First, an aside.
Until fairly recently, Sunday was a national day of slow down. Most businesses–other than restaurants–were closed. In virtually all communities, this was legislated–so-called “blue laws.”
My grandmother, who emigrated to the US and landed on the Lower East Side of Manhattan–a predominantly Jewish immigrant community at the time she arrived early in the last century–enjoyed some commercial benefits from the blue laws. In NYC, an exception was made to retail restrictions on Sunday for the Jews who ran businesses on the Lower East Side–this because the day of rest in Judaism is Saturday. (Everything was shut down down tight beginning at sundown on Friday night and lasting until the end of the Sabbath on Saturday at sundown.)
Sundays were, in general, a day for church, family, rest, conversation around the dinner table. It was semi-imposed by societal and religious custom, but it was part of the national fabric and we all calmed down a bit once a week. We had made a majority decision to stop commerce, to worship or just relax.
Yesterday, my husband and I were talking about a different type of peace by public decision, in light of the national and international debate about whether the US and other countries should intervene in Syria.
Bill said this, “Opting for peace is as strong an action as opting for war. It is not a passive or weak decision.”
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of intervention in Syria, I think this is a profound observation. Like our Amish neighbors, who eschew fighting or aggression of any kind, it takes commitment and a strength of purpose to choose peace and to grow toward peace.
For those of you who pursue religion or religion-based philosophies, do you see choosing peace as an act of determination and a demonstration of fortitude? Choosing to go to war is often described this way: “it takes determination, commitment, seriousness of purpose…” etc. You know, guys (mostly) have been “girding their loins” for millennia and getting down to business.
How about peace as a choice? Is it just as macho as war? Does it take the same grit to make the decision to go to peace and stick with it?