Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

With everything going on, I almost missed Blog Blast for Peace Day! But I didn't :)

I don't consider myself nearly well-versed enough to tackle such heavy subjects as the war in Iraq or Darfur or any of the world issues. I have to speak about what I know.

I do believe in the phrase "Think Globally, Act Locally." So what does that mean in terms of peace?

Honestly? I'm still figuring it out.

Here's what I do know: when I participate, when I get involved, when I take the time to do something for a cause that's bigger than me, bigger than my family, I feel great. I feel like my place in the world makes some sort of sense. I feel connected to the human beings around me that make it all worthwhile.

A couple of years ago, the girls and I joined an annual event. We volunteer for Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots annual Day of Peace celebration. We get to go to one of the greatest treasures Los Angeles has to offer, Griffith Park, and watch doves made from love fly around us. We dance to music, we listen to speeches from brilliant people (including the amazing Jane Goodall), and we feel honored to be a part of it somehow. Sylvia even made her own speech there once:

It's an event that combines education and appreciation of our environment, our animals, and our humanity that together, can make possible Peace on Earth. Experiencing that, even just one day a year, is something we treasure and take with us in some aspect for the rest of that year until the next.

But there are even simpler ways to be involved, to make our own contributions.

The most obvious is for those of us who are parents to think about what we are teaching our children, and remembering that they learn the most from the examples we set.

But even more than that, there's simply each one of us. Taking the time to listen. Taking the time to care about another human being's troubles. Taking the time to offer a shoulder, and even more when you can.

And taking the time to take care of ourselves. We cannot run on empty forever. We cannot be at peace with ourselves if we continue to beat ourselves up for mistakes made long ago. We do the best we can to rectify them, live with them, and learn from them. We cannot be at peace with ourselves if deny our anger, our sense of loss, our desires. We have to find ways to deal with those feelings and let them pass through us in the least harmful ways. We cannot be at peace with ourselves if we shut ourselves off from those who care. We have to let them in, give them opportunities to earn our trust, and lean on them when we need it. We have to respect ourselves as we should respect others.

It can't get any more "local" than starting with just us. And anyone of us, and anyone of our children, could be as internationally important as Jane Goodall herself.

For more Blog Blast for Peace posts, check out Mimi Writes...


Anonymous said...

And taking the time to take care of ourselves.

This is still something I'm trying to learn about everyday. If something needs to give, it's usually *my* time--then I try to steal it when I can and it doesn't help anyone.

That festival looks really, really cool.

Kori said...

Thank you for being a voice of one; we are listening, and it does make a difference.

Melissa said...

Trying to take care of ones self is hard. espesally if you are a mom and all you do all day is take care of others

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. You are incredibly correct that one really has to start locally. Teach your children that violence is not a solution. teach them that the world is a precarious place and needs help. Teach them that it pays to care.

Thank you for this, April.

GoMommy said...

Wow, good for you! So glad that some of us get out there and make a difference. I'm suffering from "Cause Envy".

Jennifer Chasse said...

Great Post. Peace for you today and always.

Don Mills Diva said...

She really is an inspiration isn't she?

BTW - I have some bling for you over at my place!

Jen said...

I love Jane Goodall.

My son's school has "not school as usual" days, when they see something that is a pressing issue and then spend a good chunk of the school day discussing it.

This year they saw a film and talked with members of "Zeitouna" which is a group of local Palestinian and Israeli/Jewish women who meet and discuss the issues of Palestine and Israel and are all working towards peace.

The second day was devoted to Darfur.

I love this program.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

I think we should our greater success will be wielding our influence locally. Every person making some effort - be it helping in our communities peaceful will make a difference.

GetSmartGal said...

Oh I love this thanks!! I fav'd a Jane Goodall talk on and started to write up a piece on Roots & Shoots for our Get Smart Women website section on Global Impact like 2 weeks ago.

This reminded me why I wanted to recognize it in the first place, now I just need to get my little fanny in gear and get it on there!

Great post!

OHmommy said...

Wonderful post., Seriously.

Karen MEG said...

What a great post; and involving your girls in something like this at such a young age. You are truly inspiring.
And cool shot with Jane Goodall!

Anonymous said...

Can i just say in the spirit of your envy post - I am still completely envious that you got to meet Jane Goodall - she is my childhood hero.

Mimi Lenox said...

What lucky children to be in a household full of social awareness and responsibility. I am honored that you participated today, as hundreds of bloggers did. Jane Goodall....stellar example of peace in our world.

Peace to you and yours,
Mimi Lenox

Anonymous said...

Dr Taylor teaches us how to attain deep inner peace - easily, simply, without drugs, anytime we want it. Forgive me for doing everything I can to be sure everyone reads this book and sees this video, but I think all of us benefit and in the larger sense, if everyone reads this, our world will benefit in a very large way.