There is a lot of disagreements, disrespect, and distancing happening around us right now. I hope recent posts on the topic have encouraged and challenged each of us to get better at engaging in healthy ways. Today I want to offer a piece of peace, or more accurately, some encouragement as you offer a piece of peace to others.
Let’s remember peacemaking and peacekeeping are different. Peacekeeping typically try to avoid confrontation and keep the status quo, even when unhealthy, because the absence of disagreement and turmoil is more highly valued than resolution. Peacemaking has the goal of peace in mind but realizes some confrontation will be required in order to work toward resolution. In overly simple terms, both have a goal of peace, but one is passive and one is active. (However, peacemaking is not peace at any cost, because that will lead to unhealthy tactics that undermine the peace process.)
When you decide to contribute to the peace or resolution of a situation, there needs to be an acknowledgment that the other person might not bring the same intent or willingness to contribute. The other person might choose to contribute something else that is detrimental to the peace. You still get a choice of what you contribute as well as how you respond to their contribution. You do not get to choose for the other person. That can be difficult. If we approach a situation with good intentions, it’s hard to not see the results we want, but that doesn’t mean something’s not happening, that we don’t have influence and impact. We might not see the resulting peace in the given situation, but we will experience a perspective of peace because of the process we work through in offering our piece.