Peace. It’s one of those cool but strange five-letter words in the English language. Peace is one of those oddball parts of speech that serves as a noun — world peace — or as a verb, as in “Peace out, yo.”
As an unusual part of speech, peace serves as a standalone sentence in every word processor. Surely, a few other words pass the same muster, but they’re more like the commands one gives the family dog; sit, lay, stay.
Peace offers an ethereal meaning with its calming connotation, such as “Rest in Peace” or “Peace be with you.” While there isn’t really a place location in RIP, and there is no solid object being offered to “be with you;” the peace part is understood.
One use of the word most people associate with the holiday season is “Peace on Earth,” although we’ve never truly experienced a period of complete global tranquility. Literally every spiritual practice has the similar concept built into its core tenets.
The likeliness that we will see world peace in our lifetimes realistically probably won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t lay a foundation for future generations. We can show the children that look up to us how to incorporate peace into our own lives.
Sometimes all peace requires is a kind word of encouragement to a stranger. Spending an afternoon volunteering at a homeless shelter or a parks and recreation program; that’s practicing peace.
Writing a letter to your political representative to express your dissatisfaction about some policy or legislation that negatively impacts the lives of others; that’s putting peace in motion.
Donating time, money or food to those who are struggling economically is also a way of spreading peace. Each effort you make to improve the world around you is a statement that you are helping to calm the planet.
“Peace” is the concept of nearly every known holiday, whether one celebrates Christmas, Eid-Ul-Adha, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice or National Fruitcake Day — yep, it’s an actual holiday to some people with fruitcake left over from Christmas. Respect and tolerance should be the cornerstone to the foundation you lay.
If we all make it our mission as college communities to respect the worldviews of others and to tolerate each human’s individualism, we leave something positive and solid for others to mimic.
President-elect Barack Obama has inspired millions of people internationally to expect and demand change; change built on hope. When we return to Cal State Long Beach for the spring semester, he will have taken the oath of office, an oath of hope we are using as a building block for contagious optimism.
We at the Daily Forty-Niner wish to thank the CSULB community for an incredible fall semester. We’ve witnessed most of the same growth as every other student and will be back in a few weeks to resume our utilitarian mission. Both returning and new staff will pick up the banner of reporting news the best way we know how — with the best information we can gather.
Until the spring, we leave you with a one-word sentence — “Peace.”