“I believe that if a hundred million people underwent a personal transformation in the direction of peace, harmony, laughter, love, kindness, joy, and equanimity, the world would be transformed.”
How would you imagine a world at peace? What would this mean to you?
Peace is important to me on a personal level so that my everyday relationships can grow and evolve without judgement or ego. Peace, to me, would mean the knowing that my intimate relationships are based on pure acceptance and love, my relationship with my family would be caring, empathetic and kind, and most importantly (to me) my relationship with myself would be much more loving than has been in the past. I don’t think I talk down to myself in a harsh way like I hear some people do, though I definitely talk myself out of taking risks because “I could never do something like that” or “people will think I’m stupid so I won’t bother” or even “I already know that I can’t do it so I’ll just wait it out and everyone will see that I’m right”… where does this come from??
Peace to me, on a personal level, means being at peace with who I am and knowing that I’m OK. I deserve to have wonderful relationships, I deserve to receive the love and encouragement from myself that I would expect from a loving partner – because who are we to ourselves if not a life-long companion!
Peace is important to me on a social level because our life experience is affected by not just those in our immediate circle like our friends, co-workers etc, but by all the people who make up their circle, and then the circles of all the people in those circles, and on and on and on. We may feel we can create peace with those we have direct contact with, so what if we can help create this huge ripple effect that spans the world? Imagine if, as a society, we approached all our daily interactions from a place of peace. How different would we be? Think back to the last interaction you had with someone, how different would the conversation be if both of you were coming from a place of peace? Would there be less competition? Less need to be right? Was I trying to make myself look good or sound smart? What if my only intention was to enjoy a peaceful, loving interaction?
My most recent example is the conversation I just had with my next door neighbour. We have an amazing garden out the front, with bunches of beautiful silverbeet (chard for my US friends) and lettuces which our neighbour likes to use as well. She always asks and we are always happy to give some away because we have so much. The difference today was that she had already come by yesterday and taken quite a bit, and today she arrived with a different friend asking if she could have some more. I said “yes, of course” because that’s what I always say, but in my brain I was saying “Hey, you already came yesterday and took heaps and now you’re here with a different person and asking for more? You’re obviously supplying silverbeet to all your friends and taking complete advantage of our generosity, do you think I’m a fool, fool??” Now, of course, I was verbalising my pleasantries but what impact do you think my thoughts had on the conversation? Do you think it could have made a difference if I was coming for a place of peace as opposed to judgement? Maybe, maybe not… what is the most recent interaction you had? and how do you think a mindset of ‘peace’ might have changed the interaction or outcome?
Peace is important to me on a global level because, well, who doesn’t want a peaceful world? OK it’s obvious that it isn’t everyone’s priority but maybe that’s because some people don’t actually believe it’s possible. Take a moment to imagine what a peaceful world would look like? Do you think we’d have large corporations raping and pillaging the land in search for non-renewable, money-making and planet-destroying oil? It’s completely possible (correction-probable) that unless we make a conscious effort, on a global level, to shift our focus to one of peace, that the world as we know it will dry up and perish, or we will perish – one or the other will likely be necessary.
Peace is important to me on a spiritual level. How can we have spirituality without peace? Spirituality is a tough word for some people, when I consider spirituality I think about my relationship with the connection that binds the universe together. Do I trust this connection and listen to my intuition? Do I trust the challenges that have been placed before me and realise there’s always a lesson to be learned and it’s the very lesson that I need to learn at that very moment? Do I appreciate, and am I grateful for, the fact that we are all connected through the same life-force that connects a school of fish that swim together, a group of ants that automatically ‘know’ how to work together without argument. We are so energetically connected that we cannot even think a thought without changing the molecular structure in some way of that which we think about. Science has proven this. What this means is that one simple thought of peace automatically directs the world on a more peaceful path than it would if that thought was a of judgement.
To me, being peaceful on a spiritual level means being aware of our connection to the Earth and each other, being compassionately aware and working together, and lastly (possibly most importantly) trusting that the challenges in front of us are lessons to help guide us in the direction of where we can do most good. This also means trusting our intuition and accepting that we are all on a journey. You may have learned certain lessons and have now moved on to different lessons, someone else might just be in the process of learning lessons that you learned 5 years ago. Be supportive of them without judgement, they may have learned something that you haven’t yet, and as our journey towards peace continues they may be the very person you need support from when the time comes for that lesson to be learnt. Let’s remember to be there for each other!
Peace and Love
“When a person is established in non-violence, those in his vicinity cease to feel hostility.”
Patanjali, Ancient Indian Sage