Dani Glass comes to a new realization about the methods of Ultimate Peace.
This afternoon, I ran back to my room for a quick minute. On my way in, I noticed a giant ant on the floor by the door. Normally I strive for bringing spiders and other little critters (except mosquitos) outside rather than killing them, but there was no time for that. Also, I didn’t want to be going through my suitcase later on and find a small anthill. So I stepped on it, and smushed it. My shoe, however, seemed to have no impact at all. I stepped on it again, this time with more fervor, but still it wiggled. This thing was indestructible. I tried over and again, at that point just hoping to put the poor thing out of its misery. But no matter how many times I ground it into the floor with my shoe, it kept waving its little legs and showing signs of life. Finally, with a nice crunch, I realized it wasn’t a giant ant: it was a little cockroach. This wasn’t by any means the first in our room, so it wasn’t too much of a shock, but to my Midwestern American born-and-raised self, cockroaches are always a pretty nasty surprise.
It must have taken me at least ten tries. And I still wasn’t sure it was dead, but I had to get back to my team instead of sitting inside all day trying to break through the surprisingly strong shell of a cockroach.
Later it occurred to me. It may not sound pretty, but Ultimate Peace is my shoe. The cockroach is the Middle Eastern conflict. People have tried time and again to get rid of it, but it keeps coming back, sprouting live legs out of nowhere even when things finally seem quiet and calm. The shell of this conflict is, it seems, unbreakable. Persevere as we might, we may never break through. But with every pounding of my shoe, I got a little bit closer to putting the thing out of its misery. If we stomp hard enough, one day we might break the shell.
I’m gonna call it quits on this metaphor soon because – let’s face it – it’s gross. Metaphors are supposed to be subtle and beautiful – terms that apply neither to nasty little cockroaches or the Middle Eastern conflict. But humor me for just another minute – if we get enough shoes, or if we stand together we could maybe, just maybe, have a shot at actually solving this thing for good.
Many people have tried in many different ways to ease the tension and start building up the Middle East to a place of peace. Clearly, we have not gone far enough. I don’t know if Ultimate Peace will single-handedly change the future of the region, but I do believe, 100% and with everything I am, that it is helping. And I think that if enough of us get on board, we could really make a significant dent, at very least. We might be dreamers, but I don’t think for a second that we’re the only ones. With enough hands on deck, we can carry a lot of power.
And by the way, when I came back to my room later in the night, the little bugger was still. I guess my persistence paid off.