In my inbox this morning

(edited slightly for content and privacy)
Hey:

I like you train of thought. I was in church this christmas eve to see my little girl in a play. I heard the preacher talk about Jesus (you know the one from Nazereth), being the “Prince of peace”. I thought you know this just dosen’t seem right. I mean all throughout history people, mainly governments have used his name to cause suffering, misery and conflicts all over the world. I wonder what he would think about that?

Any way, I thought of creating an orgainization called x For the purpose of promoting peace worldwide. Not a religious organization. God is Good Religion is Evil pretty much sums up my religious beliefs.

I have some really good ideas on how to make the organization grow exponentially and really making a differance. Would you be interested in working with me in this endeavor?

x

(and here’s my response, again slightly edited)

Dear x:

While I am flattered that you think my participation in any organization devoted to the purpose of world peace might be useful, I am sorry I must decline. At this point in my life, I feel that organizations really make little difference if the individuals who comprise them have not “made their peace” with themselves and their immediate surroundings first. After all, of what good is a hypocrite who attends peace rallies and then goes home and grumbles about how loud his neighbor’s stereo is, or yells at his dog? I think you get the point. All the organizations in the world will not do what is required, which is to change each single mind, one at a time? What that requires is that each individual who is interested in peace act peacefully — and from that small ripple in the pond, echoes emanate endlessly to all shores. That is the exponential growth that is needed, I think. To start with an organization, no matter how noble its intentions, that does not have as its core that basic belief — that individuals, not organizations, make the difference, is to pursue the wrong means, at least for me. And the means must justify the ends — after all, they define it if, as in my life, the journey, not the destination, is the whole point of existence.

As for the Prince of Peace … I have often wondered why such a prince would require such an extensive army. That seems to defeat the purpose. After all, peace-keeping is NOT peace-making. It is only punishing hatred with the threat of reciprocal, impassionate violence. And THAT surely is not Peace.

Thank you again for your kind words. I wish you well in your endeavors.

Happy Holidays.

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