Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I learned this morning that the origins of Mother's Day had more to do with mothers advocating for peace- not wanting to lose their sons to war- than it had to do with gifts for mothers. In honor of this original purpose- and continued war in our world, there was a group that gathered locally with a call to stand for peace. It wasn't a demonstration of any sorts- just a group of people that gathered in a public place for 5 minutes of silence. The intention of the silence was to reflect on ways that we, in our own lives, can both demonstrate and perpetuate peace. There was a excerpt from a book regarding peace that was printed on handouts that were given.

I was a little concerned about Dillon being quiet for the 5 minutes, because, well, silence is just not one of her strong points. I explained to her that everyone was going to be quiet for a few minutes and that she would need to be as well. She chose to skip and dance around the fountain that everyone was gathered around, occasionally stopping to look at something on the ground or dip her hands into the fountain. She remained quiet for the entire time.

One of the lines in the excerpt was "We are standing for...A world in which they don't live in fear of violence-in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world." After it was over, a couple of the women there commented to me how wonderful it was to have Dillon there demonstrating the very reason we were all there publicly trying to figure out ways to make the world more peaceful. How fortunate for us to be able to stand up in a public place to commit to peace while my child plays happily, oblivious to the realities of war. I am too, really, but I know it exists.

She asked me what the time at the park was all about this morning. I explained that some people think that fighting is a better way to solve problems than using words and that we were trying to find ways too change that. She was satisfied with this explanation. But it helped remind me that probably the best way to perpetuate peace is to raise my children peacefully- teaching them that words are powerful tools for solving problems, much more so than physical actions. Of course, that is difficult to remember in the midst of a conflict between us- especially when I'm bigger and can physically move them somewhere, but today served as a reminder to me of how very important that is to commit to raising them peacefully.

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