Canada is a country with deep peacemaking roots.
- We were welcomed in peace by First Nations and aboriginal people, although we seriously betrayed their hospitality and trust.
- Many of the early French explorers were humanists who sought a land where they could practice tolerance and live in diversity.
- Our commonwealth heritage emphasizes our responsibilities to each other.
- Peace, fairness and good government are central tenets of Canadian society.
- Many of us (or our ancestors) came here fleeing conflict and seeking peace.
- We have not waged war for territorial expansion for two centuries.
Canada is recognized in the world at large as a peaceful country. As such we carry a considerable responsibility for its good name. There are times when we don’t seem to consider the implications of this fact.
We let fear get the better of us. We let the louder voices of ignorance and intolerance divide us. We obscure the distinction between real danger and the terror that beset those who see threats everywhere. We leave little room in our hearts for those who disagree with us. We allow our partisan nature to bring out the lesser angels of our nature. We drift from civility.
Now that the 2015 federal election is over, it is time to resurrect our peacemaking roots.
We cannot address our worries for all that we hold dear without engaging all Canadians.
We cannot achieve our bold intentions with regard to climate change, inequity, taking care or reconciliation with First Nations people without making room for those we don’t know, don’t like and don’t trust.
There is no easy way. No government, no political party, no leader, no sector, no group of activists, no initiative, no social innovator can accomplish this alone.
We need each other to help us through our troubles. It’s time to make peace:
- With the messiness of our relationships
- With the divide between our caring nature and our behaviour
- With our inadequacies and imperfections.
Memory and imagination are two sides of the same coin. We were birthed in peace. We live in peace. We will thrive in peace.
We become peacemakers when we are no longer struggling for power, to be at the top, but just working to serve each other… We cannot all do big things, but all of us can kneel at each other’s feet and say, “I trust you and I believe in you.
“It’s a phenomenon that goes on and on
Saying it right but doing it wrong.”