I think I might have made a mistake by not formally participating though.
Last month’s challenge caught my eye, and really got me thinking. When I first encountered the idea, I though it was about time I jumped aboard … but did not quite know exactly what I wanted to say. The actual challenge:
This might be the toughest Peace Challenge for many of you, but I want to take us out of our comfort zones for true peace. This month, I want you to open your arms to your enemies. Think of a person, a place, a nation, a culture, a religion, a gender, or an ideology that you view as an enemy … Post a photo, piece of art, or collage that offers a vision of peace between you and your enemy…I honor your intention to do whatever you can to meet this challenge…”
The hard part for me was “Who is my enemy?”
- 1.a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
synonyms: opponent, adversary, foe, archenemy, rival, antagonist, combatant,
challenger, competitor, opposer; More
- a hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, esp. in time of war.noun: the enemy“the enemy shot down four helicopters”
- a thing that harms or weakens something else.“routine is the enemy of art”
By definition, an enemy is one who actively opposes. Simple as that. There are many words that have similar meanings, yet not all the words have the same connotations. Some imply friendly rivalry, others, like the word “enemy” itself, imply a negative relationship such as hatred. So basically what I am taking from this definition is that an “enemy” is someone who opposes us that we do not like for some reason.
In other words, an enemy is only an enemy because we have chosen to make them so.
By this definition, which is basically THE definition … I have no enemies.
I cannot write a letter of peace to an enemy because I CHOOSE to not have any enemies. I will not label a person an enemy just because their ideas differ from mine. I will not label a person enemy because they live in a different land, or because they make choices that I would not. I will not label a person enemy because others insist that they are. I may actively hate an idea, or an action, but it does not automatically follow that I hate the person who has the idea or performs the action. And just because I oppose such ideas and actions does not mean I have declared that person an enemy.
This is my choice.
Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped defining people by specific ideas; specific actions, and looked at the WHOLE person, we would find that we have fewer enemies in the world. Maybe the issue is not HOW we deal with our enemies, but the simple fact that we view them as enemies at all. The idea of enemy allows us to justify hatred. It allows us to accept violence against another as an acceptable choice. After all, they ARE the ENEMY. It segregates into US and THEM. Imagine if we viewed them as FRIENDS who we disagree with. Would we treat them the same?
I think not.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row]