Is Peace Possible?

  • Posted on September 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Peace is an elusive concept in contemporary society. On the one hand, we fight wars abroad and we’re so comfortable in our lives that many seem to forget that we’ve been continuously at war for over a decade. On the other hand, we fight different kinds of wars on our streets—wars against immigrants, against drugs, against gangs, and against each other. If we had yet a third hand, we could count the verbal wars that take place in our political bodies, in our dialogues about significant matters, and even in our dialogues about trivial matters. And if we had yet a forth hand, we could count the wars that rage within each of us between what our conscience dictates and the weakness of our flesh—wars for our very souls. So, it seems self-evident that peace really isn’t possible.

There are powers within this world that would have us believe that is true, that peace isn’t possible; if we give up on peace, then we give those who want war power over us. Yet peace is a choice. We can make peace with ourselves, both between our spiritual potential and our earthly present. We can make peace with those we disagree with and even cooperate and collaborate with them. We can bridge the divides that separate us and make peace on our streets. We can even make peace in the world. So, contrary to the obvious, peace is possible.

The autism community is fractured. There is a side—a loud, squeaky-wheel, powerful side—that wants to do anything and everything to cure autism. There is a side—a loud, squeaky-wheel, growing side—that wants to do anything and everything to protect people with autism. There are various factions interspersed among these two sides that prove that our reality cannot be defined and delimited as a dichotomy. The autism community is at war.

There are some among us that will never choose peace. This is not due to their convictions that they are 100% right and the others are 100% wrong, as it may seem. It is because they want war, because they thrive on controversy, because they choose to grasp for power, to exert their control, to have their say, and to get their way. For some, war is a way of life, but these people are only a small percentage of the autism community. They succeed only because we let them.

Most of us want peace. We want cooperation. We want collaboration. We want things to get better. And we’re willing to work for it. But we feel overwhelmed and overwrought. It can be so hard simply getting through the day that we leave ourselves little energy for peacemaking. It seems easier to fight for the specific things we believe in and want than to make a peace that will provide those things. Besides, we have few contemporary examples on how to bridge such divisive issues into workable, cooperative, collaborative solutions. Is peace possible? Perhaps, perhaps not. The answer lies within us. We have to choose.

2 Comments on Is Peace Possible?

  1. WEEEEEEEEEEIRD! Lovely post and EXACTLY the theme of my thoughts today! In fact, I just commented this on “a moon, worn as if it had been a shell” (which is right above “embracing chaos” in the blogs directory right now): >>I recently gave up my usual prayer for “a more peaceful life” in favor of “May I be kind and RETAIN MY SENSE OF HUMOR through this crazylife” since, apparently, at least with the kids I have, that whole peaceful thing’s not so likely. That said, LOVE how you retained your sense of humor here, Moon. It will happen! <<
    …and then began writing a post about peace myself, and this whole shift i have been going through. Of COURSE we aim for peace, but I take some comfort in knowing I have always tried to be kind and laugh where possible. Pals like you help with all that!
    The thing is, if we speak up we are almost automatically "against" someone, or that's how they may it…I've contended with that when my children have been mistreated – and I know you have too. It's baffling to me how aiming for acceptanmce and equality is "inconvenient" for some…
    Love,
    FSM

  2. Stephanie says:

    Receiving peace seems very much unattainable, but making peace seems possible–at least, for the moment. I vacillate. There’s a line from a particular non-Bible set of scripture that goes something like “[to chastise] betimes with sharpness.” This goes along with Biblical references that suggest that we can “fight” meekly and yet powerfully. To me, this is peacemaking. It’s not an assault or a we-know-better-than-you bid for power, but changemaking with meekness. At least, that’s what I’m learning to strive for.

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