Richard Stride: Considering the life of Shimon Peres and the meaning of finding peace


First off, I will note I am not writing this for political reasons or to comment on the current crisis in the Middle East.

I try to watch or read content about people I know but haven't learned a lot about.

I came across a Netflix documentary titled, “Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres.” 

The documentary states, “In politics, most pursue power. He pursued peace. Shimon Peres’ influence and integrity were instrumental in the founding and preservation of Israel.”

It is worth watching if you are interested in the formation of Israel as a separate country, on what principles it was founded on, and Peres’ idea of peace and its attainability.   

I learned that Shimon Peres was involved in Israeli politics for 55 years. He served as prime minister for three terms (a term is four years but can be renewed indefinitely). 

He also served as foreign minister, finance minister, deputy defense minister and president from 2007 to 2014.

What struck me most about the documentary and reading about his life was that he pursued peace even when it wasn’t popular. 

He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (which I didn’t remember until I read about it again). 

I also learned he founded the Peres Center for Peace, which helped the cause of peace by encouraging Jews and Arabs to share ideas. 

His center also funded health care services to Palestinians. It has been said Peres’ philosophy was, “Giving is having more, taking is having less.” 

Those are good lessons to remember no matter where you live, don’t you think?     

This got me thinking about peace in general, how we all long for it for our world, our nation, our families and ourselves. 

Permit me to share some principles of peace from an article I read. 

We can bring peace to our daily lives and on the streets where we live. The question of peace was asked of children, “Why don’t people have peace?” Here is what they said:

• “Maybe it's just that they are so rushed. If people could slow down, maybe it would help,” said 8-year-old Savannah.

• Seven-year-old Lauren said, “Some people don’t like to be quiet a lot.” 

• “Some people do not have inner peace because they have so much anger in them,” said 10-year-old Valerie.

The kids might be onto something.

Slowing down, being quiet and letting go of anger — that makes a lot of sense to me. 

I think I will try it. Perhaps you should, too.        


Richard Stride is the current CEO of Cascade Community Healthcare. He can be reached at