A friend alerted me to the Google Doodle from July 18, which I had not seen.
This is what she wrote in the email that she sent to me and a few other friends:
"Today GOOGLE art and content on Nelson Mandela is awesome. Thought of you, my peacemaker friends, when reading his words and recalling his incredible life story. You have made a difference in my life and the lives of so many others. Thank you."
I was blown away by her email. First of all, to be considered a "peacemaker" is an awesome honor. Second, I know that my friend is very busy caring for her husband who has a terminal illness. And yet she made the time to send a kind word through email.
She herself is a peacemaker. Up until lately when her husband became more gravely ill, she volunteered regularly at a free clothing bank run by the charity I founded in 1982, HOPE Network for Single Mothers. For years, she has helped with HOPE's annual fundraiser...and always with joy and inventiveness. Her most famous creation was a silent auction basket that included a witch's hat she had bought cheaply and embellished. People fought to bid on it...all to benefit families headed by single mothers in the Greater Milwaukee area.
Trying to be a peacemaker is our legacy from growing up during the 1960s. Like many others, I was never a "hippie," but I self-appropriated the hippie dictum to make peace.
I've found that the hardest part of living that message is making peace in my own life, with people I know. I have to remind myself to look honestly at my own battles before I worry about other wars.
Here are Mandela's words which came to life last Friday when you clicked on various areas of the Mandela artwork reproduced above (courtesy of Google):