Polarization is undermining our planet. What will it take for the Ukrainian people to have peace in their corner? I listen to the month-long impassioned words of Volodymyr Zelensky and wonder what it will take to bring his country’s people back together again. Like the old rhyme about Humpty Dumpty, I wonder if all the king’s weapons and all the king’s men CAN bring back Ukraine’s 3.3 million scattered-to-the-four-winds refugees.
There is a story or two about Humpty Dumpty. Some tout the simple version; it is just a riddle about things breaking down. From other minds, Humpty may represent King Richard III of England. Was he humpbacked? History tells that Richard was brutally defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Later dubbed the War of the Roses, battling sides spilled blood from 1455-1485. Why? The homeland was polarized between Lancaster (red-rose territory) and York (white rose-land). Never mind that the rosy-war label did not appear until the 19th century.
History reveals Richard to be a bad egg who clawed his way to power by killing his brothers, nephews, and anyone else who stood in opposition to his claim to “King-dum” rights. Richard rationalized his actions as “security” measures for his country.
The egg-enhanced story came from Lewis Carroll’s novel, Through the Looking Glass, published in 1871. However, the name, Humpty Dumpty, pre-dates the iconic pictures of a wall-climber egg-shaped Humpty.
A weapons’ version of Humpty Dumpty suggests that this was no egghead, but rather Humpty was a name given to a cannon fired by the Royalists during the English Civil War. The Civil War raged from 1642-1649. The cannon’s position was on the walls of Colchester and it did indeed suffer a fatal fall, along with King Charles I who lost the war along with his head. OK, this is grim, but you already know that war is grim.
People have fought in wars seemingly since the beginning of time, whatever timeframe that represents. When is peace possible? Artists, musicians and poets express anguish for all of us over peace possibilities. Emily Dickinson captures the essence of this angst in these lines:
I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away—
As Wrecked Man—deem they sight the Land—
At Centre of the Sea…
How many fictitious Shores—
Before the Harbor be–
Yet, we must not give up on the possibility of peace for the planet. The resilient Ukrainians believe in peace. They elevated their national flower, the sunflower, to peace-symbol status. (See Peace as Your Legacy Blog, 3-7-22.) Let’s restore the lovely rose to a peace-time image.
We need to turn a corner or two and intend to make peace possible – in our families and our communities. Start small. Handle one polarization in your life at a time. Let’s make peace in our own daily lives.
Pearls of Peace (PoP) Quiz:
66. What seems polarized in your life today?
67. How might you model peace-making for those around you