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Opinion: The elusive gift of ‘peace on earth’

In this editorial, Greg Nikkel suggests that peace is needed now more than ever in the world, and in our communities
child vaccination stock
A child receiving a pediatric vaccine.

WEYBURN – Something everyone wants, regardless of beliefs or age, is peace, whether in one’s city or neighbourhood, in this country or just in one’s home or mind.

Not everyone will subscribe to the story of the Son of God being born in a stable two millenia ago, but no one can argue with the proclamation made on that night, of “peace on earth and good will towards all people.”

Some will look around here in Canada and point out that we don’t have wars ripping apart communities, buildings and families and bombs going off – we have a peaceful nation here, right?

Aside from the overt signs of violence like these, we do have a lack of peace in our society and in our communities, caused by a very stubborn virus we can’t seem to shake.

The result of the responses to this virus is a divided and polarized nation, with brother against brother, friend against friend, each side demonizing the other.

No matter which side one takes, whether as a vaccinated person or one who will not take the jab, the other side is viewed as evil and intransigent and unreasonable. The posts and rhetoric online and in public seem to denote a very obvious lack of peace here.

There are other signs of unrest as well, as Western Canadians in general don’t feel very much affection or trust of an Eastern-based federal government that ignores their views and needs.

On the environmental front, there are also some very polarized views that are not helped by a government bent on wiping out an entire industry, one that is still actually needed today.

On the home front, there are many families who are dealing with tough domestic issues and strife, and on a personal level, divorces, drug overdoses and suicide rates are up.

Clearly, there is a very real and ongoing need for peace in all sorts of situations and in many lives, so it isn’t such an old-fashioned or outmoded idea, is it?

Going back to that first Christmas and the baby born on that night, there is a teaching that He propounded that many people of all faiths and beliefs have taken on, calling it the “Golden Rule”.

Quite simply put, it states (and this is admittedly a paraphrase), “Treat others in the way you want to be treated.”

You could add to it with similar thoughts, such as putting others before yourself, and showing love to all regardless of how they treat you.

This isn’t easy to do, and is part of the reason there is so much strife and division in our world today – but it actually works, and is quite relevant for today’s society. Peace is a much better goal to strive for than getting in the last word in a meme or on social media.