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Peace on Earth…how?

Posted on December 27, 2023 by Sunny South News

Dear Editor: 

With the daily destruction and devastation on the nightly news, it’s hard to envision the “Peace on Earth” we see on greeting cards. Centre stage is the war between Israel and Hamas. The war in Ukraine still rages. Almost forgotten is the Syrian conflict now more than a decade old. In fact, doesn’t it seem that the number and scope of conflicts is growing rather than shrinking? The prevailing loss of humanity we see in high definition seems in stark contrast to the prospect of peace.

It is is easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless as we see this. In truth, there are very few “at the table” to be a peacemaker directly. Yet, I submit there are multiple ways we can meaningfully respond. You see, we aren’t as removed as we think.

Here are a few suggestions:

1) Hire, house or help a local refugee in getting established. Invariably, these refugees in turn help those who remain in a war zone. If you don’t have funds, give your time to help direct refugees to resources.

2) Advocate for those impacted by conflict in your circles. Keep their stories in the conversation.

3) Serve or donate to a foodbank, soup kitchen, or thrift store. They help fill daily needs of refugees and others.

4) Give to organizations like the Red Cross or Canadian Foodgrains Bank. They’re on the ground for those in or near the conflict.

5) Open a door, or say a sincere “Hello” or “Merry Christmas” to someone you encounter today. Particularly if they don’t look like you. Gestures and words matter.

Note that the above are action words. It’s not enough to have warm thoughts. Especially if you believe in the phrase “Blessed are the Peacemakers”. A peacemaker acts. Put another way, your positive response to war elsewhere not only acknowledges, dignifies and helps those impacted, it’s also therapeutic for you. It’s a circular concept.

In all these gestures and deeds, you’ll be a part of a powerful promotion of peace locally, and globally. It’s a start. We can all play a role in that.

Merry Christmas!

Ed Donkersgoed, Coaldale

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