Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peace For Our World, Mattie Stepanek

Young poet, philosopher and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004) wrote this poem following 9-11-2001. Even today his words have such strength, meaning, and inspiration, for living peacefully and with respect for all others. It is reminder for today's attitudes about acceptance, diversity, equality, and events of bullying (cyber and otherwise), hate crimes, as well as terrorists acts.

Mattie was a wise and beautiful soul, so far beyond his years. He published his inspirational poetry and essays and you will find them in his HEARTSONGS series of books, and in JUST PEACE: A Message of Love, cowritten with former President Jimmy Carter. His mother, Jeni Stepanek's book, MESSENGER: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs, (Forword by Dr. Maya Angelou) is now available in paperback, and also Kindle.

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment.
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment.
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment.
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice.
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment.
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

September 11, 2001
© Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek
Used with permission from Hope Through Heartsongs, Hyperion, 2002

Read my review of JUST PEACE: A Message of Love.



Nancy said...

An old soul in a young body.

Linda Pendleton said...

He really was, Nancy. Such an incredible kid, and now an angel. Everytime I think of him I see his smile and sparkle.