I am no longer amazed at the involvement of this project from people on every continent and in 214 countries/territories; I am strengthened. People not only want change now, they are willing to be change. Mahatma Gandhi coined the famous expression that we see on walls and statues and plaques around the world "Be The Change". I've thought about how I feel when I see that quote. My next question is always how? How can I be change? Peace globes and the deciding factors that go into what my theme is going to be, is always a very personal decision. I have to experience it myself and let it settle in me before I ask other people to do it. That has been true every year, none more than last year when we centered on the subject of love and how the process of forgiveness changes us. I walked through some things that helped me heal and grow. So did many of you. Thank you for sharing your #30DaysofLove posts all over social media. You made a dent in the stagnant status quo.
This year our theme is about actually making the change. Not just changing ourselves on the inside, although that must happen first, but more about doing what it takes.
The more I watch what is happening in our world, with politics, planetary shifts, power transitions, and constant warring factions, the more I realize that no one single person, entity, or organization has the power to change anything.
Our elected officials are not going to do it for us. Your talking-head candidates never walk what they talk. But it's not all their fault. We've given a few people too much power and gotten lazy about challenging the status quo, making sure our voices are heard, and showing up.
Walk The Change.
Do What It Takes.
The world doesn't change by itself. We have to change it from dark
Peace bloggers are good at making a lot of noise on November 4th. There's no better reason to raise a ruckus than for the cause of peace in the world. But we have to do more. And I've realized that this particular movement is uniquely ours for the very reason that we're NOT physically together. We're not standing collectively on a street corner holding signs (although protest is good!) and we're not in a building around a mahogany table passing treaties around with ideas and endless compromises. We're all spread out from Africa to India, San Francisco to New Orleans, New Zealand to Argentina.
And there's not one of us more important to the change that happens when people unite with powerful words than the other one.
Which means this: WhereEVER you are in the world, your change, your contribution, your words, your is rooted in the communities where you serve. Your contributions, your peace efforts, your selfless giving and sacrificing is done in your own neighborhoods. Whatever you choose to do to walk that change is done right where you live. Think about an infiltration of good sneaking into towns and villages in the middle of the night, stealing conflict away, smashing despair with a kind deed, soothing brokenness with words of comfort and acts of love. That's the only way to change the world.
We have to change it ourselves by walking it out.
So do this on Nov 4.
Write your wonderful peace posts. Slay us with those powerful words. Create your beautiful peace globes and send them in to me. Show up at town meetings. Write letters and call your Congressmen. Tell them your personal stories. Then call again. And again. Leave a bag of groceries on someone's doorstep. If you don't have $50 to spend for that family, leave $10 worth. You'd be surprised how many people need $10 worth of groceries. Offer a ride to the doctor for an elderly person. Anonymously pay for a kid's school lunch. Or take them back-to-school clothes shopping. Take pies and cakes and cards to your local police station or fire department. When you pass by a road crew working in 100 degree heat, make a detour to your local convenience store and return with a few bottles of cold water. Say THANK YOU to our veterans, not just in blog posts but privately and personally. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Visit your local school and ask to mentor a student who needs help with reading. Set up a book sharing stand in your neighborhood. And don't just visit the sick with promises of good thoughts and prayers (although I believe in the power of prayer!) take them a pie, clean their house, take out their trash, help them navigate complicated paperwork, go to the pharmacy for them. The list is endless.
You don't have to be a millionaire to change your world.
Be an advocate for what affects all of us by attending policy-making meetings in your local government. Vote OUT the greedy. Vote IN people with some common sense for the common good. If you don't want coal ash in your ground water or poison in your lakes, challenge those whose hands reach into the money pockets. Speak up and often. Don't ask your city leaders what they can do about the homeless people in your town. Do something yourself. Collaborate. Investigate the issues. Find a solution.
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Free to use
I see people going through great difficulties right now - financial worries, health scares, violence in the streets, family struggles. Don't you?
Advocate for the mentally ill, the depressed, the anxiety-ridden, the emotionally hurting.. The grieving. They are overlooked and wondering where humanity is. Please show up. It isn't about rights it's about reality. No one believes you're non-prejudicial if you give lip service to personal pain. Stop judging and start helping. VOTE and knock down some policies. I don't have to agree with your politics or your choices to respect your life story, your history, your humanity.
Life people up instead of tearing them down.
How does this make peace, Mimi?
Because peace is the enemy of indifference. It is the absence of conflict and the antithesis of strife. When people are worried about how to survive, when people feel helpless and alone and under-represented, when people are the recipients of injustice or the victims of violence, when people are anxious about health and safety in their own cul-de-sacs they become discouraged and sick, desperate and angry, hopeless and bitter. Then you're dealing with an entirely new set of angry problems.
You simply can't have peace in families when there's no food on the table. You can't have peace in your communities as long as one person sleeps under a blanket in a cardboard box and another ascends the stairs of a three-story mansion in the same city. We know that love and kindness builds relationships. It also builds a city, a town, a community, a world.
Start with this question: Am I my brother's keeper or am I not? If you can say you're not responsible for other people's misfortune then you need to go back into the mirror and remember a time when you were sleeping in the cardboard. We've all been there in one way or another. Don't wait for someone else - especially politicians - to do it for you.
That's not how the world is going to change.
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For ten years we've faithfully blogged for peace. I've met the most brilliant group of individuals on the planet within the pages of blogs. Your ideas, your passions, your gifts are extraordinary. And you became peace bloggers because you care about the world. Because you know we need to take care of each other. You already know this! I am telling you nothing new.
This year I challenge you to.....
Do what you can do. Walk the Change. Do what it takes.
It will be enough if we all do it together.
Thank you for continuing this trip with me.
If words are powerful...this matters.
One voice. One subject. One day.
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