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  • David Popham

The Thing that Makes for Peace

Originally published in the Coconut Wireless, March 9, 2022.

It is heart breaking to take in the amount of destruction and loss of human life taking place as the Russian Federation invades Ukraine. Horror upon horror. Watching this slow-motion invasion unfold is grueling.


During this week I keep focusing on a memory from when I was in Europe during the early 1980s at the height of the European anti-nuclear movement. I talked with a peace activist who explained her understanding that world peace begins with personal peace.


While, after all these years, I doubt I can quote her word for word, this a close approximation: You cannot have peace in the world until there is peace in your country. You cannot have peace in your country until there is peace in your town. You cannot have peace in your town until there is peace in your neighborhood. You cannot have peace in your neighborhood until there is peace on your street. You cannot have peace on your street until there is peace in your family. You cannot have peace in your family until there is peace in yourself.


As we work for peace in Ukraine, let us also work for peace within ourselves. The unspoken assumption of the peace activist I met was that conflict manifests out of conflicted individuals and peace manifests itself from people at peace.


God of Peace, come as quickly as possible.


David K. Popham, Conference Minister

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