December 1, 1969: “What’s your number?”
I remember the worry about my friends — Who would go on their own, enlist? Who would be drafted? And then…I couldn’t think of the result. I’d close my eyes and hope those moments would not come.
Those images of the war sickened me; I cringed and looked away: how could we choose killing to achieve a purpose? Shouldn’t we be able to achieve goals with words that honor each one’s needs, and find a working, living solution? Shouldn’t we be able to live together in peace?
I know; it’s complicated.
Yet, Pope Paul VI said,
It is difficult, but essential, to form a genuine idea of Peace. It is difficult for one who closes his eyes to his innate intuition of it, which tells him that Peace is something very human. This is the right way to come to the genuine discovery of Peace: if we look for its true source, we find that it is rooted in a sincere feeling for man. A Peace that is not the result of true respect for man is not true Peace. And what do we call this sincere feeling for man? We call it Justice.
If you want peace, work for justice. Pope Paul VI, 1/1/72
Justice: the quality of being fair.
The quality of a “sincere feeling for man.” Respect. Understanding. Considering what is fair– for all.
In the United States, we pledge to the flag for what it represents for our republic:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
So, it seems, we should be working for justice in all we do, in all the world- to strive for a world of liberty for all of us.
It seems, in respectful consideration of human rights, we should be able to accept differences in cultures, and create the structures within which we can all live.
Today, we argue about the Second Amendment. That’s not the issue. Bear arms. But we have a responsibility to use those arms safely, for their purpose. We don’t need to change or delete the amendment: we need a system to provide for safety in their use– so all of us are safe, whether we choose to have guns or not. That would be justice– a conversation, a debate, a solution that works for all of us.
We, together, have responsibilities to each other for this issue:
- social issues: mental health
- community issues: safety in public places
- acceptance of each other’s rights and responsibilities
Are we civilized or not? Are we able to come together and find common ground through, not force, but respect for justice for all. Do we all want to live with less stress, to know that those owning guns are responsible, to believe and hope for a world where we can walk the streets, pretty much without fear of being shot? We’ve had that in America— how do we get that back?
Work for justice.
One nation, indivisible.
We can do it.
Images by Sheri
Quote made in Notegraphy