like force at all, and am afraid of guns in any situation, yet I have many friends whom I respect who are in uniform and carry weapons. Their choice is not my choice, but our aims are the same.

This Ted speech, by the Chief of Defence of the Netherlands Army, is a clear and logical explanation of why some choose the gun as a weapon in the fight for peace. (The video runs for 18 minutes. If you don't have time to listen to all of it right now, I suggest you let it run through and then watch from minute 8 onwards). The gun, as explained by Peter van Uhm, the highest military commander in Holland, can also be seen as a weapon of peace. He supports his argument with some interesting statistics.

Peter van Uhm, Chief of Defence, Netherlands, from 2008 to present. (Photo from internet, Nato image).

What weapon do you choose? And are you an active campaigner for peace? If, like me, you do not choose the gun, then have you chosen a weapon that suits you, and are you using it in what is the greatest battle of all, the battle for peace, for freedom from oppression, for a more equitable distribution of the world's resources?

I urge you to be active, making positive change in your every day lives. Don't wait for special occasions, for commemorations and other events. Every day we have opportunities to make a difference. If we change, those around us change.

Change in the family and community, no matter how small, is positive change for a positive future. Just as each little drop of water can meld with others to form a puddle and then a lake, each peaceful community can join with others to form a peaceful nation. Each nation can join with others...

In this era of instant communication we CAN make a difference. But only if we act. Choose your "weapon" for peace, be it as personal as your smile or as public as the internet, and use it every day.