"Blessed" has become more of a trendy hashtag, less of a genuine appreciation for life’s boons.
Got new Twitter followers #blessed
Didn’t have to wait in line for my latte #blessed
Instagram post received 1,000 likes #blessed
It’s misuse, albeit annoying, isn’t nearly as maddening as the trending political polarization created by those demanding a more tolerant America.
“We’re going to impeach this (expletive),” congressional leader Rashida Tlaib recently stated. This came only months after boasting to MSNBC that she is teaching her sons, "That we show love. That we lead with compassion and that we lead with a sense of understanding that all of us, that we are part of this humanity together.”
Equally infuriating are those who mandate acceptance of their ideology whilst refusing to show similar courtesies.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Rep. Steve King lamented in a recent New York Times article. This came after King kicked out a political forum attendee for likening King's ideology to that of the Pittsburgh synagogue’s massacrist — a white nationalist.
Polemicists, naturally, flocked to social media.
"Steve King, like Trump, is (expletive) wrapped in skin.” — Twitter follower
“Rashida, you’re just another wicked devilish Muslim that needs to be deported. In fact, every time I see a picture of you, I am reminded of how demon possessed you are.” — Twitter follower
“…..the GOP disciplined Steve King but the Democrats reward their bigots.” — Twitter follower
“This Guy Says Impeach the MF. Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib had it exactly right!” — Twitter follower.
Acerbic snippets of America’s downward political spiral if ever there were some.
It’s trendy to be tolerant intolerant.
It’s trendy to be controversial.
It’s trendy to speak without listening.
It’s not, however, en vogue to be peacemakers.
Ironic, considering we cannot progress towards a more tolerant nation without them.
Peacemakers nearing extinction will inevitably be blamed on a myriad of things —President Trump, the Democrats, the Republicans, the media, constituents — yet all is inconsequential. America needs not more scapegoats but a rude awakening.
It begins by redefining peace itself.
We think of peace as absence of war but it’s also about achieving wholeness. The iconic Hebraic word for peace, shalom, in fact, translates to just this. For one to achieve totality, to achieve a higher good, one must not only wish for the absence of evil for their fellow man but for the abundance of good things as well.
It is time to make America whole again. This grounded hypothetical bird act — a broken left wing, a broken right wing — is working for only a select few. Nothing is being accomplished nor will it be accomplished if we don’t abandon self-indulged agendas for the greater cause.
Peacemakers themselves also need to be redefined.
We think of peacemakers as formally trained diplomats, yet each of us holds this power if we choose to do so — emphasis on "if."
In 1983, the Soviet Union shot down a Korean 747, killing all passengers, including 61 Americans. America consequently cut diplomatic ties with the Soviets. Suzanne Massie, an American with expertise in Russian culture and history, saw the urgency of this crossroad. If a peacemaker didn’t step in soon, the two countries would be at war. She promptly began contacting people in Washington before landing a meeting with National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane.
MacFarlane ultimately asked Massie to go to Russia on America’s behalf under the condition of anonymity. Going through the proper channels would take months and no one had that luxury. Massie agreed but with a condition of her own — she needed to meet with President Ronald Reagan and get his blessing. A month later, Reagan approved her mission and the peace process began.
Before the Geneva Convention of ’85, a site where Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time, Massie gave the president a painted wooden egg that bore the Virgin Mary and an inscription that read, “Don’t Blow up the World.” She asked that he give it to Gorbachev. Its significance? In Russian culture, an egg denotes a new beginning.
One person, a fledgling peacemaker, stopped two superpowers from going to war.
Peacemakers, perhaps most importantly, must always believe in humanity regardless of the times.1 comment on this story
In times of polarization we have a tendency to gauge humanity by the action of a few. This is a fatal mistake. Although there will always be troublemakers, always someone actively stirring the pot, Gandhi said it best, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Blessed are those who desire to move toward a whole country.
Blessed are those who champion the greater cause.
Blessed are those who see value in humanity