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Season of peace?

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When Jill Jackson penned the words to the song “Let there be peace on earth” in 1955 she knew exactly what she was talking about but chances are that as we in St Vincent and the Grenadines join millions across the globe to sing this peace anthem today it is but another song for many of us.

The story behind this song gives us insight into the thinking of the author when it was written. According to the biographical work of Jackson who died in 1995 at age 80, she was so depressed after her first marriage ended that she attempted suicide.{{more}}

“When I attempted suicide and I didn’t succeed, I knew for the first time unconditional love–which God is. God is unconditional love. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are. In that moment I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and knew I was here for a purpose,” she said describing events in her early life that developed her unique philosophy of Peace.

The first line of the song reveals her formula for getting the peace process started: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”. In another verse she revealed the focal point: “With God as our Father, brothers all are we, Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony.”

The song comes to mind with the senseless killing of Stacy Wilson last week. This is the fourth consecutive year that violence falls in a season of peace.

Last year Jennine “Lucy” Gill and Vonley “Crimo” Llewelyn were found burnt to death in a house at Villa-Fountain Road. A post-mortem revealed that Jennine sustained multiple stab wounds and Vonley’s head was smashed in.

The year before taxi driver Peter Joseph was found just off the roundabout at Arnos Vale, his body bullet-riddled. Franklyn “Frankie” Williams was shot dead at Philo’s Discotheque in Questelles. Also at Redemption Sharpes Rose-Claire Dupont-Williams and her husband Lancelot Jeffrey “Lancie” Williams were gunned down in the early hours of the morning at Trigger Ridge.

In 2003, on Christmas eve, Wade Durant was the victim of a shooting.

The Christmas season will be for these and other families and friends a sad time. For others, it will be the first Christmas without the smiling faces of their loved ones.

Some people have commented saying it has marred the Christmas season however that can only be true if Christmas is not about Christ. If it is about a holiday period and festivities, then yes, it has marred the festivities but if the focus is in fact on Christ, then it shouldn’t mar the remembrance of His birth.

Jill Jackson found the ultimate formula which she penned in her last two stanzas: “Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow, To take each moment and live each moment in peace, eternally. Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

The big question, though, how do you get people to understand what is peace and that it must start with each one of us? Then, whose responsibility is it to promote this? The church? The government? Parents? The schools?

Perhaps all of the above?

The management and staff of SEARCHLIGHT wish all a Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful 2007 bearing in mind the words of Jill Jackson’s “anthem”:

Let there be peace on earth,

and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on Earth,

the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,

brothers all are we,

Let me walk with my brother,

in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me,

let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

let this be my solemn vow,

To take each moment

and live each moment

in peace, eternally.

Let there be Peace on Earth,

and let it begin with me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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