Sadly the great heroic figures are all exponents of redemptive violence. But whether we view current events as inspirational or distressing (or both), what matters is that we all care for fair play and most importantly for peace.
And peace building does not merely depend on how we view the past or how we plan for the future, it depends on how we behave in the present.
Nor is peace building about self-justification. As the great journalist Jon Kimche used to remind us here at the Next Century Foundation, there is a difference between peace and a mere truce. You can have a truce and continue to hate. Peace is about living in harmony. And it is often easier to achieve than we think.
Larry Wright, the NCF's religious affairs advisor, puts it this way:
Peace needs no boundaries. Peace achieved anywhere is a triumph for us all. It requires people of good will to work for peace and concord in all aspects of our lives and into our neighbourhoods and nations. In my experience such commitment to peace places us into the path of others seeking similar goals. They are not numerous but sufficient to make the quest worthwhile.
Here at the NCF we all wish you a happy - and peaceful - New Year.
The NCF Team