Can We Give Peace a Chance?

In 1969, the Beatles’ John Lennon, a unique, cerebral, and somewhat sullen singer/songwriter recorded the song, “Give Peace a Chance” with the Plastic Ono Band. The tune featured a couplet, “All we are saying; Is give Peace a Chance.” This single lyric captured a great deal of the 60’s sentiment questioning war and violence, though we did very little as a society to foster change. Nevertheless, Lennon crooned, “All we are saying; Is give peace a chance.”

In the history of mankind, war is discussed much more than peace. On October 7, 2023 Hamas, a terrorist organization, punctuated the fact we are no closer to peace than in 1969. Hamas sought to slaughter Jews and anyone else who got in the way. They tried to justify their quest to destroy Israel. In the course of this violent, surprise attack on the seventh, they abducted innocent civilians as part of the battle plan. The spectrum of humanity, from infant children to the elderly, fell victim to bullets, bombs, knives, and every imaginable weapon available in Gaza. The last mass killing of innocent civilians was September 11, 2001. This human catastrophe was reminiscent of September 11, 2001 and December 7, 1941. Surprise and devastation.

Perhaps the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has made us immune to the atrocity of war. Two years of deadly skirmishes, indiscriminate bombings, and vile war crimes can do that. While the Russian – Ukraine War has armies battling one another, far, far too many innocent civilians, quite often women and children, have been collateral damage. The crises in Gaza and Ukraine are similar in that the death of innocents is considered the business of war.

U.S. citizens are not immune to senseless violence. Lewiston, Maine witnessed 18 beloved souls leave this earth due to a man with a weapon. Lives taken, lives shattered, families wounded beyond repair. None of it translates into a cultural norm.

What can I do? First, I will pray we find a pathway toward peace. Second, I will not rationalize history to justify “eye-for-an-eye” modality. Third, I will listen, read, and absorb all that I can to try and understand the dynamics that have led to these hostilities. Complex issues are difficult to discuss, but they are impossible when bullets are flying. Can we Give Peace a Chance?