Let's make peace?
Publish date 22-06-2022
The Bible tells us that peace is not only the absence of war, but it is a gift from God, the fullness of all its blessings: life and family, the earth and its products, work and well-being, longevity and abundance. It is a good life for everyone, it is the fullness of good. It is realized in the rediscovered harmony of the origins between man and creation: "The wolf will dwell together with the lamb ... the calf and the young lion will graze together and a little boy will guide them ..." (Is 11: 6-9; cf. Is 65,25) and in the transformation of the instruments of war into instruments of progress, of peaceful and fraternal coexistence: "They will break their swords and make plows of them, of their spears they will make scythes" (Is 2). Peace, shalòm is the full relationship between man and his God, which for us was fulfilled with the coming of the Messiah, Prince of Peace (Is 9.5).
God made us for peace, is his imprint and this gift of him is the very aspiration of the heart of man, inscribed in our inner DNA. Like every gift from God, peace is also entrusted to our freedom and must be cultivated, it must be made to grow. It is worth starting from the little ones because in their tender heart, peace lives naturally. If we accompany their first steps and their growth, the seed of peace will take root and it will be easy to see the small fruits. Among us, for example, "Happiness" is the gift of a Chinese girl who, to translate the word "peace", did not know how to choose between "happiness" and "friendship" and united them and another girl summed it up in a song with this phrase: "I protect you, you protect me."
It is easy for children to understand peace as a personal and community commitment and to recognize what peace is not, while we adults fall into the subtle temptation to consider peace as a child's thing, a dream to be left to them , a fairy tale to tell when they are small, so when they grow up they will understand that there will never be peace. Thus we fill education for peace with do-goodness and as the children grow up we offer them the reality made up more of negativity than of beauty, more of discord than of harmony, more of hatred than of forgiveness, more of prevarication than of coexistence. President Mattarella also warned us of this trend when he told us to "be careful not to confine dreams and hope to childhood". Children enter adolescence with some memories linked to peace, but with experiences that lead less and less to this global value. And they continue their formation thinking less and less that peace is a value to be preserved and that it depends on personal choices. The reference values are completely altered, the use of force to obtain one's own result is legitimate, peace is an empty word.
This absence of experiences of values that lead back to peace hands young people to those who cry out loudest, to those who crush the weakest, to the herd, to the ruling powers. Thought is impoverished and the ability to design, invent, build the present and the future disappears. Everything flattens out and changing course seems impossible, it is useless to look ahead with a vision that changes orientation to concrete life. There is no longer a horizon, there is no longer a vision. It is a detachment that produces serious damage in the lives of young people! If there is no more hope of a better future, what is the use of educating oneself for peace? Mattarella again reminded us instead that: "Peace must be consolidated, developed, defended, must be constantly updated and, I repeat, consolidated and this requires work, it requires works of peace to consolidate it".
It takes educational work that accompanies not only the life of children but of children and young people and that keeps peace as a global value. An education that despite the complexity of today's life continues to decline peace as the aspiration of all but with the personal commitment of each one. We need to look up again, take inspiration from the good life of the Kingdom of God and translate it into our history today. Returning to immerse ourselves in this dream will help us. On the threshold of the Promised Land, Moses sent ten explorers to inspect the land that God had promised. Eight of them came back frightened and worried about what awaited them. Only two returned full of hope and joyful for the abundance of the fruits of that new land. Even today there are few who indicate the way to peace and the wealth it offers, but we believe their prophecy. For having believed in it as a young man, the Arsenals and much more were born. It is a prophecy that awaits new generations. Let's invest in it!
NP February 2022