Archive for February 27th, 2006

February 27, 2006

Peacekeeping / Peacemaking — there is a difference

by Rod Smith

Call me... 317 694 8669 (USA)

Call me... 317 694 8669 (USA)

There is a big difference between keeping peace (peacekeeping) and making peace (peacemaking). In a troubled emotional environment peacekeeping takes a lot of work, saps energy, and is usually a never-ending task.

Peacemaking lays groundwork for authentic peace to rule.

Peacekeepers work hard to keep the tensions from rising. They work hard at pretending that nothing is wrong and nothing is bothering them.

Jesus was a peacemaker (the cross is one evidence that he did not avoid conflict) and he calls his followers to be peacemakers. (See The Beatitudes, Matthew 5). Peacemakers allow tensions to surface, even encourage tensions to be aired. They might even precipitate conflict.

Peacekeepers avoid conflict at any cost. Their reward is the semblance of peace and tranquility and the slow demise of their integrity.

Peacemakers invite necessary conflict because they know there is no other pathway to increasing of understanding between warring people and groups.

Peacekeepers can endure fake peace for decades while the tensions erode at their well being and it often leads to feelings of being “called” or anointed. Peacekeepers often have high levels of martyrdom. How else would they rationalize the stress that accompanies the effort of trying to hide the proverbial elephant in the room? Peacekeepers are often portrayed a deeply spiritual because they can endure so much without “saying anything.” They often see their suffering, not as an expression of being misguided or of stupidity, but as a product of faithfulness to being “Christian.”

d-is-for-differentiation1Peacemakers value authentic peace more than its distorted parody. The peace that exists between people with the courage to endure conflict, for the sake of lasting peace, is like gold when compared with its counterfeit cousin.

In your family, at your work place, at your place of worship, move toward lasting peace with courage. Assume your legitimate role as a peacemaker rather than avoid conflict in order to keep a semblance of peace that is not worth having.

Call Rod now…..

February 27, 2006

Should I let the school or the parents know?

by Rod Smith

My son (8) came home from school very upset about children who had turned him away from a game they were playing on the school field. He tried to join in and as far as I can tell, the older boys (10 year olds) who happen to live near (our family) sent him away. Should I make the school or their families aware of this and what do you think I should tell my son?

You will be a very busy mother if you involve yourself in everyday childhood skirmishes. Besides, what would you tell the school about the nature of children that the school doesn’t already know? Unfortunately, your son is experiencing every-day life for people of all ages.

The boy, after you have offered him appropriate comfort, has the potential under your guidance, to begin to learn valuable lessons on how life, society, and friendships work.

Rather than blame the school (or the older children) for anything, consider inviting your son to think about how he will behave when the circumstances provide him an opportunity to choose to be hospitable to others even if they are younger (older, fatter, thinner, stronger, weaker) than he is. Teach, comfort and challenge your son, rather than contact the parents of the other children or the school.