Looking across Lake Superior as the moon rises, stars filling the sky, no sound but the wind in the trees, and deer rustling in the woods … it is difficult to imagine the world could be anything but at peace on evenings like this.
John Lennon’s song “Imagine” contains timeless words and hope for peace, which is why this video and story of the pianist playing it outside the Bataclan in Paris went viral.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
… You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
(lyrics excerpt from “Imagine” by John Lennon)
It is difficult to imagine ways everyday people like myself can contribute toward world peace in a meaningful way. All the supportive Facebook posts, changed profile pictures, and tweets of solidarity do little to effect change halfway around the world. I am not so idealistic to think that a single individual can turn the ugly tide of the extremist movement.
I do believe, though, that an individual can create a ripple of change, promote a glimmer of hope and understanding that touches another individual, or perhaps a few. And that those few, in turn, can reach out to more, spreading tolerance and a curiosity of other cultures and peoples that drives a desire for learning how we are more alike than not.
Let words and prayers for peace turn into action. Let the dreamers come together and turn dreams into reality. Let us not forget the people touched by the tragedies in Beirut, in Baghdad, in Paris ….