Is Peace on our To Do List?
Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation
“We must celebrate
the gift of life
in some way…
We must always
after every storm.”
– Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Our schedules and activities are now in full swing. What was a new year – filled with resolutions and goals – just a month ago, has now transitioned into routine activities and projects, and the reality of looming deadlines and not-quite-enough time.
Also wedged into those tiny calendar boxes are sporting events and worship meetings, after school clubs and after work gatherings, and all sorts of other individual and group activities, and endeavors and desires and plans.
With so many worthy or necessary tasks pulling us in so many different directions, considering one more To Do List element may seem like the infamous straw that brings that clichéd camel down. But what if that additional element was one that offered support – for us as individuals and as a community – as we cope with all those worthy or necessary tasks that leave us sometimes excited, and often exhausted?
In his final book, Just Peace: A Message of Hope (AMP, 2006), Mattie J.T. Stepanek wrote the following:
“There is a gentle quietness to peace. Relinquishing anger and tightfistedness brings a calming acceptance and resilience. Peace is something that feels good when we recognize and realize it inside of us. And, we can feel the goodness of peace when we are selfless and reconciled with others, and when we are considerate and careful with the earth…. Peace is possible, because peace begins with an attitude, and an attitude is a choice.” — Mattie J.T. Stepanek
If we think of peace in this way – as a truth that begins with how we choose to think, and then speak, and ultimately be – we realize that putting peace on our To Do List is not something that takes more of our time. Instead, choosing peace becomes a strength that supports us in coping with any task or goal, and in celebrating any moment that is a part of our reality.
Despite that morning crunch most of us face each day, and despite those stuffed-full calendars and lists of things we plan to tend to or accomplish, let us take time and make for peace. As we move into every today and toward every tomorrow, let us ask ourselves this simple question:
Is peace on our To Do List?
For more information about the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation,
or to learn about our programs and activities that
support youth and adults in choosing and celebrating peace,
please visit www.MattieOnline.com
or e-mail MattieOnline.com@Gmail.com.