One of my favorite poems on Peace is “The Prayer of Peace” by Ilchi Lee. It’s a beautiful prayer and probably says more than I could ever say on the topic, especially when it comes to peace and religion. (Verses are separated by commas.)
“I offer this prayer of peace, Not to the Christian God, Nor to the Buddhist God, Nor to the Islamic God, Nor to the Jewish God, But to the God of all humanity.
For the peace that we wish for, Is Not a Christian peace, Nor a Buddhist peace, Nor an Islamic peace, Nor a Jewish peace, But a human peace, For all of us.
I offer this prayer of peace, To the God that lives within all of us, That fills us with happiness and joy, To make us whole, And help us understand life, As an expression of love for all human beings.
For no religion can be better, Than any other religion, For no truth can be truer, Than any other truth, For no nation can be bigger, Than the earth itself.
Help us all go beyond, Our small limits, And realize that we are one, That we are all from the earth. That we are all earth people, Before we are Indians, Koreans, or Americans.
God made the earth, We humans have to make it prosper, By realizing that we are of the earth
And not of any nation, race, or religion, By knowing that we are truly one, In our spiritual heritage.
Let us now apologize, To all humanity, For the hurt that religions have caused, So that we can heal the hurt, Let us now promise to one another, To go beyond egotism and competition, To come together as one in God.
I offer this prayer of peace, To you the almighty, To help us find you within all of us, So that we may stand proudly, One day before you, As one humanity. I offer this prayer of peace, With all my fellow earth people, For a lasting peace on earth.”
I wish I had the magic words that would bring love and peace to everyone in the world, but I don’t. What I can do is to work on myself to try to be the most loving and peaceful person I can be, as well as to commit random acts of kindness whenever and wherever I can. When we do so, we spread a little bit of that love and peace to all those around us.
Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “If we are to have peace on earth…our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Dr. King also said, “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 10, 2017.