Tuesday, May 8, 2012

111) Learn Lessons - Being a peacemaker

"If we have not peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Teresa.

During WWI in 1914 British and German soldiers were assured that they would be home for Christmas. But the war dragged on and on and nearly 85 hundred thousand people died and many were injured. On the night of December 24, 1914, the weather was freezing cold. The soldiers could not hide in trenches since the slush was also very cold. The German soldiers began to light candles and hold aloft Christmas trees. The British soldiers watched and were amazed. The Germans were sitting ducks - they could be shot down. Instead, they saw it as a sign of hope and emerged from their hiding. The Germans began singing "Silent Night"; the British joined the singing. They dropped their weapons, shook hands and exchanged small gifts. Enemies forgot their differences and peacefully celebrated Christmas. This incident became wartime history.

Do we hold on to differences and nurse grudges in our hearts - with those who were once friends, with relations who were once close; with colleagues who were almost friends; with spouses; with children; with parents? Relationships that have gone sour are the breeding grounds for animosity and plotting. If only we remember the WWI incident, we shall gain strength and put away our differences and extend our hands in cordiality. We shall regain what we lost. Unless we teach our children to overlook differences and focus on what is common, they too will bear grudges against teachers, one time friends, and playmates. They will lose out on the beauty of forgiveness and the warm embrace of love.
They and we will regain peace, because together we have learned that we belong to one another. Shall we promise ourselves that we shall not delay but start immediately to mend fences?