As our nation gathers for Memorial Day weekend to honor those who fought and died in war, let's also consider the importance of celebrating the peacemakers.
The peacemakers are those whose medical, educational and faith-motivated activities provide a valuable ambassadorship in nations that are desperate for assistance to fight disease and hunger and to avoid tragedy.
These organizations, philanthropies and dedicated individuals are not only giving relief and responding to disaster, they are building the bridge of goodwill, which can ameliorate conditions that promote conflict.
It's time to recognize the contributions of Peace Corps members, medical missionaries, teachers, therapists, agricultural experts and others who understand that this nation's power is not only in its weaponry, but in its commitment to international aid.
Our military defenses must be strong to protect us against those who would do us harm, but there is strength in our resolve to be a nation that promotes prosperity and exemplifies peaceful resolution of conflict.
Striking that balance is the key to our success as a society as we strive for world peace. Investing in our families is an essential domestic security strategy, and sharing with others the tools they need to build their own safe and secure communities is in our best interest.
Let's resolve to honor the fallen this Memorial Day weekend by dedicating ourselves to peace and positive policies, for all members of the human family, and the many species that need our protection.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 we read this:
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
These timeless words about life's balance are a beacon of truth for us all.
Jack Levine is the founder of the 4Generations Institute in Tallahassee. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.