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There are two main topics on the Artists4Peace website that I follow: peace and war. Lots of people have written about stopping war and this makes me wonder how should we define war if we want to stop it? I think one of the greatest epiphanies I’ve had is that avoiding war is NOT making peace.

For example: I had a friend who offered to help me with something very important — their idea — not mine. I was most pleased. Until in the middle they backed out. I chose not to fight about it. I said I was at peace with it. In truth, I didn’t make war with this other person but I did make war with myself. By holding in my true feelings it has definitely riled up my innards and forever changed the way I look at this person. Some may argue this is not war but I can guarantee it is not peace. No angry words were spoken but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t hurt and there wasn’t trust lost. If you wonder what if feels like to be at war with yourself — if you’ve ever felt guilt or shame then you know.

As I type this piece for some reason the words will only go halfway across the page. I have tried everything I can think of to make it stop. I was getting very frustrated and losing my peace so it’s going to get published just the way it is. Having a war with a computer program — well — we know which one is going to win.

So what is a war to you? Does it have to involve death? A certain number of people killed? Does it have to be between two countries? Is a fight between two people the same as a fight between two countries? I think before we can stop something we need to know what we are stopping.

I have in the last year or so drastically changed what my answer would have been. I no longer view things by levels or degrees. If you want to stop fear, I believe it is as important to stop disappointment as it is to stop terror. I know some people will be emailing me on this and saying that terror is WAY worse — what could I be thinking. It is like when people take antibiotics only until they feel better. They killed off most but not all of the disease-causing bacteria. At some time those few bacteria that you’re not even aware of — are going to flare back up — stronger and more resistant than before. We do this with fear. Some place gets bombed in the world and there is an escalation of terror. And then time passes — some of the people are caught and killed. People don’t feel terrified anymore so they put up with that little bit of disappointment or worry. But it is still FEAR. It is still waiting to flare up into something bigger and more resistant.

So my answer to the many people who have so eloquently expressed the very noble desire to eradicate war — how do we do this? We replace fear with love. And then we can have peace. And when we have peace — we no longer have to worry about war.

What do you think?