By Henrita Frost, SSND
Hope, Hopes Compassion
The recent 73rd Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, brought profound sadness as we remembered the hundreds of thousands of deaths of our Japanese sisters and brothers and the devastation of their common home. The sadness becomes traumatic as we realize that it could possibly happen again in our lifetime.
Recently, we heard about a soul shaking interchange between two world leaders. One world leader threatened the other with the “mother of all wars” and the second world leader responded: “Never ever threaten us again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
Their threats freeze my being in time and space. I wonder, do they really know the impact of what they are saying? Do we even want to think about it, pray about it? Is peace possible without wars? Can love and compassion save us? Is compassion the stage on which peace is possible and pursued?
Global Community Calls
So what shall we do? What hope is there but for each of us to assume a role as a peacemaker – wherever we are in small or enormous circumstances. We can contribute to building a peaceful world, beginning with our place in the Global Community. We can name ourselves as a Local Community in the Global Community, accepting the challenge to walk daily the nonviolent journey of the peacemaker.
In trying to get the Global Picture, I turned to the United Nations to discover how many countries are in our Global Community. The United Nations lists 195 countries in the world today which comprises 193 countries that are member states and 2 countries that are non-member observer states, the Holy See and the State of Palestine.
However, I was surprised as I discovered reports about the number of countries in the world, listing 249 countries and territories in our Global Community. It isn’t easy to determine the exact number of countries because the issues of sovereignty are unlikely to be resolved, because the ever shifting forces of globalization are redefining the meaning of nationhood. Quite overwhelming for our vision of a peace-filled world!
Boundless Hearts Respond
I sit and wonder about the condition of the Global Community. Then I remembered some words that I read recently by Joanna Macy: “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole world.” What else, but love and compassion can break our hearts wide open. With boundless hearts, let’s begin walking the nonviolent journey of the peacemaker. The Global Community needs us. Let’s Journey Onward!
“Treat others and the planet as you would like to be treated”