Jane Agrees. Give Peace A Chance. Now, Why Can’t We Get Everyone Else On Board?

I just finished watching most of a documentary called “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.” I say “most” because the dvd kept skipping at about 2/3 of the way in so I gave up trying to finish it.

It was fascinating. What I saw of it, anyway. It covered history at a time when I was alive but not very aware.

No, I wasn’t a pothead. I wasn’t tripping on  acid.

I was 3.

As in, years old.

But that period of our history has always fascinated me. So much so, that when I was in high school (wearing tie dye and walking around barefoot and protesting the god-awful hot lunches) my friends would often say I was born in the wrong era.

At various times of my life and for various issues, I have swung both sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes more left, sometimes more right. Usually hovering somewhere in the middle.

I love peace. I want peace. I pray for peace.

Make love, not war.

Wrapping my head around why war is necessary? Very difficult for me.

For ME.

And for some of you.

But not everyone. There are bullies out there. And the self-righteous. People afflicted with severe tunnel vision. And people who will think their way is the only way until the day they die. And they’re even willing to die trying to make you and me think the way they think.

History has taught us that.

I remember a recent discussion with my husband about the wars around the world. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Mexican drug wars. I said, “If we could just declare peace why can’t the killing just stop? What if we truly did practice the non-violence messages of Ghandi, King and Lennon?” My husband shook his head, “That would mean everyone would have to agree with you. And they won’t. You have to defend yourself. Look where it got the Tibetans.”

All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

A beautiful, amazing, wonderful, glorious message. The problem is, everyone has to be on board. Everyone has to be willing to compromise. And compromise is difficult. Because then no one is happy. Each involved has given up something for the greater good. Leaving the perfect opening, the perfect opportunity for dissent to rear its ugly head and stir up conflict again.

As short-sighted as I believe some peace-loving, political activists can be – their message is perfect, simple and pure. And their efforts to swing everyone their way is difficult but, oh, so admirable.

What saddens me, is how futile their efforts seem 40 years later.

14 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Ponderings

14 responses to “Jane Agrees. Give Peace A Chance. Now, Why Can’t We Get Everyone Else On Board?

  1. Steven Harris

    Nixon was very anti-Lennon and had agents tail him specifically. Said it was because of his drug history. Yet the same Nixon was quite happy to give Elvis Presley an honorary FBI badge despite Elvis also being a phenomenal consumer of drugs. Double standards? Not Tricky Dicky surely.

    • According to the documentary, the US administration became very concerned with Lennon’s influence after the “Free John Sinclair” concert in Michigan. (Sinclair was given 10 years for offering an undercover policewoman two joints). When Lennon started speaking out against participation in the Vietnam war things just snowballed.

  2. Blood lust generates a lot more passion than calls for peace.

    You might like this poem:

    http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewPoetry.asp?id=64372&AuthorID=7273

  3. I’m with John and Yoko, too. I’m sick of all the ugly crap out there…maybe I should move to the Andes and live in a yurt or something.

  4. I am totally for giving peace a chance. And I was told in college I was born in the wrong era. That documentry sounds fascinating. I’m totally going to check it out.

  5. I agree we need to give peace a chance. I think we do and we have and that while wars still rage on there is more peace now than before. I think what John Lennon was teaching us was to be the solution and to pass our peace on for this is a process. It is interesting I watched “Imagine” this weekend. John Lennon was an amazing soul.

  6. unabridgedgirl

    Great post, Jane! And you’re right…everyone would need to be on board, and there are too many opinions and what not for that to happen. But it’s nice to hope.

  7. You know I think the vast majority of people, whatever their culture, race, religion, beliefs, hungers for peace. But there are and I fear will always be those people in this world like Hitler for whom there is no reason or rhyme meaning peace, negotiation and compromise will fail.

    Great post – you’ve made me think a great deal for a Monday morning!

  8. I’m not sure I believe those efforts to be futile. The world at large might be war torn, chaotic, and frankly, a big hairy mess. But individuals, families, communities…some of them really rock at peace. Some of them have taken those messages to hard in a very real, life-altering way. It’s hard to see much hope for the world as a whole, but I’m full of hope for individuals. That’s the only place we can start, after all.

  9. It is sad that history repeats itself. And then repeats itself again. And again and again. You’d think we’d learn. You’d think all the iconic pacifists in this post alone would help us change. Unfortunately, we know otherwise.

  10. Man’s greed will always stop World Peace.

    I agree with Kimberly, all we can hope for is that individuals and families try to live in peace and that is a very good start.

  11. The heads of countries actually talk? Better yet, the heads of countries actually talk to each other and listen to each other? I have so little faith in man’s ability to speak to one another and listen to one another, to ask questions and listen to answers, to not need to be “king of the mountain”. It makes me sad. But then, I’m the one who took a petition against the VietNam war to church on what turned out to be Veterans of Foreign Wars Sunday. Bad bad timing. I support our troops – I do not support our need for troops.

  12. Oh I wish everyone would get on board.

  13. Your husband is wise in seeing that for peace to work, everyone needs to get on board.

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