Howard Thurman was an American theologian and one of Martin Luther King’s beloved teacher’s. He once said, “Don’t just be good, be good for something.” This is one of my favorite quotes because he is emphasizing the action. It is important to think good thoughts, but it is better to do good things.
Having kinds thoughts doesn’t move the needle. If we want peace we must, as Father Greg, of Homeboy Industries, says, “be about peace.”
How can we be about peace?
We must strive to be peaceful in our interactions, including with ourselves.
Do you find yourself becoming anxious or upset by the news? We must make conscious decisions about the data we allow to into our awareness. Fasting from traditional news outlets can be difficult, but we don’t need to obsess about it. In the 24-hour news cycle, most stories are not truly news but are repeated reports of the same information on a loop. We can decide to watch, listen, or read only once daily to control our response to negative or disturbing events.
We don’t need to engage in online and or in person discussions of upsetting occurrences. We don’t need to repost these events in our newsfeed.
To be a force for peace, we can do something good for someone else each day. We can offer a kind word, donate to a cause we care about, or we can help someone we encounter in our daily life.
To be about peace, we must be in action.
Let peace be a verb in your life.