By | September 1, 2016

By Jennifer I. Cowick I borrowed the title of this article from an event whose beginning was right here in Abilene on August 6. HANDS OF PEACE FROM THE WEST TO THE EAST was to be a chain of participants holding hands along Interstate 20 starting in Abilene and stretching all the way to Dallas. This in an effort to advocate peace and unity in a climate of up surging violence and division, specifically in the matters of the black community and law enforcement.{{more}} This event was a great example as well as a great metaphor of how each one of us and the choices we make as individuals are important. Though the hands may not have been linked from Abilene all the way to Dallas without division the hearts certainly were. Participants gathered to show their support not for one group or another, but for peace and unity themselves. To say from the heart- we as people, here together, must move past these divisions. On a personal note, I for one do not “back the blue” at this particular moment. I for one feel the timing of this particular sentiment to be in bad taste. And that in light of the recent events it would seem obvious to me that law enforcement has plenty of support and “backing”. I personally would observe that the only thing law enforcement lacks in the way of support at the moment is that of training and the examination of policies and structures in regards to behavior and accountability. But those are merely my thoughts and feelings. This is where each one of us as individuals makes the difference. This is where each one of us becomes a link in the chain of community, of humanity. This is where every one of us as individuals makes the internal change and say, I will be an example of patience, love, compassion, tolerance and respect. No matter the situation, no matter the past, no matter the anger, no matter the fears and beliefs that linger in my mind, and no matter my personal feelings; I will come from my heart to be a difference. Because in our hearts we know black lives matter, blue lives matter, white, brown, yellow, red, rainbow lives all matter. And they matter equally. Mine not more than yours and yours not more than mine. All life is precious. It is our mind and our eyes and our observations and perceptions that tell us we are separate, that we are different, in different clubs or on different teams or from different countries. But our heart knows. Our heart knows the truth. If we were to close our eyes and hold a baby in our arms; we would feel the life, we would hear the sounds. We would have no idea or care what color the baby was or what color clothes he or she may be wearing. When we embrace a man or a woman, we feel the warmth, the heartbeat, the breath, the life, the value, together with our own. There is no division, no difference on that level, on the level of life. The level of heart. This level of heart, this is where we need to abide within ourselves. As individuals, we need to become practiced and familiar with operating from a level of truth and love. Deepening our understanding that we are all connected and bound together in this life. We are equal and as one body. We cannot harm another without harming ourselves, and we cannot promote peace if we are perpetuating violence, hatred, or fear by our attitudes and behaviors. We all have the ability within us to tend to our own thoughts and feelings. As well as the ability to reflect on how we might improve or heal those thoughts and feelings, for our own benefit, and for the benefit of all those with whom we come in contact. We cannot change or control the behaviors of others. But WE CAN influence change, WE CAN encourage unity, and WE CAN provoke and inspire peace by finding the place of peace and love within ourselves and working and moving from that place, no matter what.