(Host) It is the season of Peace, and commentator Madeleine Kunin reminds us that it is also a time of hope.
(Kunin) When I was a child during World War II, each night before I went to sleep I prayed for the war to end, for peace to begin. All would be well with the world, I believed, once the war was over.
Today as an adult, I know that the road to peace is uneven and that it sometimes disappears in the dust, and yet, the yearning for peace remains. Hatred, resulting in death and destruction, pock marks the globe in many places-Iraq comes first to mind– then the Middle East, parts of Africa, and almost everywhere we fear the spreading plague of terrorism.
How do we -in the season of hope-hold on to the child like belief that peace is possible and that suffering can be alleviated? The daily headlines offer small comfort. A grenade is tossed here, a bomb explodes there, and we see the aftermath in torn bodies and scattered rubble.
At this time of year we have to read between the lines. I tried to breath life into a faint ember of hope with the announcement of an unofficial draft of a peace treaty between Arabs and Israelis, called the Geneva Accord. It is a sensible agreement that could work, if the official powers, including the United States, provide support. It mark a beginning, it shows that that not all Arabs and Israelis are locked into their positions.
Another ember was lit when the New York Times announced that some members of the conservative Likud party in Israel support a Palestinian state, recognizing that the growth of the Arab population within Israel could threaten Israel’s existence.
And then, the capture of Sadam. There is no guarantee that the attacks will stop, but without Sadam as a rallying point, we can hope that the movement towards peace will gain some fresh recruits. These are slender reeds of hope moving in a wind that can change course without notice. It is only our hope that will plant them in firmer ground. Even in troubling times, hope is part of the human condition. We cannot point our eyes to the dawn each morning without it.
And in this holiday season, many religions preach the same message from separate pulpits. They talk about miracles, such as oil lamps burning fort eight days instead of one, to mark Hanukah, or the birth of the Christ child to mark Christmas.
This is the time to regain our childish wishes, our belief in miracles, and our hope for peace. And with these wishes, to encourage our leaders, to take us in new directions, so that our dreams will in time, come true.
Madeleine May Kunin is a former governor of Vermont.