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Less Hostile and More Cooperative

“Now, that makes me less hostile and more cooperative!”  This from a gentle giant many of us refer to as “the human forklift.”  You might remember James from a few columns back, the welder sucked into a legal boondoggle because of the fragments of a coin flying into the crowd during a Schoolcraft presentation.  The young man who at the time remained “Hostile and uncooperative” and was refraining from public comment.

I wished to remain on this gentleman’s good side for a multitude of reasons.  One, the obvious—“human forklift!”  He is my first call when some physical challenge confronts me on our nearby farm.  Even more importantly, his friendship is to be treasured because he more than most exemplifies the teachings of our Lord.

Just last year when my wife suffered a physical injury due to the avarice and negligence of a business with whom she dealt, and I was considering a lawsuit; it was he that reminded me that as one who presents the Gospel, that litigation “was not in my toolbox.”  He is a good man.

So, though he harbored no ill will, I wished to see him happy.  I shared some brownies given to me as a “Thank you!” for my auctioneering services as well as some cake purchased at that same auction.  In reality, the pastries were more a “thanks” of my own than a petition for peace.  But, I believe such tasty morsels would well serve for that latter cause.

I would hope we can all agree there is far too much dissension and conflict in our present world.  Too many seeking to express hatred and act on the basest of our emotions.  Careers made and based on such hostilities.  Yet, as artist Vincent van Gogh reminded us “There is peace even in a storm.”  With his troubled mind, he most likely knew of what he spoke.

We have been told “Blessed are the peacemakers….”  Ralph Waldo Emerson believed “Each one has to find his peace from within.”  Marcus Aurelius that “The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”   Winston Churchill advised to “Keep calm and carry on.”

I find all those statements compatible; of course, giving precedence to the first from the Book of Matthew.  Our goal should be to bring peace to this troubled world.  In communities; in people.  We can work to find common grounds, whether in political parties or in church committee meetings.  Shared objectives for city workers and school boards.

Through acknowledgement, encouragement and example we can help others find and build upon the calm within them.  Help them find and grow their strengths; their gifts.  And through that, a better sense of peace.  This world can, and will, be changed one person at a time.

We can seek opportunity, or simply recognize the myriad of opportunities that daily come our way.  A smile that can be returned; an occasion to offer a compliment.  An act of charity done in secret.

I have two good friends that travel now to different music festivals to entertain.  Mike and Nancee Micham as EznDil (check out their Facebook page).  Through their music, they travel around “spreading joy!”  Joy, you know, first cousin to peace.

Music, as hopefully storytelling, can work to accomplish these goals. Help make people, and this world “less hostile and more cooperative.”  Bring peace.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow believed “Silence is a great peacemaker.”  Quiet may well bring about peace.  As can, perhaps, a piece of carrot cake and a chocolate brownie.  Thanks for joining us!

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