Monday, December 7, 2015

A holiday wish for peace and mercy

By: Marisa Geitner, President and C.E.O.

Fear and conflict have such a significant way of overshadowing the values that should define us. In the wake of the attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and elsewhere I found myself wanting to abandon all logic and act out by attacking those who threaten us. In those moments, acting on fear alone, I lost my bearings.

Thankfully, it was my faith community that swiftly brought me back into focus and reminded me that peace begins with me and how I treat people. I heard the reminder loud and clear – that I chose a faith defined by peace and mercy. Peace was the gift given to me.

Peace does not mean passive. My heart hurts from all of the violence, and I need to do something. Seeking peace is very active, a vision, a choice, a way to approach each interaction, each day. In the weeks since the attacks I have kept peace and mercy my vision. No matter the conflict that arises, large or small, I center myself on the vision of peaceful resolution.  

It has helped me to be thoughtful and honest with my words and to seek to understand others’ perspectives in order to find common ground in our solutions. Most importantly it has helped me identify when fear and anxiety rises in me and clouds my vision and threatens my values.

As we continue through this season of thanksgiving, celebration and renewal, I wish you a vision for peace and a passion for demonstrating mercy to all.