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Can't We All Just Get Along?

10 June 2009 5 Comments

Commentary by Molly Mayfield Barbee

Can we get along?

President Obama’s words at the end of his speech in Cairo last week really resonated with me:  “The people of the world can live together in peace.  We know that is God’s vision.  Now that must be our work here on Earth.” 

I’d like to think that his message was a shout out to all peacebuilders everywhere. And, that there is no greater vision, mission, or duty than to work for peace.

 

The Holy Qur’an tells us:  “O mankind!  We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.”  The Talmud tells us:  “The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.” The Holy Bible tells us:  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  I would have gone with the gender neutral versions, of course, but I like the major points from his speech…we are incredibly diverse AND peace is possible.

 

We CAN all just get along, can’t we? 

 

I wonder when we started seeing all the things that make us different, that divide us? When we grew up, did we grow out of the natural acceptance of others that we had as children? How do we get that back?

 

 I started thinking about a revelation from my recent time living in Sudan.  There were many commonalities with my Sudanese brothers and sisters there. Why was I surprised by that? What about you? What made you realize that our similarities were much greater than our differences? Or, what makes you think peace is possible?

 

 This enquiring mind wants to know.

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5 Comments to “Can't We All Just Get Along?”
  1. Candace Ross says:

    I have asked myself that question for many, many years.
    I believe in my heart of hearts that yes, we can, but we all must want to.
    I am a devotee of the Goddess, the Great Cosmic Mother, and regularly ask for peace for us all. Once, as I was fervently praying for “worldpeace”, a voice said “Until you can give up hate, you are not ready for peace.”
    It broke my heart as I realized we are the ones standing in our own way.
    Giving up hate would clear the way for peace, but are we brave enough, mature enough to do it?
    We must plant the seeds of love, hope and compassion in every heart, and carefully weed out hatred, fear and ignorance.

  2. Rachelle Pachtman says:

    Thank you Molly for this beautiful post. I have been carrying similar thoughts in my heart. This truth is so simple and obvious. The world needs glasses for our hearts.

    With great respect for all who further peace.

    Rachelle

  3. Mary Liepold says:

    Molly, I think peace is possible because I have seen peace work move from the fringes of society into the mainstream in my own lifetime. There have always been voices for peace, but today scores of young people are receiving degrees and embarking on careers in fields like conflict resolution and ecology that didn’t exist when I graduated from college. And because of new communications technology, my children live in a wider world than I even imagined at their ages. Why CAN’T we all get along?

  4. Charlotte Cook says:

    I agree with your thoughts, Molly. Thanks. Before I can respond to the question is peace possible I have to define “peace.” One way I think of peace is respecting the dignity of each person. Not an easy task. The process starts with me. I have to be at peace with who I am before I can even think about moving to the next step which is getting to know the other – people who I think may be too different from me. Through honest and open dialogue I can come to recognize the humanity in the other, in spite of differences, and change attitudes about the other, that is peace. I have a favorite hymn, “Let There Be Peace On Earth and Let It Begin With Me.”

  5. Esther Kabugi says:

    Yes peace is possible, but it takes a daily commitment to offer oneself to make peace with the self and with others. I live in a continent where there are frequent violent wars and I cant stop asking myself why we fight. I agree with Ross that we have to give up hate if we are to enjoy peace. In place of hate, we should embrace love for the other and wish and desire that which is good for the other. We all must be instruments of peace.

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