Calling all peace activists! Important question for you here!
Please, only answer this question if you have a strong opinion on President Bush (and that means that you think he’s a brainless egomaniac), and if you want the war in Iraq to end. You know. Bring the troops home.
Now, ask yourself — Do you really want the war to end peacefully?
Are you sure? If you had a wish, would you wish for a perfect resolution to the war under Bush’s watch, even if it meant that Bush’s approval rating soared up to 95% and he was considered an international hero and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Republicans were elected for the next eight presidential terms?
Or do you secretly harbor a desire that the war continues to be a flop, that history proves that Bush was an idiot?
If you do secretly (or not so secretly) hold a desire that Bush is proven to be a miserable failure , what are you really wishing for? What is it you want to hear on the news each day? Do you fervently hope that you hear that Bush’s plans are working wonderfully and everyone is happy and peaceful, or do you hope that there is darker news, so that you can say ‘See, I told you so.’?
You can ask this sort of question about almost anything in your life. It applies to arguments with other people, to social issues, to our relationship with ourselves. Do we really want the most peaceful resolution possible, or do we really want to fight for our side of the issue, and know that we were ‘in the right’?
It’s easy to wait for the next election, to frown on Bush, and to think that things will get fixed after he’s gone. But how many people will die in the war before the next election? Why don’t we wish that Bush’s plans all work out perfectly from here on out? Why don’t we wish that we hear on the news tomorrow that everything is on the up-and-up? Why don’t we wish for peace itself, instead of putting conditions upon it?
It’s easy to put peace off. Whether it’s after Bush is out of office, or after our wife sees that it’s her fault, or after we lose 20 pounds. Then we can have peace in Iraq, peace in our marriage, or peace with ourselves. But this type of peace is really a secret desire to claim victory, to see something or someone suffer so that we can be proven right.
Let’s all wish that Bush’s efforts bring peace tomorrow. Let’s wish that our wife is absolutely right. Let’s wish that we (and others) can see the beauty of fuller-formed people.
If we stand for continued conflict, let’s admit it. If we stand for peace, then let’s really stand for peace.
When we’re honest with ourselves in this way, then we move from self-delusion toward awareness. And with awareness, we discover new and profound ways to implement change.