going for the kill

by vanessagobes

I’m not sure how many times Obama and Romney said the word “kill” in last night’s debate, but if I took a sip of booze every time they said it, I’d be stumble-drunk.

I’m a mom in the suburbs.  I don’t know a lot about foreign policy.  But I do know that the Middle East has been warring for thousands of years.  And I truly believe that neither of the men vying for the job of President have a chance at negotiating, sanctioning, convincing or forcing peace upon this region.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that these are actions that need to be taken, but they are certainly not longterm solutions.

Don’t these men know that peace will not be found at the end of a machine gun?  Peace is cultivated in the heart.  Peace begins with the child.  When a mother is safe and happy and peaceful, so will be her child.  This is the only way.  It won’t happen in 4 years.  Or 8.  It will take a generation or more.  And it will take education.

In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson introduced us to his life’s mission of building schools for girls in Afghanistan, opening our minds to the notion that Afghanistan, or any persecuted population for that matter, will not be transformed or pacified by American politicians.  The hope for Afghanistan begins as a seed of peace planted by the educated mother that, when tended, will grow.

“Worldwide movement first starts from individual,” taught the Dalai Lama last Sunday at his presentation for MIT, which I had the pleasure of attending.  “First you, then your neighbor, then ten families, then 100 families.”  Through education, through love, through service our world can elevate one family at a time.

His Holiness told us that there is nothing more important than the affection of the mother to support human survival and growth.  He said this is not only a spiritual philosophy, this is a “biological factor”.

When American Presidents realize that the best defense against war is a mother’s love, the world will breathe a sigh of relief.  There is no tank, no drone, no diplomat that can create or maintain peace more effectively.

Jimmy Carter’s biggest wish during his presidency was to negotiate peace in the Middle East.  Obviously those efforts failed; his legacy was wrapped with faded images of a frustrated American President, shoulders slumped, pacing through the gardens at Camp David.  Fortunately he learned something after his presidency that has done more to create a better planet than he ever could do while he ran the free world.

He learned that peace starts at home.  In a home, to be exact.  In 1984 he and his wife Rosalynn teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that has built over half a million homes for about 2.5 million people around the globe.  2.5 million seeds of peace.

Throughout the debate last night, I heard very little about the millions of NGO workers who have committed their lives to the betterment of mankind.  I heard very little of substance about plans to educate persecuted populations, specifically women, around the world.  I heard nothing about the importance of nurturing the world’s babies with love and truth.  These solutions seemed more like asides.  And it made me sad.  Because above all, the child is the hope of the earth.