Why a Father For Peace Needs Courage
Courage is a trait that is required for all things great. A Father for Peace needs courage because peace demands it. In our quest for peace we need to embrace the We.
It is necessary to cast aside all versions of separateness and embrace the universal principles of fatherhood which can bind us in collective action for the good of us all. Courage is also necessary for us to challenge our ideologies about war, violence, suffering, poverty and injustice and explore what we are able to do to eliminate those conditions when we lock arms for a transformation to more desirable conditions. Courage is necessary to confront the institutions and systems that We have created and have allowed to persists that profit from the war, violence, suffering and injustice that stand firmly in opposition to peace. Courage is necessary to move from the idea of “my family” to the idea of “our family” and stand for the good of everyone especially the children. Courage is the cornerstone of peace.
In a world where violence is often confused with power and strength, courage is required to resist the calls for violence. Many believe the cure for violence or the way to stop violence is a greater more dramatic demonstration of violence. It’s easy to see that this only leads to escalation and produces more separation, misery and destruction.
Courage is a multi-dimensional pathway to peace and has many different forms. Let’s take a look at some of the types of courage needed for peace. The courage to walk away: In a culture which values violence and retribution walking away can give the impression of being weak or afraid.
Walking away from confrontation can be the quickest and smartest way to deescalate a potentially deadly situation. It shows maturity and the wisdom necessary to promote a peaceful alternative to violent confrontation. The courage to stand and fight for what’s right: Seemingly the opposite of walking away courage is stand and fight courage. But stand and fight for what?
We know as fathers that there are some things that are necessary to promote peace and those things are worth fighting for. What’s right are the things that allow our all of our children to live in a world which helps them to flourish without the fear of violence and actions that create separation and division. The courage to let others think what they want to think: Both walking away and standing to fight for what is right will of course have its critics.
Now comes the courage to act despite what others, family, friends, community, etc. are going to say and think about you.
There will always be critics. Often their criticism is based in fear and only reflects the holding on to the status quo where we continue to live in the same conditions that diminish our ability to grow together. The courage to look at yourself: Why do I believe these things? Where did I get these ideas from? What good does it do for me and my children to follow this way of thinking and acting? Are we growing and expanding or shrinking and isolating? As a teacher, am I teaching peace? And so many more questions. The courage to tell the truth: The truth shall set you free!!
It’s difficult to admit the truth sometimes. It’s even more difficult when the untruths we have invested in are such a large part of our identity. I am a this or I am a that and we behave this way and follow this set of rules and guidelines. The courage to admit fear, weakness and vulnerability: The truth may be that outside of the set of limited but well-established truths which we hold so dear we feel vulnerable and weak. So, we cling to the known rather than grown and expand. Then courage to admit fear opens up ways to pursue growth in many ways. The courage to open up to others who aren’t like you: Now we are getting into deep water. Who are these others? Why are they so weird? Why do they believe these things? The courage to “open” up to “others who aren’t like you” means that you are allowing yourself to grow, share and realize that we have more in common than we believe we do.
It takes courage to listen to different opinions and viewpoints. It takes courage to build relationships with people who don’t look, think and act like you. It takes courage to move out of your comfort zone. It takes courage to care for someone else. The courage to embrace love over fear: It’s amazing how much more comfortable some of us are with fear rather than love.
We dress our fears up in data, intellect and established ways of thinking and call it facts or the way of the world. Well we see the results of that. I believe we know better but are afraid to admit it.
As fathers we know that love is essential to having children that are happy, strong and healthy. Children who are happy, strong and healthy grow and reflect those values and help build the type of world that we can all prosper in.
Certainly, there are many more ways to demonstrate courage. All of which contribute to more peaceful society.
The sacred office of fatherhood gives us an added responsibility of developing a practice of courageous actions while teaching and modeling that courage to our children.