The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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September 4, 2013

Let's create gentle waves of goodwill

The Clinton Peace Coalition is asking community members to share their thoughts on peace in anticipation of this year’s Stop the Hate / Show the Love Annual Walk for Peace on Sept. 19.

In this column, Dr. Williams Woods of Ashford University shares his thoughts on peace. This year’s theme is “Peace begins with…”

This year, the murder rate in many American cities is alarming and disappointing to say the least. The value of human life seems to be depreciating in the streets and homes of America on a daily basis.

What was once precious and protected now suffers violence at the hands of those who glory in it. Often the outbreaks of violence in this country seem random and without reason. Our workplaces, schools and churches have, at times, been turned from being havens of hope into houses of slaughter. Classmates, co-workers, mothers, fathers and family members are often left to try to make sense of the violence that their loves ones have suffered at the hands of those who relish seeing blood flow.

It is time for each of us to do our part in turning the tides of violence into gentle waves of goodwill. We must talk about peace with every neighbor and each child. We must speak encouraging words to one another each day without fail. We must kindle the flickering good that is inside of each person until it burns brightly. Then we can make peace infectious and once again increase the value of each life.

We must continually seek to improve the well-being of each person. Through meditating on the ways and words of peace and sharing them with one another, we can have hope for a better day.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that we must live together as brothers or perish as fools. No one else needs to perish. Every last person within our shores must join in this cause. Peace does not require programs, money or education. It requires each person to exercise self-control and genuine concern for others. We can all do it starting today.

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