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LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND IT CAN BEGIN WITH YOU

In the ancient region of the Russian Caucasus lives a family, in fact families and people who are as diverse as human beings can be. They have lives, dreams, interests, businesses; they are teachers, soldiers, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers and uncles, first responders and construction workers.

They could be you and me. Those families could be our families.

During this past week two brothers from the region known as Chechnya came out to do something at the Boston Marathon that in seconds changed that wonderful event and the festivities of Boston into a melee and a scene of horror and bloodshed and death. In only seconds Patriot’s Day became a day of pain and loss and trauma.

The terrorists continued to win that whole week basically, which is what terrorists want – they want people to be in fear, to cower and to not carry on with their normal daily routines. When the law enforcers were searching for those men the City of Boston was not normal; the T was shut down, schools were closed, businesses did not open, and during that week an MIT officers was killed. The suspects were caught up with and they fought back. They threw explosives, they fired shots, and they were bent on killing and destruction.

It is a pity that they could not find another way to live and conduct their lives. Two young men, one 26 and the other 19, one dead and the younger in serious condition at a Boston area hospital, knew only to prepare for an act of destruction and the spread of terror and fear.

Surely they knew there is an opposite to war and to terror, surely they knew the words peace and love and harmony, and surely they could have taken steps to prevent such an act. But they did not. The only question we can ask is why they resorted to such measures. Isn’t this world in enough trouble and don’t we have enough problems without something like that going on?

It is this way in troubled regions of the world: the youth grow up disillusioned, seeing war, hearing war, having their homes and lives shattered by bullets and bombs, and walking streets laden with debris and blown –out cars. They hear the dull booming of the bombs and the fast tracks of the fighter jets and the whooshing of the rocket grenades. They know people who have died; they have seen friends and family murdered, and they have seen their livestock killed or taken by soldiers.

We hear of Afghanistan, of Pakistan, of Kurdistan, of India, of Indonesia, Somalia and other war –riddled regions, and we hear of it in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Aurora, Colorado. The violence is everywhere, it is taught and it is made to look like the only way to solve problems. Those who teach violence and destruction are sad, sorry and pitiful people, terrible examples and sick minds. Those who want to turn others against peace and love and grace are devils in the flesh, they are disgraceful and disgusting and dark –minded. They are evil. They are trouble for us all, for their families and for their people.

What has given them such a terrible turn of conscience that they believe they can do nothing else but go out and teach others to make pressure cooker bombs and to make guns and to teach others how to make and use weapons of mass destruction? What makes them do these things? Poor pitiful men and women whose minds are so clouded with dark thoughts and who have seen so much war that they think that is the way to live and to die with honor – to take out others and to harm the innocent and to make havoc on others who are having a good time, such as the thousands participating during Monday’s celebrations in Boston.

But anyone who believes that destruction and violence are the only ways to go, and to live and to teach others, needs to listen to what President Obama said during the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Those terrorists picked the wrong city to try their plots in, because we showed them the American spirit of coming to the aid of others. We were not afraid to go help those in need at that scene, the first responders and runners and others came to the help of those who were injured. We did not turn away; as a nation we banded together and gave our prayers, time, attention, and money and donations to the people of Boston. We were not turned away.

O you citizens, who live in troubled regions of the world, take note of that. YOU CAN BE AT PEACE, YOU CAN TEACH PEACE, and you CAN LIVE PEACE. Instead of teaching a child how to use a machine gun, teach them how to read or to make clothes or to build furniture or to forecast the weather. ANYTHING, but take them away from the guns and the military ways and words; get them into a place where they can really be kids and have fun and learn and have birthday parties and be with their friends.

Teach peace, be at peace, and see your nations and neighbors in a new light. How can you make a difference today, right now? What natural assets does your nation have – like dark skies, forests, ocean views, beaches, mountains and lakes, and wildlife? Why not promote bringing people to see what your country offers instead of turning them away with war, prejudice, horror, terrorism, debris –laden streets, and other signs of war and neglect? Open your arms to the world – people are waiting to see the sights of your nation.

People are waiting to travel to these dark –sky sites, to see the Holy Land, the Taj Mahal; the mountains and the temples. People want to see the ancient groves and try the exotic foods. I would love to see the grace of the people in these cradles of civilization (and there in itself is a profound phrase for you to consider!) who might just show us the same hospitable society as the people did in Boston and in other United States cities and towns and villages, if we gave them a chance. But they need to give each other a chance first.

They can and we can. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with you.

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013.

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