Which reminds me a little of ourselves.  Human beings. We do come with bells and whistles, but we don't believe that about ourselves because we've been told we're designed for greed and war. We're just human, just a hair above wild animals, predatory and territorial.  We have accepted these facts about ourselves, and often use them as excuses to stay low.  How else do we tolerate war?  The only way we can accept organized violent conflict as just "" is because we have forgotten about our bells and whistles.

When reading an article about North Korea's attack on South Korea last week, "Rules of Engagement" was mentioned.  Rules of Engagement?  Well, that sounds civil.  Let's look it up (per ):  "Rules of engagement (ROE) determine when, where, and how force shall be used."  Is it just me, or doesn't it seem that enemies who can determine when, where and how force shall be used, could actually decide to forego force altogether?

If that sounded hopelessly impractical, maybe Costa Rica can help.  Costa Rica is an uber-wise country, presided by a woman, that was the first (among 20 others) to formally abolish their military forces, and they did so in 1949.  What kind of people behave like that?  Who has the nerve to feel safe without armed forces?  People who are aware of their bells and whistles -- their ability and power to cultivate higher attributes and functions. 

Peace, like war, has a strategy.  It started with the audacity of Costa Rica.  For me, it started with a rumble inside that could no longer accept the tiny, fearful, groveling stories I got auto-fed.  It started by remembering in Whose Image I am made.  It started by releasing false modesty.  It started by rehearsing my desire for planetary well-being.  It started by recognizing myself as a bell-ringing, whistle-blowing peacemaker who can make a difference by being a difference.

Blessed are those who
speak the words that calm us,
quiet us, and bring us back to you.
Blessed are those who,
with a look or a touch,
still the fear that leads to hate.

Oh, help me to be
one of your peacemakers.
Where there is strife,
Help me bring calm.
Where there is pain,
Help me bring healing.
As I go through my day
and make the world a better place,
help me reflect Your light, Your love,
and Your ever-present wisdom.



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