Peace is a beautiful word and feeling. Conflict comes in many forms and guises and currently, at the end of the year, it feels as if hate, misery, and war are about to destroy the fragile concept of peace. And yet, I realised that I was looking at the notion of peace in a way that is wishful thinking and, as a result, an unattainable state. I was looking at it through my usual black-and-white glasses that insisted that peace either exists for everyone or is not there for anyone.
Since last week I’ve been working actively to remove my see-everything-binary lenses and as part of that I am now paying attention to what lands in front of me in various forms and manners. I came across this quote by Lao-Tzu and recognising that my first reaction of “meh whatever” was a binary response, I paid attention. Here’s the quote:
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.The Book of Tao, Lao-Tzu
Peace is not a monolithic global state. If I look at it from that perspective peace becomes too large, too out of reach, too impossible to attain. And that brings despair and hopelessness, both of which induce giving up; and I am never giving up again on anything, not just peace.
Peace exists because we exist and we are its agents. And if there is no peace inside, the imbalance moves outside, creates chaotic states that add up and create worse imbalances and chaos. Our shared reality is the sum of our own individual realities and states.
So I am seeking my inner peace actively. Working to live without resentment, anger, and aggression. Working to accept everyone with tolerance, respect, and without judging; because we are billions of unique beings on a living planet that hurts because each of us hurts inside. Adding my individual peace island to the sea of other people’s peace, because, the wave of hate cannot be countered with hate, anger, and more violence. It will diminish if enough of us believe beyond doubt that peace is possible, and that wave will push back the tide of discord and hate.
I cannot change the world directly, but I can alter the part of the world I have control over: myself. And that means changing the world indirectly. And I choose to believe that one can make a difference and that peace and harmony are attainable. And keep believing and being grateful for the peace that already exists but needs help to grow. Because gratitude beats despair every time. And because if individual peace islands exist, it means that global peace exists too in some form and manner and if it gains enough presence and momentum it can push away the despair, hate, and violence.
Beautiful music: The Time Machine Soundtrack – Godspeed by Klaus Badelt:
This post is part of the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop hosted by Lexa Cain. Thank you so much for reading. What are you celebrating this week? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.