As we have so sadly experienced, wars seem to go on and on and on. While there is not the televised 24/7 coverage on the war in Ukraine, we know it is ongoing. Threatening alliances and saber rattling have become a part of our daily experience. Even in our own country, political wars wear us out with battles flaring up regularly. Violence has become a default instead of the exception as war zones in our own cities disturb daily living.
The way to peace in any kind of war is not always achieved by brute force. It may consist of methodically removing negative factors that come together to destroy peace and balance. Identifying these factors is a critical step. Inequality, poverty, discrimination, and lack of hope and inspiration are some of these factors. An initiative in Chicago called Hope Chicago is using philanthropist money to assure free college within Illinois for students of some of the most stressed student populations on the South Side. The free tuition, room and board, and books is for each student and for one caregiver in the student’s family. Peace in Chicago may be helped more in this kind of warfare than by any perceived containment of violence.
And so it is with the nature of the wars each of us find ourselves engaged in. We must sort out the negative factors and creatively replace them, one by one, with a strong initiative for peace and balance. The nature of war may be to eliminate the enemies in front of us, but only ruins are left without a commitment to strengthen what it is that we have loved and cherished enough to defend.