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Yes, I know that every beauty pageant participant espouses this rhetoric (World Peace) to accost their sophistication and worldly knowledge—to which they, unfortunately, appear exactly to the contrary.  But being in earnest—we should all be for peace—if not actively, then at least in our minds and hearts.

And, yes, I realize my graphic is somewhat of the 60s; but then I am a flower-child at heart (of that era, too) and will never change, obviously.

Seriously, though — peace is more important today than it ever was in the 60s.  There are some very high profile people around the world actively advocating strongly for world peace, and they're doing it with their lives on-the-line every day.

As Jim Axelrod of CBS news put it the other day to Nicholas Burns (former under Secretary of State), "don't you think people look at the notion of peace and think, peace is wonderful, it's noble, it's terrific for us to aspire to—but." Paraphrasing, sure peace is wonderful, but let's get real!

Burns responded, "a great society will always remind itself that in the final analysis, our greatness will be determined by whether or not we're striving for peace.  That's why we rate Lincoln, Washington, Martin Luther King and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as among the greatest leaders we ever had, because they all stood for peace, especially when times were very, very difficult."  And, as we can all attest, these times are indeed difficult around the world; thus, 'peace' should always be in our daily lexicon.

With reference to those who have put their lives on-the-line for peace Burns mentioned Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratic leader of Burma; people like Lakhdar Brahimi at the UN, who's trying to negotiate an end to the war in Syria; and everyday people like the young Malala Yousufzai, this very courageous Pakistani teen who stood up to the Taliban and championing the rights of girls to go to school in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  She was nearly murdered for that.  We can truly be inspired by people who put their lives on the line — who risk everything in their own communities to make them more democratic, to make them stronger and to make them more secure.  And which, hopefully, will lead to a more peaceful world.  We must stand up, we must be counted — otherwise, we don't have a prayer.

So my thoughts this holiday season are not only for world peace, but for all those persons named and unnamed who are putting their lives in harm's way, so that, just maybe, we can one day achieve that elusive goal of peace for all of mankind.

Please peruse and watch the thoughtful CBS piece with Jim Axelrod and Nicholas Burns: 'Who will be the peace makers in uncertain times?'

Footnote #1:  In a recent David Ignatius Washington Post op-ed published Christmas Eve, ‘Encouraging signs toward peace in Afghanistan’, perhaps the first signs of peace for the coming New Year.  We can especially be hopeful in his words as being one of Washington’s most knowledgeable writers on these subjects; a reporter for various prestigious news publications, who’s covered the Justice Department, the CIA, the Senate, the Middle East and the State Department, and written 7 books, knows of what he speaks.  And when he says in his op-ed, “In this season of good will, there is a rare bit of good cheer about the prospects for peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The reason seems to be that some Taliban leaders are concluding that they couldn't win the civil war that might follow U.S. withdrawal of combat troops”, we can definitely be encouraged.  Mr. Ignatius concludes soberly while, “It's not peace for the holidays.  But the recent moves toward serious negotiation with the Taliban suggest that the Afghan situation, bleak as it may look to most Americans, offers some hope of progress in the New Year.“  So while peace obviously may not be breaking-out tomorrow there are hopeful and encouraging signs—for peace in our time.  

Footnote #2: A message from the "Messenger to Mankind"

Is Peace-on-earth simply fashionable at this time of the year?

Survivor of the Nazi death camps Elie Wiesel shares his thoughts about 'peace' with Scott Pelley (see video).

"Peace is not something that can be an abstraction—it must be practiced.  It must be created and recreated; war is ugly—only peace can be noble."

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