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You find Peace in the Strangest Places
an article by Charlie McNally

Cossie's (pronounced Coz-ees) is so dark and run down, a non-native to Geneva, New York might never even recognize it was open. The sign above the door still reads Sam's Bar, even though Cossie has been the tenent for the last fifty years. Cossie is quick witted, good at making one feel welcome, and apt to break out a guitar for a couple of tunes. He's also pushing 80, which because of his youthful enthusiasm and cheer, adds enormously to his charm.

But Cossie is more then just a bartender. As I found out during this visit, Cossie's political views are quite refreshing. I can't remember what started the conversation, but before I knew it Cossie was spouting off about our country's problems. "I hate flag wavers," he said. "Look at Germany. Germans were flag wavers 50 years ago, and they became the most obnoxious country in the world. Now we're obnoxious." Cos touched on everything. "I'm a socialist. How is it that in a country with so much wealth, so many people are hungry? The Cubans have it right. Ask them how they live, 'we don't have much,' they say, 'but everyone has enough.' If I were Bush, I would tell Sharon to get out of the occupied territories or no more money or weapons. He'd be out in a hurry. And why can't people understand that just because I don't support Sharon doesn't make me anti-Semitic?"

These statements may not seem that radical to a college student or anyone visiting a culture of peace website for that matter. But coming from an 80 year old bartender that runs a hole in the wall in one of the most provincial towns I can imagine, it proves you can often find peace in unexpected places.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can you and I make globalpeace a part of our daily lives?,

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Many of us dream of a peaceful world without violence. Some make it a must to voice out their outrage against violence and a few actually act in a non-violent way.

Though peace is a state that is much desired by individuals irrespective of their caste, creed, sex or colour, yet we find that it is difficult for people to work together for peace. Is it because we are most of the time motivated by our selfish interests? Is it because our greed for fame, power, wealth and status has rendered us insensible to the sufferings of others? Or is it simply because we think that peace is not possible and all our efforts in this endeavour will be vain?

Whatever be the reasons for our incapacity to work together for peace, we can perhaps acknowledge that we all desire to be peaceful and happy. Let us then imagine working for our peace and happiness. But can we be peaceful if we are constantly in conflict with ourselves and others? If we think about it, the conflicts that we encounter in our lives snatch away our peace of mind. Very often, the unresolved conflicts lead to mental, verbal and physical violence. History is a testimony of the fact that it is very difficult to solve conflicts without violence. . ...more.

This report was posted on June 10, 2002.