Blessed are the peacemakers

Stabroek News
April 10, 1999

A peacemaker is one who is not concerned with winning the argument or scoring points. He is not concerned with looking back and trying to recall who wronged who when and how, with trying to invent some impossible calculus or weighing of the historical scales. He accepts that human history is impossibly complicated and many strands are interwoven, that there have been many wrongs, that people are weak and make mistakes, some of which they later regret, that most people are creatures of their upbringing and imbibe the culture in which they are nourished. He understands, as well, that most peoples are mental slaves to some deceased ideologue whose thought has imprisoned them.

A peacemaker is one who looks to the future and seeks to create a better, more hopeful and more positive reality. He is prepared to forgive and forget, recognising that we have all sinned grievously. He is not impatient, recognising that wrongs cannot be righted overnight, that real progress is often slow and gradual based on educating ourselves, in the fullest sense of that word, on dedication to some often distant goal and on hard work.

A peacemaker seeks not to be bound by ethnic, religious or other ties. He recognises these as proper and normal human links but does not let them obscure his vision. The peacemaker keeps focused on the broader, human picture. He is not interested in shallow and meaningless victories. He has the courage and the honesty to recognise the weakenesses on his own side and in himself as well as the strengths and good qualities on the other side.

A peacemaker is prepared to labour tirelessly expecting no sudden transformation, hoping to build gradually, looking on the bright side of things and for the many positive achievements that already exist. He is an optimist. He is not discouraged by setbacks but accepts them as inevitable. Dr Martin Luther King was a peacemaker. Nelson Mandela is a peacemaker. They exist in every country. Blessed are the peacemakers