I am for you

do we really want peace on Earth?

love ya mom!

Not completely, I bet!

We crave challenges.

We use conflict to help us grow, play, and learn.

We get up in the morning wondering “What can I accomplish today?”

So, what we need is to clarify the kind of conflict that we really want.

One way we might describe the sort of non-peace that we are most enthusiastic about is natural challenges where we have a reasonably comfortable fall back option.

In other words, we like challenges that originated from what we see as mostly random chance, or at least that we believe were not actively intended to be seriously bad. And we can feel positive about taking these natural challenges on when we are starting from a generally healthy position.

Another way to say it is that we like challenges that are on the more neutral middle of the scale of good-and-evil. We really don’t like it when we think real evil, totally beyond control, artificial, and unnatural, is involved. Stupid mistakes, and mild-mannered natural disasters, we can deal with, but the intentional and serious harm that we think of as “evil” is what we want to avoid.

This is why most average folks hate war, which is seen as evil incarnate, but love video and board games, which are seen as neutral fun. And it’s why people with extreme amounts of money and power (and who don’t have to actually get their hands dirty) do love war, and see it as neutral fun. It’s why people can enthusiastically go to school and work, if they know they will be ok even if they fail in their attempts. It’s why artists of all kinds try to turn their inner feelings into sensory experience for others, even though nothing can ever really capture what’s going on inside our hearts. And it’s why people who really love each other, and trust each other, can argue joyfully. :-)

We humans are born problem solvers and game players. And we always have to start working~playing from where we are right now. But we don’t like to feel forced to fight against the intentional cruelty that is evil. So the more we can help each other avoid truly dangerous challenges, and the more we can give everyone healthy fall back positions from which to start, the more we’ll all be able to be at peace with our conflict.

So maybe what we should wish in our cards, and in our minds, is something that clarifies what what sort of peace we want…

Try this one on for size this year:

I wish you all the resources you need to find peace and joy in all your challenges.

And, of course, just plain old love. :-)



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