World Service #9, Peace. October 12, 2021

In this episode:

  • Listen to the Music, featuring Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers), Playing for Change.
  • Let’s Go Whale Watching!
  • A Poem that was read by Charlie Chaplain at his 70th Birthday.
  • Film Chat: ‘Ride the Eagle’.
  • Peace Train, featuring Cat Stephens, Playing for Change.

I reckon understanding peace as the absence of war probably doesn’t help to actually achieve it very much. There is a strong pro-active side to creating peace.

In the Hebrew language, the word is Shalom; in Arabic, Salaam. The concept has to do with wellbeing, and the word is used as a greeting. We in Australia might say ‘G’Day!’ or ‘Have a good day!’ In the Middle East, the greeting ‘Shalom!’ (Hebrew) or ‘Salaam Ailaikum!’ (Arabic) means ‘peace be upon you!’ Our Aussie greeting is a bit weaker in intention.
In these Middle Eastern cultures, that have strongly influenced our own cultural development, the deeper meaning has to do with everything in its right place.
Right relationships, if you like, in every respect; not just inter-personal relationships but everything from architecture to education.

For the three arenas of peace, I am suggesting:

  • peace within oneself means being balanced, well-adjusted, stable.
  • peace toward others means encountering the other with goodwill and generosity of spirit.
  • peace across the world means concern for the wellbeing of all people and their cultures, beyond borders.

Peace in all three of these arenas involves honesty, trust, good faith and, when there is need, positive support.

How do you provide pro-active support for your own inner peace?
How do you prepare to meet others with goodwill?
(I have a friend who always allows 15 minutes of quiet reflective time before appointments, if she can, to prepare herself to give her whole being to others before meeting them.)
How do you support national and international efforts to bring peace (wellbeing) across borders in ways that also change underlying systems of dysfunctionality?

In this episode, we begin with an invitation to ‘listen to the music’.
Music can be one of the most profound languages of peace.
Then we observe peace-making in action, one initiated by a man playing a violin to a whale, the next, a whale giving a human a bit of a hand.
The poem that follows, reputedly read by Charlie Chaplain at his 70th Birthday, expresses the wisdom of peacemaking within our our own person.
‘Film Chat’ makes comment about peacemaking of an estranged mother with her son.
And, having offered his song ‘Peace Train’ in celebration of this year’s International Day of Peace, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stephens) now offers it to us with musicians from Playing for Change.

To you: shalom, salaam, peace – be with you!

For Reflection: Music and Peace

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife. Kahlil Gibran

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. John Erskine

Music is life itself. Louis Armstrong

Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life. John Paul Friedrich Richter

Love is friendship set to music. Jackson Pollock

Music is the universal language of mankind. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. Alphonse de Lamartine

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. Oscar Wilde

Music is the soundtrack of your life. Dick Clark

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. Bob Marley

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. Confucius

Where words fail, music speaks. Hans Christian Anderson

How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations? Jane Swan

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. Robert G. Ingersoll

Music is love in search of a word.  Sidney Lanier

Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. Henry Ward Beecher

Without music, life would be a blank to me. Jane Austen

Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common. Sarah Dessen

Music is the shorthand of emotion. Leo Tolstoy

Music is what tells us that the human race is greater than we realize. Napoleon Bonaparte

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold Auerbach

Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. Leonard Bernstein

Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens. Maria von Trapp

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. Edward Bulwar Lytton

Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Without music, life would be a mistake. Friedrich Nietzsche

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart. Pablo Casals

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
Victor Hugo

Everyone in the world, from the most isolated tribal groups to the most technologically advanced societies, has a form of music that they can relate to and experience.

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