Peace. That’s a word we hippies used for “goodbye.” (Yes I was, and yes, I had hair down to my shoulders.)

Peace is easy to say. As a concept, it may be harder to understand. It’s not just the absence of war. I first learned about worldwide peace when I was 16 and had the opportunity to spend a week at the United Nations. I grew up in a small town in Oregon, so you can imagine the culture shock when I saw New York. Multiply that shock a hundred times when I walked through the U.N.

There were people from countries all over the world wearing their native garb. They walked those halls with a single purpose — to represent their countries. They were looking for ways to get along with their neighbors — near and far.

Many organizations are busy trying to foster peace. Rotary comes to mind. Rotary International sponsors exchange programs for teens and peace fellowships for college students. Local Rotarians were responsible for one of three Peace Forums in the world. The work never stops.

Peace is like a good marriage. It’s working hard at communication, trust and faith. Nations find peace the same way — everyone working at it.

During this International Year of Peace, you will see the newspaper filled daily with conflicts among nations. It could be and often is discouraging. But as Bishop Desmond Tutu once told me, “Peace has to start with the individual.”

Please don’t think I’m a namedropper. I hate that. In fact, as I said to Prince Charles just the other day…


Retired Broadcast Personalities and Journalists Kirk Matthews and Linda Coble speak from the heart on issues concerning boomers and seniors. Post comments for them on below.

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