Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008

It has been sixty-three years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. A terrible thing and a tragedy, truly. I grew up in the shadow of that bomb. If you are a baby boomer, like me, you probably remember dropping under your school desk when the air alert siren sounded. It was only a drill, but it scared us.

Still, we are a long way from a world at peace. We still have to worry about weapons--nuclear and street--in our lives. We have not tempered our aggressive instincts or re-channeled them sufficiently and we have a long way to go. I remember reading that classic book, On Aggression, but I can't at the moment remember the author. (Google will tell me in a bit, I am sure.)(Two days later: Konrad Lorenz, and I probably still have a copy somewhere in the house.)

Peace requires respect, I think, for others. It requires as well prosperity and a different way of organizing our economy in a global world so that no one is left out. It is more than time for that. It is overdue.

I am glad to see that Americans have been driving less this summer and that oil prices are easing. We have a long way to go though before we get ourselves out of the oil trap. Some folks have become very wealthy while we drove and drove. The rest of us have been providing that wealth. There are probably other areas of our economy that would yield the same analysis if we scrutinized them a bit.

Today is also the Feast of the Transfiguration, one of those lesser celebrated feasts that is worth noting because it is about the last things and the expectation of the after life. It means more to me today than it did twenty years ago. To be free of the body, transfigured or transmogrified, is something I am beginning to look forward to. Not ready yet, but thinking of not having to worry about weather or food, housekeeping or watering the plants; never to worry about money again. Not ready yet, but looking forward.

In the mean time, I will pause to look at my little Peace banner hanging on the wall of my front entrance and take a few moments to get out the peace cranes that a friend and I made last year and ponder this anniversary, the need for peace and how friendship also enters into it.

I am grateful today that we have not used the atomic bomb again since WWII. I am grateful to be alive today and hoping for real peace.

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