Home Commentary Peace, a much needed virtue

Peace, a much needed virtue

"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart."

Our world seems to be in turmoil. The senseless war in Ukraine has been flattening cities and killing civilians. The recent horrific shooting at an elementary school killed 19 young children and two adults. Violence between groups and destruction to property seems to be constantly erupting in our beautiful land.

We struggle to deal with these situations around each of us. Amidst the tragedy of life around us, the following anonymous story has a powerful message for us.

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The King chose the second picture. Do you know why?

- Newsletter -

“Because” explained the King, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.’

The story reminds us that despite the violence and the tension all around us, we need to keep our peace. We need to stop and think carefully about how we can deal with the tensions all around us.

The coming elections (in Papua New Guinea starting July 2) is an opportunity for us to choose leaders that will bring us together in love and peace for our good and the betterment of all our people.

God bless you and your families!

Father Ambrose Pereira is Secretary for Social Communication of the bishops’ conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

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