Monday, November 12, 2012

A world fuelled by peace

My cousin, Kelly, is a veteran who has barely survived her time with the Canadian Armed Forces. Through her job as a counsellor of soldiers who endured horrific moments in places like Afghanistan, Kelly heard every horrible story and tried her best to help heal every wounded man and woman. As a result, Kelly (who has always had the biggest heart of anyone I know) now fights her own terrible battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She is my hero, she is. A woman of incredible intelligence and empathy. No one loves more than her. No one hurts more than her.

Yesterday she posted this on Facebook, to mark Remembrance Day. It moved me so much I wanted to share it with you here:

On this day I remember my courageous and brilliant clients and colleagues, the scarred yet resilient people who came in and out my door and made me a little wiser, I hope, a little kinder, I hope, who each helped open my eyes to the reality of what passes for serving one's country to those who have never experienced it. It is called elsewhere the "lie of war", it is a terrible lie that keeps getting told and keeps getting believed by those who have so little to give but have such big hearts they will give all anyway because they believe they can make a difference. 

So long as the war machine keeps getting fed by those who have no real knowledge of what it means to put all of one's self on the line, then there will be no difference except maybe to the person next to the person in that trench or hole in the wall who feels a little less terrified, a little less desperate because they are not alone. 

On this day I remember there are all kinds of war being fought here at home and overseas. There is a war against women, there is a war against those who have nothing and there are countless wars not at home. There are horrific crimes committed against men and women and children everyday, why do we not each try and make our own part of the world a little less warlike, a little less hostile. 

Instead of bristling against diversity and striking first, consider being curious about those differences, consider that hidden in that diversity you might find something in common. Consider the unexpected and embrace it. When people celebrate the strengths in each other rather than rally against the differences, we make our world a world fuelled not by war but by peace.

23 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Not so sure I agree but thank you all the same you are very generous

      Delete
  2. That's a beautiful post. Unfortunately ego and power make it virtually impossible for us to ever have peace. Heck my FB feed is still lighting up with post election whining and gloating. There is just no respect anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A world fuelled by peace...now that sounds like someplace I want to live.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wise words! Maybe, if we each took this idea on and tried to make a difference in our own 'backyard' (family/friends/co-workers/people who serve us in shops, etc.) we could get a 'snowball effect' & make a BIG difference. It doesn't take much to let someone know they are valued - a smile and a simple please and thankyou can go a long way!

    Thanks for sharing, Cathy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sue! And you're absolutely right.

      Delete
  5. Yes the ways of war ought to be gone by now but the truth is we are not advancing in intellect only in consumer goods to make as much profit as possible and without much wisdom.
    Your cousin has seen the worst injuries to souls and now she has to live in a space where the real truths are so tough and she has not been heard. It is too sad yet nothing will change. We are driven by a media now that makes it all worse. Peace is just a dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dream worth having, though. And definitely a dream worth pursuing.

      Delete
  6. The wrong people are shouldering the burden. It's been almost a century since the armistace signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. There are few truces, attempts at understanding, negotiation. Your cousin is a marvel and I hope she knows it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is a marvel, Joanne, but she doesn't know it. Kelly is the most modest person I know.

      Delete
  7. I deeply respect your cousin's work and outlook. I often wonder if I'd have the courage to serve, if my body were ever healthy enough to permit trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't have the courage, I wouldn't. I just spent an entire day watching Band of Brothers on HBO from start to finish and what they went through absolutely terrified me.

      Delete
    2. we are all capable of great courage, you would be surprised at what you can do. And courage comes in many many guises all worthy all honourable.

      Delete
  8. Thank you so much. Your cousin is an inspiring woman. I love that the pain of her experiences makes her reach out, rather than hunkering down and licking her own wounds. I am not surprised she is your hero. The world needs more of her. Please, if it isn't an imposition, can you pass on my best wishes to her. I hope she finds someone as wonderful as she is to help her heal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will definitely pass on your thoughts, EC, thanks so much.

      Delete
    2. thank you EC, you are very kind. I do lick my wounds and frequently hunker down, and there is wonderful-ness in all of us, including you and Cathy.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful post, my friend. "..consider being curious about those differences, consider that hidden in that diversity you might find something in common." ...I wish everyone could read and embrace these wise words. Just lovely.

    ReplyDelete

How's it going, eh? It's SO good to hear from you. Tell me every darn thing...