Three years ago, Mimi laid down a challenge to come up with 100 Reasons to Blog for Peace. The reasons I came up with ended up as something of a story, although that hadn't been my intent when I accepted Mimi's challenge.
I find that to be the standard operating procedure with this Blog Blast movement.
The result of doing this challenge...of thinking every day for over three months of the reasons I should Blog for Peace...was that actions directed toward my own personal peace became habitual. And that's kind of the point, right?
Words in the hands of love...that's the theme this year. The more concerted effort I make to get my thoughts about peace into words about peace, the better the chance my actions toward peace take shape, find direction, and have impact.
So here on the Eve of Blog Blast 2014, I present once more my 100 Reasons to Blog for Peace.
Reason 99: Because every time I make a new Peace Globe, whether for myself or for a friend who asks for my help, I feel positive energy. And every time I post a Peace Globe on my blog, I feel like I'm spreading positive energy.
Reason 98: Because Peace Bloggers remind me, through their words and images, of the commonalities we all share as human beings.
Reason 97: Because I think blogging for peace can change destruction into construction.
Reason 96: Blogging for peace reminds me that I'm responsible for the way I move through the world and interact with others.
Reason 95: Because putting something in writing, like creating a Peace Globe and writing a post on 4 November 2011, is a great way to start yourself on a path to more definitive action in your community.
Reason 94: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines willingly risk all for duty, honor, and service. I blog for peace because I want them all to come home from their service to live out and enjoy the fullness of the life they put on hold.
Reason 93: Because I believe that words are powerful, so this matters.
Reason 92: Because each time I blog for peace, I learn a little more about myself.
Reason 91: Because I want to be the kind of person who looks for solutions instead of wasting time assigning blame.
Reason 90: Because I have a voice and this is one of the positive ways I can use it.
Reason 89: Because I want to be who I am and cherish what I have and believe what I will, in peace with others who may be different and cherish different things and believe something I don't understand.
Reason 88: Because revolutions are made of ideas and today's reality doesn't have to be tomorrow's.
Reason 87: Because I am not daunted by those who dwell on what is not rather than find the potential in what can be.
Reason 86: Because I believe what Mohandas Ghandi said, "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."
Reason 85: Because a peaceful state of mind requires dedication to achieve and vigilance to maintain. One of the ways I attend to that dedication and vigilance is to blog for it.
Reason 84: Because acting out in violence may get you the attention you want in the short term, but it does not lead to long term constructive solutions.
Reason 83: Because being active for peace builds a wellspring of tranquility that I can tap when I'm feeling unsettled.
Reason 82: Because "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one".
Reason 81: Because I want to live in the world that Martin Luther King Jr envisioned, where we all are accepted for the content of our character and not judged by the color of our skin.
Reason 80: Because "Yes We Can Can", song written by Allen Toussaint, released by The Pointer Sisters in 1973.
Reason 79: Because "I'm Here to Love You", song by The Doobie Brothers, circa 1982.
Reason 78: Because I want to be part of a world in which no human being should ever again perpetrate such an atrocity as the Bataan Death March on other human beings, nor have to endure the pain and life long memory of having such an atrocity perpetrated upon him.
Reason 77: Because someone believed in me when I needed it most and showed me another path besides anger and bitterness. Why shouldn't I try to do that for someone else?
Reason 76: Because when you know what you want, all that's left to do is put a plan together and then execute on the plan. You want peace? Start with your own space, put together your plan, and then execute. Make a Peace Globe part of your peace plan.
Reason 75: Because I believe in a collective consciousness that tells me that what I think and feel can impact my fellow man, and I'd like the things I think and feel, and my impact on my fellow man, to be positive and peaceful.
Reason 74: Because even though I cannot know what is going to happen tomorrow, it gives me comfort to know that I'm a Peace blogger.
Reason 73: Because at the Little League World Series, kids from across the globe come to Williamsport to play baseball. They live in dormitories that cater to the things 11, 12, and 13 year old boys like...swimming pools, video games, ping pong tables, foosball, table hockey. They play to win, and that is important. But equally important is the friendships they make with kids from other cultures who, they often find, are the same as they are. I blog for peace in the knowledge that one day, the life in those friendships will overcome the need for war.
Reason 72: Because it is astonishing how much more negative than positive is in the air these days...from news media to opinion journalism to bloggers. Take an hour out of your day and tally up your own negative vs positive behaviors. I try to be honest with myself and when I find I'm tilting toward too much negative, I take charge of my attitude because that's what I control. I blog for peace because it is an inherently positive thing to do.
Reason 71: Because I get tired of watching people behave as if anyone who isn't "us" is "them" and "they" must be feared, hated, and destroyed. Peace blogging is inherently inclusive.
Reason 70: Because even though humans may be aggressive by nature, that doesn't mean we have to be warlike in response to every challenge.
Reason 69: Because I believe that the joys in life are the right of every human being on the planet, and not just those who are fortunate in the random circumstances of their birth.
Reason 68: Because there will always be things in life that irritate me, like whistling in a cubicle environment. Being a peace activist reminds me that these irritants are temporary things and not worth fighting over.
Reason 67: Because Easy to be Hard, originally from the musical Hair, circa 1967, released by Three Dog Night in 1969
Reason 66: Because, "Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we'll change the world." Jack Layton (1950-2011), leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, who lost his battle with cancer and passed on 22 August.
Reason 65: Because we are so much more than the sum of our political opinions or cultural differences. Two people who disagree have disagreement in common. Imagine what other common ground they might find if they looked beyond disagreement.
Reason 64: Because convincing someone that they are wrong is not nearly as important as understanding why you think you are right.
Reason 63: Because I want the trillions of dollars spent on active wars to be brought home and put to work eliminating unemployment, hunger,and poverty.
Reason 62: Because being willing to stand and defend does not mean I condone hitting first.
Reason 61: Because On the Turning Away, written by David Gilmour and Anthony Moore, recorded by Pink Floyd, released in 1987 on the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Reason 60: Because it can be challenging enough to make a prosperous life without the added difficulty of slogging through constant conflict.
Reason 59: Because I don't know how to be indifferent to the suffering that goes on in the world. I blog for peace because to be idle is to lend some measure of credibility to the idea that it's enough that I am not suffering in this moment. When one suffers we all are the worse for it.
Reason 58: I blog for peace so that I shall continuously renew the patience and persistence I need to re-dedicate myself every year to a path of fulfillment based in knowledge, responsibility, service, and respect for diversity.
Reason 57: Because we really do live in a nutty small world.
Reason 56: Because I believe that a willingness to compromise is one of the cornerstones of lasting peace.
Reason 55: Because I think that it must be easier to turn the sad faces of poverty into the hopeful faces of contentment in an atmosphere of peace than in one dominated by conflict.
Reason 54: Because acts of terror are wrong.
Reason 53: Because we should never fear to exercise our right to revel in frivolity.
Reason 52: Because I Think About You, written by Don Schlitz and Steve Seskin, released by Collin Raye in 1996.
Reason 51: Because of the permanent stuff.
Reason 50: Because rights come with responsibilities.
Reason 49: Because claiming some kind of superiority over others based on fear and hatred of difference is repugnant.
Reason 48: Because there's a lot of beauty in the world, and everyone should get an opportunity to experience and enjoy it.
Reason 47: Because peace takes work and I am dedicated to doing the work I can in the way that seems best to me.
Reason 46: Because People Make the World Go Round, written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed, released by The Stylistics in 1972.
Reason 45: Because sometimes you have to stop and take a breath to control that first angry impulse to lash out in violence against a party that has hurt someone you care about, otherwise you'll be no different than the bully.
Reason 44: Because in celebrating what makes us different, I think we might find way more to enjoy about each other than to dislike.
Reason 43: Because I'm selfish dammit! There's stuff in the world I want to see. I want to go places and meet people, and be safe while I'm doing that. I want to learn about other cultures, and maybe have other people be interested in learning about my culture. I'm the Dancing Worker Bee for Peace dammit!
Reason 42: I dislike stuff, and I make mistakes, and I get angry, and I lose my patience, and I swear at traffic, and I get frustrated, and I hold grudges. I have some bad habits. But I'm not afraid. I blog for peace because life can be hard, and overcoming the hard stuff is sweet.
Reason 41: Because I'm willing to stand up for the rights of someone else, and not just to make noise about my own rights.
Reason 40: Because I think it is wrong to oppress others in the name of protecting what you claim are your rights.
Reason 39: Because People Got to be Free, written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, released in 1968 by The Rascals.
Reason 38: Because blogging for peace is a community thing, and I like being part of this community.
Reason 37: Nelson Mandela said, "I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself". I blog for peace because if you can't first dream of what peace could be like, how can you understand how to make it, live in it, and keep it?
Reason 36: Because Share the Land, written by Burton Cummings and Kurt Winter, released in 1970 by The Guess Who.
Reason 35: Actor Betty Buckley said, "Everything good that I know was taught to me by great teachers and I feel like giving back and sharing the technique is the thing to do." She was talking about acting, but the sentiment applies to us all as we move through life. We all learned from someone. And if we're paying attention, we're open to learning something new every day. I blog for peace because it is both a way to keep learning from others, and a way to share some of what I know.
Reason 34: Albert Einstein said, "Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." I blog for peace because it is an inherently compassionate thing to do.
Reason 33: Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." I blog for peace because it reminds me that my choices impact others in ways I can't always see. I want that impact to be a positive one, even if I never see the result.
Reason 32: Because For What It's Worth, written by Stephen Stills, released in 1967 by Buffalo Springfield.
Reason 31: Because everyone in the world deserves to feel the joy of freedom, and to express that joy in the way that seems best to them.
Reason 30: Because blogging for peace is one of the ways that I believe in and work for peace.
Reason 29: Because posting a Peace Globe and sharing my thoughts about Peace is part of my way to try, err, succeed, and never abandon the journey toward peace in my heart, in my community, and in my world.
Reason 28: Because I believe that the future is what we make it. I'm going to do everything I can to make that future bright and shiny.
Reason 27: Because we don't know when the last moment of the last day will be, and I want the time between now and then to be as full of peace and love as I can make it.
Reason 26: Because I think that the best answer to a negative attitude is a positive one.
Reason 25: Because before one can succeed or fail, one must first step forward and try.
Reason 24: Because I like to see the marvelously diverse ways Peace bloggers use to express their wishes for Peace in their lives. Check out some of those ways in the Peace Globe Gallery.
Reason 23: Because I cannot sit on the sidelines and enjoy the fruits of peace won by others. Joining the Blog Blast is one of the ways I earn a part of the peace for myself and for my community. I just don't want to get to the end and wonder whether there was something else I could have done.
Reason 22: Because a young man named Matthew Shepard died on 12 October 1998 because he was gay and the two men who beat him and left him tied to a fence to die in the Wyoming countryside didn't like that. I blog for Peace in memory of people like Matthew.
Reason 21: Because time is going to pass whether I blog for Peace or don't. So I'm blogging for Peace.
Reason 20: In the Lord of the Rings films, Lady Galadriel (played ethereally by Cate Blanchett, says "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." I am just arrogant enough to believe that I can change the future by my actions, and so my actions include blogging for Peace.
Reason 19: Because I can't control what someone else is going to do, and sometimes I can't control my own circumstances. The only thing I have control over is my decisions...to act or not. I choose to act as a Peace blogger.
Reason 18: Because I enjoy the process of making Peace Globes...from deciding on a template, to figuring out the design, to manipulating the paint program, to pronouncing the Globe complete. And finally, I enjoy emailing my work to Mimi because she delights in receiving and collecting them.
Reason 17: Because Jalal ad-Din Rumi, a 13th century theologian and poet, said "Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." Perhaps Peace also lives in that field. Care to join me?
Reason 16: My dear friend Mimi, founder of the Blog Blast, said "The more you align yourself with creative souls, the more creative you become yourself and the more your passion is fed by their energy." I blog for Peace because I believe in the truth of that statement, and because I want to join my creativity and passion for art in all its forms to something powerful and worthwhile.
Reason 15: For my grandpa.
Reason 14: Gandhi also said, "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected." Blog Blast began in love. The love of a girl for her Papa, and his love for her, became the spark of love for humanity. Mimi's message is love. The story is about love. And the result of the message is the sharing and spreading of love. I blog for peace to be a part of that message and to help perpetuate that love.
Reason 13: Because everyone in the world isn't going to like me or the way I live, and that's OK. All they have to do, and all I have to do, is respect traditions and cultures that are different than mine. As long as the way each of us lives does not hurt others, then respect on both sides leaves us each living as best suits us, in peace. I blog for peace because I have respect.
Reason 12: Because our troops are coming home from Iraq, and I wish to honor their sacrifice to duty by wishing them peace in all the tomorrows of their lives.
Reason 11: Because our troops are still in harms' way in hot spots throughout the world, and I wish to honor their sacrifice to duty by working to bring them home safe and whole.
Reason 10: Because sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted.
Reason 9: Because there is enough volatility in the natural processes that make up this planet on which we live. There is no need for humans to add to that volatility with unnecessary conflict and war.
Reason 8: Because Blog Blast isn't a fad or a bandwagon. It is a movement. It is a chance for bloggers to spread the word...because peace comes from us as individuals, spreading out in ripples across our own little corners of the world.
Reason 7: Because Peace is a constant and worthy struggle.
Reason 6: Because I believe in the magic I feel in this movement.
Reason 5: Because today's reality need not be tomorrow's.
Reason 4: Because of posts like this one, Write on My Heart with Every Word.
Reason 3: Because of posts like this one, The Doll Box.
Reason 2: Because of posts like this one, Papa's Marbles, The Silence of Peace.
Reason 1: Because I know that the years of involvement with this movement have fundamentally enhanced the person I am and will continue to be.
Dona Nobis Pacem