“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
It is often said that talk is cheap. The reason being? Talking doesn’t get things done. It is however an important step in the process in getting towards doing something but only sets the stage for what comes next: believing in it. If we do not believe in what we are trying to say or the point in what we are trying to make, then it really all just becomes that: talk. Once we believe in what we are talking about, it is only then that the work we are ready to embark upon becomes possible. Do you remember the saying from science that for every action there is a reaction? This entire process from talking about peace to believing in it and then working towards creating that peace is what Former First Lady and Activist Eleanor Roosevelt tried to conveyed when she made these statements almost a century ago.
In retrospect, our never ending battle to bring peace to our nation and better yet the world, is something that we talk about a lot but I don’t think we do nearly as much as we should do to make it become a reality. It seems that peace becomes the topic of discussion when certain unfortunate circumstances occur but then has the tendency to die out over time. I think that we as a society need to continue to keep that proverbial social awareness flame burning brightly in making sure that when peace is being discussed that all diverse backgrounds and cultures are being taken into consideration: race, gender or creed. In doing so this will allow us to move into the belief phase seamlessly because if we believe in it (and this case it is peace) we can and will achieve it.
When I think of belief I think of how it more or less allows us and others know that we are buying into what has been said, hook, line and sinker. That our ideas of what is possible in achieving peace, can in fact happen. Belief helps us transition from talking the talk to walking the walk which will soon set the stage for action to take place. Belief also opens the doorway to ensure that perspective taking, empathy along with the appreciation and respect for others is a part of the peace movement. It helps us to not only lead together with an open mind but more importantly an important heart. When this occurs, it provides us with the tools necessary for positive action to truly happen.
In summary, the talking about peace allows us the time necessary to formulate our ideas and the necessary steps we would need to take in order to make those ideas come true. This then leads us into developing a belief system that these ideas are ones that are possible in achieving. It is the last part of this piece of the puzzle that is the most crucial and hardest to accomplish: working at it. The challenge in this all is that this work towards peace won’t be done in a few hours. It won’t be done in a few days, weeks, months or years. Working towards peace is a 24/7, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year type of job. Better yet it is not just our job, it is our collective responsibility as a society. It is that whole-hearted effort that needs to be done by all and cannot just happen in spurts. When we are truly dedicated to something, and in this case, it is peace, this becomes our definitive why. This alone will serve as motivation and driving force ensuring that we will stop at nothing until peace is truly achieved for all.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?