’Idál, 12 Masá’il (Questions), 178 B.E.


Waning Gibbous Moon


Went on walk with granddaughter - clear but chilly!

Experimented with Evernote and Apple Mail workflows

Revised 21 December 2021 post


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Making peace happens so often in so many ways, we barely notice it. Rarely do you find it on television or in the newspaper, It happens when a mother tucks her children into bed for the night, when a teacher helps young people to put their emotions into words, or a neighbor seeks out a neighbor to talk through a disagreement. Making peace is so common that it is nearly invisible.

What does make headlines is violence. It is not surprising that this is so. Violence is shocking, and people want to understand it. But with so much violence on television, in movies, and in video games, many of us succumb to what communications scholar George Gerbner calls “the mean world syndrome.” This syndrome results from being bombarded with stories about selfishness, violence, and dishonesty. Our fears and distrust grow stronger while our esteem for others weakens, and the world seems predominantly a mean and violent place.

The mean world syndrome is, of course, self-fulfilling. The meaner the world, the more you have to keep yourself and your family protected from it, and the less you’ll get to know neighbors, especially those who look, talk, or act differently than you. The more you fear violence, the more attention you focus on defending yourself or even taking preemptive action. … 1

Like many people, we at Yes! magazine and the Positive Futures Network have been struggling with how to respond to these times of fear and violence. This book contains articles from back issues of Yes! suggesting creative and compassionate alternatives. Making peace is far too important to be left to political leaders. … It is also a collection of visionary ideas about the nature of this moment in the evolution of human society—ways the United States can move beyond acting as the world’s empire, ways to express our longings for peace and make those longings into a practical reality.

Holding out for peace is not naïve. There are real reasons to be fearful. The stories in this volume show, however, that the arts and sciences of peacemaking already exist and are available to be used and developed. They have the audacity to suggest that, not only can we make the world a bit less mean, we can actually create a world that looks to peace making, not violence, as the way to a future. 2

My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.

  1. McConnell, Carolyn, and Sarah Ruth van Gelder, editors. Making Peace: Healing a Violent World. 1st Edition, Positive Futures Network, 2003, 6. [return]
  2. Ibid, 7. [return]