Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” (Gladys Taber)

“Child with a Dove” by Pablo Picasso (1901)


Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.

Like festive greenery, silver bells, or candy canes, these words have come to define the holiday season. We sing them in carols, scribble them in Christmas cards, read them aloud in church.

In this season of love, joy and miracles, PEACE — what we as human beings claim to cherish most — feels ever more elusive.

Each day, as we hear of yet another natural disaster, mass shooting, racially motivated atrocity, or act of domestic violence, our hearts break a little more, and we question everything we do and believe in. What makes sense in a world that seems to be falling apart, when those who lack a moral compass can wield such power? How can some be led so far beyond the limits of human decency?

Moreover, how can we steady our faith and resolve, hold onto hope in the face of adversity and uncertainty?

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friday feast: james rumford’s poem for peace (calling all translators!)

Today I am honored to share a beautiful poem that was recently read aloud at the Jane Addams Peace Association Children’s Book Awards ceremony at the United Nations Plaza.

It was written by esteemed Hawaii-based author and illustrator James Rumford, and was inspired in part by a conversation he had with President Obama’s sister Maya Soetero Ng about the importance of using children’s books to promote peace. I was moved by this timeless, powerful message, words we all need to hear now more than ever.

(click to enlarge)



I wonder
how could I,
so small,
just one person,
bring peace
to this fighting world.

I might as well try
to touch the clouds
or journey to the stars
or travel to the far
corners of the globe.

Yet each time I
let raindrops fall
on my upturned face,
it is the clouds
out of reach
that touch me.

Each time I
dance in the twin-
kling night
it is the stars
so far away
that have journeyed
to meet me.

Each time I
take the first step
and go where
I’ve never
gone before,
it is the world
that opens up
to me.

Each time I
so small,
just one person,
and make a friend,
it is peace
that comes
to me.

~ Copyright © 2014 James Rumford

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Happy World Hello Day!

Hey there Cutie Pie, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to greet ten people today.

That’s right! Just ten people in the name of peace, to show world leaders the power and importance of personal communication rather than force to settle conflicts. Since 1973, 180+ countries have been participating — people taking a moment to say hello in dozens of different languages — on the street, in the office, at schools, in cities, farms, stores, on buses, boats, trains, subways, even in fields of waving grain, and oh yes!, in restaurants! Anyone can participate, anywhere.


Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name . . .

I know you can do it! With your winning smile, flexible eyebrows and unending charm — go ahead and surprise ten lucky strangers with this small act of kindness and see what happens! These days it’s kinda shocking when people actually take the time to make eye contact, crack a smile, or basically acknowledge that there’s another human being breathing thinking standing right beside them. Sad but true. And we’re all guilty of it. (ahem) Love our devices much?

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