On Peace

Embed from Getty Images

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. (Mahatma Gandhi, Indian)

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. (Nelson Mandela, South African)

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. (John F. Kennedy, American)

A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser. (William Shakespeare, British)

We make war that we may live in peace. (Aristotle, Greek)

If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. (Desmond Tutu, South African)

The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned. (Dag Hammarskjold, Swede)

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American)

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. (Confucius, Chinese)
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. (Albert Einstein, German American)

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. (Martin Luther King, Jr., American)

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war. (Winston Churchill, British)

Peace is a state of quiet and tranquility. Peace is a harmony between people. Peace is mutual concordance between governments.

Some of us see humans as one, thus see everlasting peace as desirable quest, which is much more than a point in time, but a desirable end point. But history has countless reminders of tranquility followed by violence, and the cycle repeats … peace follows war, thus leading to another war.

Serenity to turmoil, quiet to loud, calm to tumult are only a few of the terms describing human events. Arnold Sherman wrote Song of Peace for handbells memorializing another event – the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995. As you listen, the harsh discord of violence is evident – as is the calmness of peace. Coincidentally, I finalized this post while watching the moving dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Peace to you.

On Terror and Peace through Music

I enjoy sharing my journey with our handbell choir, and this weekend will be our final contribution before breaking for the summer. Interestingly, Song of Peace was originally written for the 2001 CORD Handbell Festival held in a place realizing both terror and peace – Oklahoma City.

To better understand the piece, read the following from composer Arnold B. Sherman, and then enjoy the St. Olaf College rendition of this powerful selection about society.

Song of Peace is a reflection of the way the world has treated peace almost from the beginning of time. The gentle round DONA NOBIS PACEM is given a rather harsh, angular treatment, representing the needless violence and senseless acts of terrorism that plague the world almost on a daily basis. An original, lament-like melody is interspersed with the round, echoing the psalmist’s cry, “How long, O Lord, how long?”

The dissonance builds and rises, and finally stops. Out of the cacophony comes the round once again, this time in a much more harmonious setting, signifying our eternal hope that peace will come on day for all of humankind.

PS: The joint choirs at our festival this past March played  Song of Peace. To me, the highlight was the audience of 110 singing the round at the end, which (unfortunately) this version doesn’t.

We still have the occasional rough spot in rehearsal, but hopefully we’ll get it right this weekend. Enjoy Song of Peace.