As 2021 grinds towards its end, a foundational question to consider might have to do with hope, for 2022 – hope for a strong economy, hope for unflinching national security, hope for better standards of living, and hope for future generations. Such hopes are very natural for everyone in our country, and around the world.
Beyond these aspirations, how about hope for peace, lasting peace? And is it possible to have peace even if some of the earlier hopes are not fully realized to one’s satisfaction?
When we discuss peace, we are not talking about the absence of war; there are nations that are not at war but maybe plagued with numerous domestic challenges. Nor are we talking about calm and quiet either; the body of a person in a coma is visibly calm and quiet, but that does not mean that person is at peace. Neither or we discussing the absence of feeling; there are ideas that seem to say that if a person is not affected by his/her surroundings, that individual has peace. It has been said that money doesn’t buy peace but tends to help buy the treatments one needs to calm the nerves and induce sleep. But next year does come, and the thing(s) that denied peace for the person this year waits by the bedside, eager to join hands for turmoils of the new year.
So, if hope for peace cannot be bought or sold, or politically manufactured, or passionately proclaimed, where does one turn to? Could peace be the byproduct of a clean life, where conscience has no need to manufacture peace? Or, can peace blossom in one’s soul as a result of unselfish service for the larger good? Or, does peace become a present reality in the bosom of someone who has surrendered self to God, or, the higher power?
It is my hope and prayer that as you prepare for 2022, the hope and possibility of soul peace, peace for a better family, a better community, a better place of work and study, and better service to the community, all your hopes will be realized for a very long time.