Choosing peace

In the past year and a half, I have been in a state of prolonged brutal war which aims to establish my independence as a caring, loving father to my dear little girls. Every war is paradoxical, for it is a war between family members — whether former family members or long separated cousins like the Israeli and Palestinian. It is paradoxical and twisted because it hurts the most when somebody who was very close to you is hurting you.

Today I had an opportunity to make a choice — to continue the war or to choose peace. I chose peace. And it was a paradoxical choice because choosing peace on this particular occasion does not mean I am changing my mind about the necessity of what I am trying to establish. And the unfortunate reality is that the society in which I live basically demands that certain battles are won as real, not hypothetical wars.

Having a choice implies freedom; ignoring the existence of this choice implies something totally different.  So, by choosing the freedom of peace, I also chose appreciating what the day had to offer — an opportunity to spent some time playing with the girls in their school’s backyard, then helping them during their first piano lesson, offering a prayer for those who suffer and those who have left this physical realm. There is much to be said for the choice of peace. Abdu’l-Baha perhaps conveyed it the best possible way:

During the last six thousand years nations have hated one another, it is now time to stop. War must cease. Let us be united and love one another and await the result. We know the effects of war are bad. So let us try, as an experiment, peace, and if the results of peace are bad, then we can choose if it would be better to go back to the old state of war! Let us in any case make the experiment. If we see that unity brings Light we shall continue it. For six thousand years we have been walking on the left-hand path; let us walk on the right-hand path now. We have passed many centuries in darkness, let us advance towards the light.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 61)

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