Monday, August 10, 2009


Peace can mean different things to different people. To some it can be a feeling or state of tranquility or quiet and harmony in personal relations; also freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Still others may view it as a state of security, or order within a community provided for by law or custom. Some see it as the opposite of war or freedom from civil disturbance. It may be considered as a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity; as well as a state or period of mutual concord between governments.

If someone asks me what I am looking for in life, my first thought or reply is always “inner peace”. I look at it as something personal. But can anyone find inner peace when much of what we hear and see in the media is all about war and discontent? Currently every time I hear the names Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Korea and many others the color I see is red. This is the red of blood shed over hatred, greed and lust for power. It’s the red of anger I feel that there is no peace anywhere as long as these feelings exist between countries and people.

Why can't we get along? Would I find more peace if I stopped watching and listening to the news or if I moved to an isolated cabin in the mountains? The world has gotten too small and everyone is affected no matter where we reside. I have met people from all over the world and realize that we are basically the same. Yes, we have different backgrounds, color, status and religious beliefs, but we all bleed red. I am an American Jew living in Costa Rica (so sue me!) I have learned much from being here for the last two years. My friends are Tico, Canadian, French, British, Italian, American and are of many colors, faiths, ideologies and likes and dislikes. What we have in common is respect for each other. No one walks around with a chip on their shoulder for very long. It doesn’t get knocked off it gets rubbed off with a big hug. In order to get along with others we must find our inner peace through tolerance, understanding, sharing and forgiveness and turn it outward so that it rubs off on someone else. As a famous singer once said (God rest his soul) ”we are the world!”

Ellen Moltz Los Arcos, Joy Streck Cariari