I saw a meme on Facebook that got me thinking about peace in this season of Christmas. It was promoting some political ideology by using the image of Nazi oppression. The photo is very powerful showing a naked Jewish woman caressing her naked child before they both were executed by the Nazis.
I tried researching the origins of this picture, but have been unable to verify its validity or what the exact details of the photo are, regardless the image is burned into my psyche.
When I saw this picture, I thought of my own wife and my children. I thought about how sad and tragic it was that this beautiful human being and her child had to endure such horrific circumstances. Then I thought about the world we live in today and wondered could something like this happen today?
My initial response is that I hope not, but, anything is possible. Human beings are capable of great acts of charity and kindness and we are also capable of great acts of terror and depravity. Ignorance and fear are powerful weapons that can turn a peaceful society into a barbaric horde.
Fear Does Not Equal Peace or Oppression Does Not Equal Freedom
Considering our current society’s fear of minorities and Muslims, I think the possibility of this happening again is not so farfetched. Our politicians use fear to keep unjust wars going and justify oppression as an excuse for protecting freedom (a bit ironic). We see the brutality of police officers and members of the military and most people make excuses for it. They excuse the killing of innocent civilians and get cheered on by the masses who have been taught fear and hatred in the name of patriotic nationalism.
Christmas should be a time of peace. A time when we reflect on how we treat each other and look for common interest to bring us together. We should be wary of those who call for violence and oppression to protect freedom. We should always look for ways to avoid violence and have empathy for others.
Christmas Time Reflection
At this time of year as you spend time with loved ones, hold onto and cherish your time together, but at the same time think of people throughout the world who aren’t blessed with the prosperity and peace that we enjoy. Think about those who live in hunger and fear. Think about the countries that have been made poorer and less safe due to the ravages of war. Then look yourself in the mirror and ask what you have done to stop it.
Peace cannot exist without people who are willing to stand against the merchants of death, the profiteers of war. We must all be one voice and call for an end to violence as a means of solving problems or pushing political agendas.
Love is Universal
Love the children of the world as you love your own children. Be as concerned for the well-being of all humans around the world as you are concerned about the well-being of people in your own neighborhood. Practice peace throughout the year not just for one month, week, or day.