What Does it Take to Be a Peacemaker?

by on July 18, 2023 · 1 comment

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

I had the honor of hanging out with some kids
at the Youth Peace Camp
at the
San Diego First Church of The Brethren,
and I enjoyed every single second I spent
with those beautiful people,
leaving them at the end of the evening,
with a glowing smile on my face
which I maintained
listening to some soulful
old school rhythm and blues
as I kick-backed

on a smooth Lyft ride home

that allowed me to think about

how nicely the evening had gone,

how it had begun with the singing of a couple of songs:

“What Does it Take to be a Peacemaker?”


“Let’s Circle Up,”

songs written by the

campers gathered there,

one song conveying

that what it takes to make peace

is kindness, love,

patience, grace,

courage, hope,



the other song

about getting together

to know each other

and solving problems

and getting rid of walls

and telling and listening to stories

and sharing feelings

and treasuring and honoring

each other for our uniqueness,

all of this a perfect lead-in

for my reading of a poem

I had written for my first assembly with students

when I was a new principal at a school,

a poem where I made fun of my feet

because they’re size 14,

and I shared things I like to do

and how big a jock I am,

my point being to the campers

that the poem was written

in a spirit of love

and it bonded me with a few hundred students

at the beginning of a new school year,

and how love, playing on one of their themes,

is essential to creating peace,

as it’s a way of letting people you’re around

know who you are

and what you have to offer

towards keeping peace

in your human interactions.

A simple loving gesture as an action.


When I arrived home
I felt hope
in my soul
and in my bones.

Listening to those kids
I sense they’re on the right track
to creating
a peaceful world
as they’ve already
set the tone.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Thomas L Gayton July 18, 2023 at 2:10 pm

Hermano, You set the tone with your life in the written word. VIVA!


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