Are we at peace?

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Peace.

A fundamental tenet of religion. A fundamental desire of every nation. A fundamental need within each person.

But few signs of peace are evident in our world. Consider just a couple of examples.

In St. Cloud, Minn., a tension exists between the majority White population and the sizable Somali population. It plays itself out in various ways at the city’s university.

There’s no secret that animus exists between the American and Russian governments as charges and counter-charges relating to hacking and duplicity appear on a daily basis. One can hope that the American and Russian people do not fall prey to the negativity and remain open to friendly cultural, athletic, educational and similar exchanges.

And then there is Syria, mired in a civil war that appears to have no end in sight. The humanitarian and historical damage will take years to repair, if it’s at all fixable.

Three distinct examples of an absence of peace, but in only one does the word war appear.

As individual people, regardless of our faith, sexual orientation, ethnic background, income or multiple other so-called check boxes, we also find peace difficult to hold onto. Our professional lives might be unsettled. Our physical or mental health might be strained. Our relationships with family and friends might not be where we want them to be. These and other stress points bring about an internal unease that restricts our peace.

We can’t give up on ourselves. We can’t surrender to the vices of hate and discrimination that never make ourselves and the world better. We can’t stop believing that the world’s darkest places will have better tomorrows.

And yet how often must we admit that optimism is hard.

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This entry was posted in America, culture, peace, Russia, St. Cloud State University, Syria, United States. Bookmark the permalink.

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