Peace Begins With Me
   Ideas and Inspiration
November 2011
Issue #47



When red poppies find their place on the coats and lapels of fellow citizens I find myself in a state of unease. The poppies, meant to symbolize the remembrance of our fallen soldiers, seem too silent in demanding that we find a better means to resolving our most complex challenges as a world community. This month I use my reflections as an opportunity to affirm what it is I do remember.

I hope my reflections assist you in your journey to live in peace and joy, and to increase our capacity as world citizens to live in peace.
Those who would like to add their comments to my reflections, feel free to join my blog at:  Peace Begins With Me - blog 





I Remember
Reflections on What I Remember

Ted standing

Two years ago I offended the sensibilities of some when I wrote a newsletter asking the question, "What are we being asked to remember on Remembrance Day?" and "What would be different if we truly remembered?"  


My intent was not to show disrespect or offend anyone. Rather, it was my hope to invite further dialogue and consideration whether we are remembering what we ought to be remembering, and as a result doing all we can to prevent future wars and the further loss of human life.


I am not a proponent of military intervention as a means to resolving human conflict. And I am of the opinion the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were not only unnecessary, they represent a profound failure of the human condition. However, rather than invest energy in challenging decisions which have already been made and resisting actions that have already been taken, I prefer to use this Remembrance Day as an opportunity to identify and affirm what I do remember and wish to continue to remember.


I remember:

  • Each individual, regardless of colour, race, religion, culture or political persuasion is a human being who experiences anger, hurt, fear, love and joy and holds the same aspirations and desires as do the rest of us. There is no 'us' and 'them', only 'us'. 
  • All human life is of equal worth.
  • The individuals who participate in military conflict are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and neighbours. They are all members of a family and citizens of the world community.
  • When we use language as 'terrorist', 'rebel', 'insurgent' and others we depersonalize, dehumanize and objectify these individuals and make their actions less noble and their aspirations less worthy.
  • Every human being does the best they can with what they know. No individual intends to make a bad decison or take an action they know is the wrong action.
  • Every individual believes their actions to be the right actions. And from their perspective it is.
  • Contrary to political rhetoric, God is on the side of both combatants in the battlefield.
  • War represents the failure of the human condition to resolve complex human challenges in more reasoned, civilized, and respectful ways.
  • A disproportionate amount of our nation's resources  (financial, people, ideas) is dedicated to an infrastructure that wages war vs. an infrastructure that supports and encourages peaceful actions and collaborative solutions.
  • Most people do not place peace as their highest value; rather, justice, revenge, comfort, wealth, security, power and many other values are consistently placed higher than the value of peace.
  • One day we will achieve peace, either through the collective collapse of the human condition due to the ongoing destruction of war, or through the intentional efforts of dedicated and committed leaders and citizens. I dedicate my resources to the latter. 
  • It is only when we search within for the cause of war will we be able to create peace. If we continue to focus our attention on the behaviours of others we will fail to recognize and address our own capacity for behaving in destructive ways.
  • If peace is to be achieved it must begin with each of us making a commitment to being peaceful. It must begin with each of us leaning the skills and strategies for peaceful decision-making and peaceful conflict resolution.  
  • The battlefield that needs to be won does not exist outside of us but rather inside of us. Only then will we make progress in our desire for a peaceful world.   

This Remembrance Day I will be wearing a white poppy. White poppies made their first appearance on Armistice Day 1933. The white poppy is a symbol of the hope and commitment to work for a world where conflicts can be resolved without violence. For more information about white poppies visit: 




Words of Wisdom

"I have the audacity to believe
that peoples everywhere
can have three meals a day for their bodies,
education and culture for their minds,
and dignity, equality and freedom
for their spirits."

Martin Luther King Jr.
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (1964)

Thank you for sharing these few moments with me. I hope they offer you inspiration, heart, and hope for the future. Together, we can make our world more peaceful.

If you have questions or comments, I would be delighted to hear from you. You can email me at

Ted Kuntz
Author, Peace Begins With Me

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