Choose Peace

Rainbow after Navajo prayer, New Mexico Photo © Diane Joy Schmidt
Rainbow after Navajo prayer, New Mexico Photo © Diane Joy Schmidt

Religions around the world have an eschatology, a story about how things end – Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists and prophecies among Native Americans. They include a vision of a great spiritual and peaceful time, and some, but not all of these prophecies, describe a difficult time of wars and tribulations before that.

I think that we do not have to practically destroy the earth to reach this prophesied time of peace, but we have to promise, and I think we can, that we don’t have to screw everything up because of our greed. We are capable of rising above our own self-destructiveness, our aggressions and territorial survival instincts; our kill-or-be-killed mode of acting. We have evolved past that and are capable of choosing our own destiny. We can choose not to destroy civilization.

Instead of imagining a war of good and evil, to transcend this line of thinking about death, I am reminded to pray for peace, to seek a higher solution, a transcendence of death in a spiritual space.

To pray for peace takes us out of the realm of conflict, to choose to be free of black or white thinking.

Peace does not mean a passive acceptance of unbearable circumstance.
Peace is more like hope – a reminder to reach for something higher.
To choose peace over war is both an affirmation and a reminder to go further.

About the Author
Diane Joy Schmidt, publisher and editor of the new, independent, online, state-wide New Mexico Jewish Journal which launched in March of 2024, has been a regular correspondent and columnist since 2008 for the New Mexico Jewish Link (now closed), the Gallup Independent, the Navajo Times and a contributor to the Chicago Tribune, Tikkun, Lilith, Hadassah Magazine, and the Intermountain Jewish News. Her columns and articles have received seven Rockower Awards from the American Jewish Press Association in seven years as well as first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Arizona Press Association, the Native American Journalists Association, and the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up on Chicago's North Shore in the traditions of Reform Judaism, is anchored by her memories of the fireflies at Union Institute camp and the Big Dipper over Lake Michigan, and is an admirer of all things spiritually resonant.
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