What Would You Do For Peace?

Is it really so hard to be kind?

What is it that’s hardwired into we as a people (all humans, I mean, world-wide, not just us anal-retentive white Anglo-Saxon protestants) that makes it easier to frown than smile, to flip the bird than to wave, to give pages and pages to dire warnings and depressing stories and next to nothing to occasions of joy?

What makes us so gosh-darned antagonistic?  And what can we do about it?

Well, obviously, there’s no changing the world at one go.  And there’s no MAKING someone change.  (Remember the Civil War — you can’t try to run someone else’s business without them getting mite riled about it.)  But we CAN change ourselves, one breath at a time.  And those breaths turn into actions; those actions into hours, the hours into days, the days into . . .

What might we achieve with that outlook?  If we each focused only on ourselves (and let’s face it — we’re a narcissistic bunch; we love nothing more than ourselves), if we each made a concerted effort to THINK before we ACT, how might that (over time) change the world around us?

Put that way, is it really so hard?  No one is asking us to change the entire world, only a small part of us.

But, oh, how some people struggle.  No one is gonna tell THEM what to do!  It’s all well and good for OTHER people to make the changes, but THEY aren’t going to.

Change is frightening, sometimes downright terrifying.  That doesn’t make it bad, that only makes it difficult.  And isn’t peace worth some difficulty?  Start small if the big picture scares you.  Turn off the TV an hour earlier than normal and spend it with your family.  Change the radio when messages of hate come on.  Extend a friendly hand to someone in need, even if it’s only to offer a quarter to the woman fumbling for change in the grocery line.  When they thank you, just smile and ask them to pay it forward.  Sure it sounds hokey, but you know what?  People often do.  And that’s how miracles begin.



About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, CT, Essays, Gratitude, Honesty, Kindness, love, Melissa Crandall, Peace, personal growth, Truth, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What Would You Do For Peace?

  1. bigsurkate says:

    Pax, Melissa. Read through a bit of your blog, and loved that first chapter of your book. May have to order – just got a lot on my plate right now. Nice to connect.

  2. Melissa, thank you for a lovely post! Smiles! Peace.

  3. Jack says:

    I really like the premise of this blog post. I think people get so wrapped up in their every day survival that they simply forget to look outside of themselves. The pay it forward concept is a great way for us to break out of that rut!

    • Thanks for your swift reply, Jack, and welcome to my blog! I’m a firm believer in paying it forward and am trying to teach myself to act rather than react to the world around me. Had a minor success today with a telemarketer — I don’t think she was pleased that my answer to her request for money was “No,” but I did it in such a pleasant way that she ended up being pleasant back. A very interesting moment in my life.

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