My Peace Day Soundtrack and Prayers

A peace education advocate from Teach Peace Now, asked me this question relative to an older post:
“I agree that we should choose peace, but why do so many people, especially those in power, choose violence?”

I don’t think there’s only one answer to this difficult question but I am drawn towards what Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” So i said: It’s a sad reality indeed, one that can change however if we can all learn a little bit more of empathy and compassion…then we might perhaps be a bit more creative and find better solutions to our issues of conflict…because violence should never be an option.

Ubuntu, a traditional African philosophy, captures well the essence of empathy and compassion in these profound words: “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu provides us a glimpse of this beautiful culture and philosophy:

‘Ubuntu is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”[1]

“We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”[2]

Imagine how good it would be if we could all practice Ubuntu, empathy, compassion. No one will ever feel left out. Perhaps, we could eventually succeed in cutting the vicious cycle of violence in our society and live in peace.

On this note, and in solidarity with everyone celebrating the International Day of Peace, I offer these two prayers and songs of peace:

Your Heart Today [3]
by Bukas Palad Music Ministry

Where there is fear I can allay
Where there is pain I can heal
Where there are wounds I can bind
And hunger I can fill

REFRAIN:
Lord, grant me courage
Lord, grant me strength
Grant me compassion That I may be Your heart today

Where there is hate I can confront
Where there are yokes I can release
Where there are captives I can free And anger I can appease

(REFRAIN)

BRIDGE:
When comes the day I dread To see our broken world
Compel me from my cell grown cold That Your people I may behold
Where there is fear I can allay
Where there is pain I can heal
Where there are wounds I can bind And hunger I can fill

(REFRAIN)

CODA:
And when I’ve done all that I could
Yet there are hearts I can not move
Lord, give me hope
That I may be Your heart today

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Music by Ryan Cayabyab

Il Signore, Mi Rende Uno Strumento Della Vostra Pace
(Lord Make Me, Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace)
Dove Ci E Odio Lasciarlo Seminare L’amore
(Where There Is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love;)
Dove Ce E Ferita, (Where There Is Injury) Perdono; (Pardon)
Dove Ci E Dubbio, (Where There Is Doubt) Fede; (Faith)
Dove Ci E Disperzione, (Where There Is Despair) Sperare; (Hope)
Dove Ci E Nerezza, (Where There Is Darkness) Illuminarsi; (Light)
Dove Ci E La Tristezza, (Where There Is Sadness) Gioia. (Joy)

O Divine Master, Grant That I May Not So Much Seek;
To Be Consoled As To Console;
(To Be Understood As To Understand,)
To Be Loved, As To Love; (As To Love)

For It Is In Giving That We Receive;
It Is In Pardoning That We Are Pardoned;
It Is In Dying That We Are Born Again,
(It Is In Dying That We Are Born Again)
It Is In Dying That We Are Born Again, To Eternal Life.
Il Signore, Mi Rende Uno Strumento Della Vostra Pace
(Lord, Make Me) Make Me An Instrument (Il Signore,)
Of Your Peace.

May these beautiful prayers and songs fill our hearts today and become part of the soundtrack of our lives. We all have an opportunity to contribute in realizing Ubuntu, in building a culture of peace. It could all begin in our thoughts, our desires, our hopes.

Happy International Day of Peace!

-ems, #iamforpeace

References:
Good accounts on Ubuntu on these two articles:
[1] http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/7-22-2006-103206.asp
2] https://motivationinspirationandlife.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/ubuntu-i-am-what-i-am-because-of-who-we-all-are/

[3] Lyrics taken from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bukas-palad-lyrics/your-heart-today-lyrics.html&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>this page</a>

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