The Way to Peace is Through Peace

I am saddened by events that have happened earlier in the week and most recently last night in Dallas, where I live.  My words cannot fully express the horror and grief for all the lives that have been lost.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to those who have died or been injured and their families. Know that others grieve with you as you walk this new path, one most of you did not choose.

I was waiting for new tires to be put on my car when I heard of the first shooting yesterday.  I felt ineffectual as I sat there.  The event had already taken place.  Nothing I could do.  I wasn’t even sure how to express myself.  Can one grieve in a tire shop?

Later that night, I drove to Denton to see my daughter.  I wasn’t even aware there was a rally in Dallas.  I left around 10pm and my daughter called.  I knew I hadn’t left anything behind and I was already on the highway.  I answered the phone anyway.  She told me there had been a shooting and not to go through downtown.

Violence is swift and strong.  It appears to have the upper hand but that is a false illusion.  Violence begets more violence.  It solves nothing and escalates situations that didn’t need to be. Creating a never ending tit for tat. Where does it stop?

Someone has to say, “Enough, it stops here.” Even knowing that someone may still choose violence. Standing up for peace is the way to have peace.

Peace is quieter and takes time and creates more peace.  Peace is the only way to combat violence.  It may look like the weaker way but that too is an illusion.

In 1986, my husband moved us to Arizona.  He was delighted to discover he could carry a weapon.  And did so.  He would urge me to put a pistol in my purse when I went to the grocery store.  I refused.

I was not saying there wouldn’t be a confrontation.  For in the news a homeless man attacked a woman in a grocery store parking lot because she told him she would give him money, then realized she didn’t have any.  Or maybe she didn’t have the amount he wanted. I don’t remember exactly.

I didn’t think having a firearm would be the help my husband thought it would.

First, the thing you want the most in your purse is at the bottom.  Always.  I am always digging around and having to pull a bunch of stuff out before I get to what I want.

I saw myself having to say, “hold on, I know it’s here somewhere.” And in reality an assailant isn’t going to ‘hold on’.

Second, my husband was 6’3″ and I’m 5’3″. With his height, he is already at an advantage of looking formidable. I on the other hand look easy to take.  If I pulled out a gun, it would be easy to laugh me off and feel like you could step in and take it from me. And then I’d have a gun pointed at me.  And even used against me.

Not something I’d want.

I still don’t carry a weapon.  Not one of violence anyway.

I carry and use the weapons of peace.  I pray. I practice loving everyone. I do what I can to make the space I am in a better place. I find peace within myself and then extend it, share it, and spread it to as many people as I can.

And you can, as well.  Will you?

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