Today, 4th November, over 70,000 people are writing about peace on their blogs. This is organised by ‘Blog4Peace’ which was started by Mimi Lenox 10 years ago. Now over 70,000 bloggers join her on this day each year, to record their messages of hope and peace.
I heard about this from a blog I follow, Dancing With Sunflowers. Janice Heppenstall has written about the darkness and despair of current times, the wish to make it better, and the importance of small acts of peace. I think if I tried to add my own version of what Janice has written then I’d only be paraphrasing her words, so with her permission I’ve put a link here so you can read her words yourself.
Sometimes I just feel helpless in the face of the cruelty and bleakness in the world. Some days I avoid watching the news because it feels like there’s nothing I can do except feel rage and despair, which doesn’t change anything or help anyone.
I find peace and hope in the people I love, in nature, and in the vibrant colours of art and textiles. But I do sometimes feel guilty about enjoying such things when other people don’t have the basics of clean water, safety, shelter or food. I feel a sense of responsibility to know what is happening in the world, as if I should be ready to spring into action ‘when the time comes’. I read about the courage of people who put their freedom or even their lives at risk in order to fight for what they believe in. In their shoes, I wonder if I would have the courage to stand my ground, with sword or pen (or computer mouse) in hand? Or would I actually be cowering behind safety, wishing I was braver? I guess none of us know which way we would leap at the crucial moment.
Recently when I was worrying about what I could actually do to help, I read a call-out for volunteers to load a lorry going out to Iraq loaded with donated medical supplies. It was in a warehouse two streets away from me, on a day when I wasn’t working, and so it was easy to walk round and spend the morning lifting and carrying. It was a small gesture – one morning of my life – but what else can you do except small things?
There are places in the world where writing about peace, or even writing a blog about anything at all, would mean risking your life. It seems a small thing to do, to add my voice to the 70,000 people who are blogging today about peace, knowing I can do so with no risk to my own safety or well-being. Looking for hope, in place of words I offer you an image that reminds me of beauty in the world. This lovely creature sat on my finger for five minutes in the summer, taking my breath away with his delicate colours. Surely there has to be hope while there is such beauty in the world.