Peace on earth

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2019

 By Nathan Rice


I looked at the computer screen. The cursor blinked at the top of the page, waiting for me to begin typing my weekly column. My mind was as blank as the page. I couldn’t think of anything to write, so I opened my Internet browser and began to look around.

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The Internet opened to a page that was filled with the latest news. I glanced at the headline of each thumbnail, hoping that something would resonate with me and provide me with an idea of what to write. The headlines didn’t make it seem like we were in the middle of the Christmas season. There was a column about a hippopotamus that was starring in a few new books based on the holiday, and there was something about Taco Bell Crunchwrap-scented wrapping paper.

These two columns reminded me that we were in the middle of December, but they were buried among stories that seemed to quell the Christmas cheer that the hippopotamus and fast food-scented wrapping paper tried to bring.

Both sides of the political aisle had stories in which they lambasted their political opponents. Two other stories shared about the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A few thumbnails over from these was a headline asking if an increase in thefts at home improvement stores could be linked to an increase in the opioid crisis.

“Merry Christmas,” I thought to myself. “So much for peace on earth.” I studied the headlines some more and began to wonder if there was any way we could pause the fighting and hatred for a few weeks. Peace on earth and goodwill towards men shouldn’t only be a song lyric or part of a decorative holiday sign.

I realized, though, that I cannot bring peace on earth this Christmas. I cannot convince the two major political parties to take a break for a few weeks. I can’t reverse history to stop the tragedies of the past that still bring heartache. There is also no way I can fix the opioid crisis before Christmas Day. I cannot bring peace on earth.

As I continued to think about peace on earth, I thought about the afternoon just a few days prior. Timothy came to my house after school. He had never seen the movie “Home Alone,” so I grabbed a pizza, some cookies and a soda. Timothy laughed at the movie as we watched it together. It was a break from his normal life that doesn’t come with a lot of peace.

I realized I might not be able to bring peace on earth, but I can bring Timothy some peace. I can’t stop, fix or even pause the chaotic headlines in the news, but I can do some things that bring peace to my little part of the world. I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone.

I hope you will join me this holiday season by doing what you can to bring some peace on earth to those within your reach. We may not be able to fix the world’s problems, but we can bring peace to some people.  


Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at