Give Peace Some Love



Stephen Philbrick, September 18, 2011

 Life no meaning, passions no constructive outlet, future no reality/

My education doesn’t prepare me for a good job/

Crime DOES pay/

My education nor my faith tell me how to face the unknown/

I have responsibility for my future, but no power/

I want to matter/

There is no ‘We’ anymore, my friends are dropping away/

I want a future that includes me and my people, my inherited beliefs/

I don’t like what I am or what I’m doing and neither does anybody else

Millions of youths I this country, hundreds of millions world-wide.

And you know what?

For many of them, here and abroad:


Life has purpose, and more than that, surrounded by death, it has Meaning and is delicious/

I matter because I am part of Us

Part of the Answer

Part of what will save Us from evil and destruction/

I will keep the folks safe at home

I will be worshipped/

I will not be asked to make moral choices or see the world as complex, ambiguous or interdependent/

I will have vast short-term power. Life And Death/

“All we are saying is Give peace a chance.” ??

The peace movement argues AGAINST war passionately and well, but it’s not enough.

The argument is not enough, being Against, and peace, as absence of war, is also not enough.

If we as individuals as country as international movement as spiritual beings,

Believe so much in peace, we must USE peace, not worship it.

And make Peace, even when we’re not at, esp. when we’re not at , war.

Our rel to peace:

Like the young man who gets married and thinks, “there! That takes care of that!”

And after a while his wife isn’t happy and she wants some conversation and some courting

And she says

We need to talk.

And he says

What? Work in the day, sex at night, what?

Oh, man, you’ve’ changed.

And the soldiers,they change/

and the world changes and the people who cheered them and tied yellow ribbons around trees, they’ve changed.

And the homecoming isn’t what we imagine.

The band of war-time brothers, where are they in peace? Drinking at the VFW?

The worship of the youths we sacrifice? Our willingness to sacrifice them: is that ONLY for death, and in war?

Could it not be for LIFE and in service.

Remember the impotence of violence we discussed last week:

It is nonviolence that is creative, that makes things. Could be schools, reclaiming diseased soil and turning into urban farms/ transformations!

We could redistribute wealth!

Instead of holding all the power and then mis-using it to the point where we hand them a future failed in advance,

We could share the power and ask the young to help construct a future that will work for them and include them.

Instead we are asking them to get educations which are impossible to afford and don’t prepare them to earn well or serve meaningfully or develop a mind and a spirit which can cope with not-knowing.

That’s what the soldiers are aspiring to, serve your stint and they’ll pay your tuition.

Dad would be so proud, now you’re unemployed AND over-qualified.

And this dysfunction is peace!

They trust us! They enlist to protect us! Heavy burden/

So here is our cultural, human, spiritual burden:

To live as though every thing which lives – us and other and the planet itself – is holy

And find a way to make those values work, sustainably.

To feel and be relevant. To feel and be indispensable, rather than consumer AND commodity.

To live our faith and have faith in life

The actions which connect us to the eternal are sacraments/

Why are they all in church?

Why isn’t the weekly, hired work of our hands and our minds an act that connects us to the eternal?

God isn’t a tiny tin judge who lives in one building and comes out for Friday prayers or Shabbat or Sunday morning.

All traditions say God is wide and God cares,


Why are not the ways we treat one another, the ways we touch one another, sacraments.

God works through our hands, our eyes, our words, our patience and our divine IM patience? That’s what God’s got to work with. Don’t make him use the weather!

Is God going to work through me or is God going to sleep through my life while I sleepwalk through God’s world?

People, get ready there’s a change a coming

People get busy,

or there won’t be a change

and what’s coming down will be the same old hell on the heads of the poor and disenfranchised/ a hell we all increasingly share/

Because, middle classes: we’re on the DOWN elevator.

So people, get busy/

Make Peace Work

Make Love not War?

Then Make Love Work

Act like you mean it / intend like you act it

People, get busy

One Response

  1. Barbara
    Barbara January 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM | | Reply


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