Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April 1, 2016
PEACE? Respect, Understanding, Acceptance.
As I reflect upon my discussions with the young people at St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights, I am grateful I had the opportunity to engage with anyone who came up to the table I had set up on one side of the large lunchroom.
I’ll be featuring two personal definitions of PEACE today; a great chance to talk with young people and get their viewpoints on PEACE.
First, Maddy’s personal definition: “PEACE is treating everyone equally.”
I asked her to elaborate on such a foundational definition. She explained, “If you treat everyone equally, you won’t feel someone is superior or over you. There will automatically be less fighting.” (How right you are, Maddy. Equal, equitable treatment means less disagreement and less fighting. Less war!)
Second, Neda’s personal definition: “PEACE is loving yourself and having mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance toward others.”
I wanted more information! Neda said, “The second you accept yourself and put yourself in some other person’s shoes, you develop mutual respect for others and their circumstances.”
Yes. Yes! That explanation goes right to the heart of things. If I focus less on me/myself and engage more with others in a caring and nurturing way, I can’t help but promote harmony and respect for others and their circumstances.
Gracious God, thanks for these young people and their inquiring minds and hearts. Help us all to take these definitions to heart. Open our minds to new ideas and new experiences, and encourage us all to #PursuePEACE. Dear God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
(And, Maddy, I’m still having problems with my photos! They seem to have a mind of their own. I’m trying to fix them, but yours is turned around. Sorry!)