Give Peace a Chance, Again and Again

DH and I were watching television last night. He through his eyelids and I while sewing the binding on his quilt. There was a show on about JFK – sorry, I don’t remember the name of the show or the station it was on. But it was a very interesting show. They were highlighting a lot about the Cuban Missile Crisis and President Kennedy’s efforts to reach a peaceful solution.

How neatly that fit in with my latest soapbox issue!!!

Everything You DoLife is too shortpeace

I am including a link to the commencement speech that he gave at American University on June 10, 1963, if you would like to read it in it’s entirety.

Click HERE

But I was struck by a few different lines from his speech:

“I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”

“And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward–by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home.”

“With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere.”

“…a warning . . . not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.”

“So, let us not be blind to our differences-but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

Of course, President Kennedy was talking specifically about nuclear disarmament and world peace. My soapbox is more about peace between individuals, but I think the two are inextricably linked. We cannot achieve world peace until each individual can live peaceably with everyone around them.

So, today and everyday, I wish you . . .


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