Please, give peace a chance

Published 9:39 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

The TV talking heads say the election season doesn’t really start until after Labor Day. I disagree. I’m already sick to death of it. It was fun for awhile, but no more. Trump says something outrageous. The press goes crazy. Some more email information is released. Hillary makes light of it. The press goes crazy.

It’s been going on for months. It’s getting pretty routine and boring.

Yeah, Trump is a narcissistic nut and yeah Hillary thinks we’ll buy everything she says.

Maybe something new will come along to rekindle interest before November. Hope so.

Meanwhile, is the Roanoke-Chowan area competing with Chicago for murder area of the nation? Chicago recently hit the unenviable number of 500 murders this year. That’s YUGE! I’ve lost track of how many we’ve had, but based on population density we’re fairly close to Chicago as far as the percentage of murders vs. population is concerned.

It’s time for folks to take a step back and settle disputes without violence and certainly without deadly violence.

In my younger days I had three personal heroes – Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Men who bravely faced enemies with grace, humility, and peace.

I admire them greatly and envy them for their profound level of spirituality. I’m a bit inconsistent. When W went to war with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11, I absolutely supported him. We needed to go get the people responsible for murdering 3,000 people in the United States.

But I was vehemently against the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. King, Gandhi, and Christ wouldn’t have approved of either war.

Violence is not the answer to problems, but these days it seems to be people’s first response. For me it’s always your last response: to be avoided if at all possible.

My heroes simply took violence off the table entirely. Gotta admire that degree of spirituality and that level of respect for life.

People used to have more respect for life and the creation. There use to be greater spirituality in the world, but something has hardened our hearts to be more accepting of violence against other people, living creatures, and the world in general.

Why have humans changed so much? Religions teach the same messages they always have of peace and love, but fewer people are listening.

Our societies have become crass and even cruel. Violence seems to be the only thing on the table. I know there are plenty of people who abhor violence, but there are too many who love it because of the illusion of power it gives them.

And we don’t speak out loudly enough in condemning it. Trump and his supporters, for example, glorify in it.

We wonder at the violence besieging us from the Middle East, and they wonder about the violence coming at them from the west. We all need to live up to our higher selves and eschew hatred, violence, and conflict without true meaning.

Peace be with you.


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7206.