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This weekend was Easter. Supposedly a time of rebirth, of rebuilding, or renewal. Most people I know now call me Peace. Some don’t. Some don’t want to. Some think I’m stupid. Some want to keep as I was. My family has the hardest time. They have known me the longest. My cousin asked, “So what, are we supposed to call you Peace now?”

I said, call me what make you comfortable, but I will still try to be Peace.

I have lived as “Peace” for over a year now. I think that is enough time for a name to settle on you. I don’t ever slip, and call myself by another name. I know it isn’t who I am. My aunt likes to call me “Peace Man!”, from her I feel like she sees me as a comic book superhero. I try to be that. I mean why wouldn’t you want to be a super…hero…for peace???

The first day at the gym I work at, I introduced myself to another coach, I said, “Hi, my name is Peace”.

He looked at me, scoffed, rolled his eyes, and said chuckling, “OK, Whatever.”

I was yelled at in Arizona that, “I shouldn’t have changed my name. Jesus gave you your name. You couldn’t make me change my name. My name is Hank.” I decided at that point that telling him that his favorite men and women of god had changed their names. Paul was Saul, St. Francis changed too, and Mother Teresa was never a mother, nor was she Teresa.

In fact, the only people who were down right ugly to me my entire trip were evangelical christians…funny…and sad. People who have such a supreme example of love as Jesus, and yet they don’t follow in kind.

So what is the point with changing my name. Why does it matter. It matters because every time someone says my name, it reminds me who I want to be. Every time someone speaks my name “Peace” is spoken on Earth. These things are admittedly small…but I think that they add up. If you were reminded 50 times a day by little boys that you are supposed to be peace…wouldn’t you act differently?

Plus, and more importantly, I’m not that “other guy” anymore. I don’t act like him much. Sure sometimes I slip, but I believe it is about intention…and Peace and peace are my goal.

So, I try to be “Peace” and I try to be peace everyday. Everyday I wear a shirt that says: “Peace.” Peace period. In every situation, in every word, in every act, and in the way I try to love others—Peace period.

And, I fail. What do you expect of yourself…perfection? Me neither, I just expect Peace.

There are a lot of things one could try to be in this life, I can’t think of many better than trying to be Peace.

 

“There’s a name for war and killing
there’s a name for giving in
when you know another answer
for me the name is sin
but there’s still time to turn around
and make all hatred cease
and give another name to living
and we could call it peace
And peace would be the road we walk
each step along the way
and peace would be the way we work
and peace the way we play
And in all we see that’s different
and in all the things we know
peace would be the way we look
and peace the way we grow
There’s a name for separation
there’s a name for first and last
when it’s all for us or nothing
for me the name is past
but there’s still time to turn around
and make all hatred cease
and give a name to all the future
and we could call it peace
And if peace is what we pray for
and peace is what we give
then peace will be the way we are
and peace the way we live
Yes there still is the time to turn around
and make all hatred cease
and give another name to living
and we can call it peace.”

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