I thought I'd do a little 3 part series for the holidays on 3 small words that get a lot of use this time of year: Joy, Peace, and Hope. Here are some thoughts on how peace can change the world.
One of my favorite books of all time is The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace by M. Scott Peck. Most people know Scottie as the author of The Road Less Traveled. He wrote The Different Drum after The Road Less Traveled and, from what I understand, he spent the rest of his life building community. Here are some of his thoughts on peace. I think these are world transforming thoughts. Comment and let me know if you think so too.
Remember he's writing in 1987 when the Cold War is still very active.
"Because so few have a vision of community and so many know that peacemaking must be the first priority of civilization, initially I thought this book should be entitled "Peacemaking and Community." But that would put the cart before the horse. For I fail to see how we Americans will be able to communicate effectively with the Russians (or any peoples of other cultures) when generally we don't even know how to communicate with the neighbors next door, much less our neighbors on the other side of the tracks. True communication, like the charity it requires, begins at home. Perhaps peacemaking should start small. I am not suggesting for a moment that we should abandon global peacemaking efforts. I am dubious, however, as to how far we can move forward global community - which is the only way to achieve international peace - until we learn the basic principles of community in our own individual lives and personal spheres of influence."
If I were to rephrase Scottie's words, I'd say something like, "World peace begins with learning to communicate and build community with neighbors in our own backyard." I think Scottie's words seem very appropriate in 2015. How can we have peace when our cities are so fragmented and people are so isolated? (By the way, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville predicted in 1835 that, left unchecked, American individualism would result in fragmentation of American society and social isolation of its citizens.)
Comment and share what ideas you have for learning to communicate and building community in Chicago (or whatever city you live in). Are you convinced that peace will happen if we learn to communicate?