“Wars arise from failure to understand one another’s humanness. Instead of summit meetings, why not have families meet for a picnic and get to know each other while the children play together?” (Dalai Lama) Maybe the Dalai is on to something. Instead of trying to reach agreement on religion, this world might start with ordinary common sense, compassion and concern. “If we really want happiness, we must widen the sphere of love.” ;-) Jack
FROM TARMART REV: I've been struggling with this for a number of years in regards to our local church. Under several pastoral leaderships in times gone by there were a number of all-church gatherings in social kinds of ways throughout the year. In more recent years, outside a yearly all-church community outreach with an "out of this world" kind of VBS, our two Sunday morning service congregants never are given any times to get to know each other. We are offering two different churches in the same building without bridging them together as a local family of faith. I personally feel we are missing a definite spiritual strength that would edify our church body to a greater dimension. I've and others have brought this up and obviously the only way presently to bring this into a reality is to come up and implement this ourselves without it being in the heart of the pastoral leadership leading the way...finding myself too tired to tackle it.====JACK: Where there's a will, there's a way. As the teachers used to say when I was in school..."Put on your thinking cap." One observation comes to mind....Perhaps it's OK to have "two" congregations sharing the same building. Each one has its own identity. Perhaps one plans its own "picnic" and invites the other to come along, if they want to. Maybe we should talk about it at Panera.
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Just bring grandparents together with their grandchildren and tell the parents to stay home! In a very short time...everyone will be sharing stories and becoming friends.
The kids would have so much fun...no lectures...no platitudes...just authentic!====JACK: Sounds like a good idea, but first...maybe the parents and the grandparents could benefit from a similar experience...no lectures, no platitudes...sharing stories, becoming friends and having fun. Maybe I'm over-analyzing.... However, I do get your point.
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: a friend of mine says that all world leaders should meet once a year for a picnic at ground zero at either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. he thinks that would prove a huge deterrent to all future wars.====JACK: It would work better if they'd leave their "agendas" home, but that's wishful thinking. I do think that it's interesting that in the last year of his presidency Obama has visited Hiroshima and Viet Nam. Cynical me is suspecting an "agenda."====SP: you could be right about that. we will know more soon...====JACK: Soon?...or else in the sweet by and by.
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good message!====JACK: Without having tongue in cheek, it might be a good idea for your Bible Study group to invite some Muslims to one of your meetings, not to try and convert, but to listen and learn...it works both ways. It might also work at another time to invite some liberal political people (not necessarily politicians) to listen and learn. Meetings like this seem to go better with food.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: "While the children play together"...that's a positive picture. It's so obvious when families come together, how the children quickly get acquainted and play together. They disregard their differences and respond to what they have in common. They simply take advantage of whatever is in the interest of all of them and proceed amicably. Pity that the adult world doesn't recognize such compatibility and follow. The Bible tells us, "a little child shall lead them." ====JACK: The Putin and Obama children are a little bit different in age, but I think that they'd be able to get along and have fun at a picnic, either at the Kremlin or the White House.
FROM DR JUDY: Paul has been saying that the best route to peace is for the grandparents to come together and talk about their children before discussing politics and the peace process.====JACK: Why do we spend so much time talking "politics" when we can do so little to affect it...and so little time talking about how much we can affect the "world" in which our grandchildren must live?
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: now that would be a holy moment! our end of the year family picnic is this thursday. 55 children and as many family members who wish to attend. we summit by sharing food, visiting, playing, and ending the day with a water balloon toss. any quarrels, struggles, or troubles are forgotten in the fun of it all.====JACK: I'd like to see Donald and Hillary do a balloon toss (instead of an epithet toss). There's not enough fun in this world.====MARY: It's a great visual thought !====JACK: SPLATT!
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Wars start because of man's cruelty and dehumanizing. His fallacy is man does not begin a war against his brother or cousin. However, we know mankind does declare war against his brother, as in the Bible numerous times.====JACK: Parse wars down to squabbles between children. Sometimes they start for the silliest of reasons. Then, take it to neighbors not getting along...How do you solve that? Then, move to husband and wife conflicts. They can be wars of a sort, too. Then escalating to conflicts between countries. War has many faces. Many of our disagreements are simply a failure to understand the other person's point of view. You can't understand until you first talk about it. Someone has to be the peacemaker.
FROM LS IN MICHIGAN: Yes ! Thank you for this affirmation. To my fellow human beings just do it !!!! It starts with one. ====JACK: Conflict of any kind starts with one...and the resolution of conflict starts with one, too. I like the song..."Let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me."
====LS: Thank you for reminding me of the words - I embrace the words each day as a guiding light
FROM BLAZING OAKS: This has worked in race relations. In Dixon, we had people in our church sign up to host people from the African American church for dinner and games nights, and vice versa. once the two congregations got to know each other as real people and friends, there was real understanding taking place. In Springfield the same. If only nations could find a way to do the same ! Hosting international students is also productrive for understanding, even for a weekend. We need to "reach our and touch" one another!! I've been to the Hiroshima atomic bomb museum in Japan...it will surely bring you to tears, and cause praying that there will never be another such devastating attack anywhere in the world!!====JACK: See my blog response to Hawkeye George.