It is not possible to write, or think, about anything else this week other than the tragic loss of life in Paris, Nigeria and across the globe. When shall we stop killing ourselves? When shall we recognise, and implement, methods of resolving conflicts other than war and killing?
Paris is a city close to my heart, my family and i have visited it many times and have good friends who live there. For very many of us, steeped in the history of Europe and the United States, it is a symbol of independence, freedom and republicanism. Attacks against its citizens and dwellers are both an assualt on humanity and on the very symbols of this freedom and independance.
I have no words to express the sorrow i feel for those who have been killed, for their loved ones and their extended families.
The best way to honour and respect these people is for all of us to build a better society and a better world. In their memory, and the memory of countless others who have lost their lives in terror and war, let us commit ouselves to a future for this planet that they would all applaud. Let us build a peace so strong, so deep and so honest that it will last for eternity. That it will be impervious to the knocks and attritions of the ages. Let us, each one of us, commit ourselves to this.
Let us also listen to what Jesus taught us, no matter what religion, or none, that we follow. Gandhi considered that the Sermon on the Mount was the most moving, most original and most radical of the teachings of Jesus.
In Matthew 5 – 10 we read, “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”.
Let us all become children of God, let us become peacemakers so that future generations shall remark upon our time and note it as a time of change, a time when people everywhere cried “Enough – let us have peace”.
First change within yourself – seek to create peace within you and, then, by your actions and behaviour you will change others; you will spread peace around you as you pass through this life.
Enough – let us have peace.