Recently I read some words spoken by Mairead Maguire that speak deeply to me:
"Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change, too."
If you know who Maguire is, you'll know how deeply she feels these words—and how she lives them. Three of her sister's children were killed in Northern Ireland in the violence between Catholics and Protestants. So she organized massive demonstrations and other actions calling for a nonviolent end to the conflict. In 1976 she and Betty Williams together won the Nobel Peace Prize. Maguire still speaks out against oppression and violence, working for peace—currently standing in solidarity with people in Syria.
Change is possible. Peace is possible. And it is up to each one of us to do our part to bring it about. And, yes, it is a daily struggle for us to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving and joyful. There is much that can drag us down, wear us out and make us angry. Let's keep coming back to that north star of forgiveness, compassion and love. And let's help each other stay true to those values, too. Then, by "some miracle of grace," we can be change and bring about change!