What Is a Peacemaker?

Quote by Black Elk
“The First Peace,” By Black Elk(See below for larger print.)

During the present times there is anger, pain, frustration, uncertainty, violence, hate, rage, and suspicion of people from different cultures, political parties, and religions. It is difficult to be at peace, find peace, or even make peace. And there are so many more problems in our world, which may amplify all of those emotions. The words, “Peace on Earth” right now with all of the the above is impossible for the world as a whole. 

But there are many of us who are trying to send out ripples of kindness. We smile at strangers, people of other cultures and belief systems or political parties. We, as individuals and as a whole, want to make the world better. To do that, we must be a source or channel for love somewhere in the middle of the hateful words, distrust, and accusations.

Where can it come from? We who are peacemakers are lovers of life, our world, love and peace. We try to view the world and see it’s people in pain and fear. We try to see other people as at the least “fellow inhabitants” of this planet. Some may be able to feel a brotherhood with those who are different from them. I like to believe where there is anger or hate, there is someone there trying to help level out the emotions and promote understanding, and peace.  

What is Peace, Peacemaking?

Most of us have an understanding of peace as: tranquility, absence of war, quiet, harmony, non-violence. What do you think of the following definitions?

One definition of peace.
One definition of peace.

Black Elk, a holy man of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota lived from 1863 to 1950. He spoke of peace in ways similar to the Christian Bible verse seen below it. From The Sacred Pipe : Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953), as told to Joseph Epes Brown.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , (the Great Spirit) and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. “

But above all we need to understand that there can never be peace between nations until it is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, the third is that which is made between two nations. The fourth is the base for all other types of peace: peace with Creator. But how do we make peace?

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Being a Peacemaker For the World

The following song to me sums beautifully how we can be peacemakers in the world. I learned this song as a teenager and have always loved it. This and the above quotes only scratch the surface of the different ways to be a peacemaker, but we all need to start somewhere when we are learning how to do something this important.

Peace in our minds, our lives, our souls, our homes, cities, countries and world should be a goal for everyone. The whole world could benefit from our seeking personal peace. (The words follow the video in case you don’t have time to listen to the video.)

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be

With God as our father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow

To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Whether we are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Pagan, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or whatever faith we hold dear, we need to try to keep in mind that we all descended from the same first people, whoever they were. We are genetically family, whether we want to be or not.

So please remember peace is good for all of us. Acceptance of others with different races, cultures, beliefs, religions, lifestyles, habits, or whatever, deserves to be treated as a fellow human being; with dignity, respect, understanding, kindness, and acceptance.

We ask these kindnesses for ourselves from others, why not extend the same to them?

What is the difference in these three activities? Is being a peacemaker, having peace or making peace? Is it being a victim to promote peace? Or is it a combination of several behaviors or attributes depending on the circumstances?


13 thoughts on “What Is a Peacemaker?

  1. Great topic and great depth! I think the ultimate lesson here is peace is many things in many forms, but fundamentally, peace comes first from one at peace. Only when one is at peace in their mind and with a proper peaceful perspective can they become a pacemaker.

    Like

        1. Thank you, Anne Leueen. I am sure that you have a strong connection with nature and sense of movement and cycle of life from working with horses like you do and living with cats like I do. It is easy to get caught up in our lives and forget about the big picture of what goes on every day in the world. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

          Liked by 1 person

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