This question may seem odd and, perhaps, unnecessary. We have all heard a great deal spoken and seen a great deal written about peace, or more precisely, the lack of it in the world and in general society. The need for the question arises simply because many among us have never considered the true meaning of the word “peace”, nor the conditions needed for it to prevail within oneself, or one’s inner self, and in society.
Peace is the product of love and respect for every being, human and animal, tolerance of all differences, seeking to live harmoniously, being unselfish, and seeking to help one another. Peace is not a feeling that we choose to switch on or off, depending on our mood or circumstances.
I am not even going to state the meaning of the word peace from any dictionary; this is not a scholastic work, it is purely a blog intended to raise discussion.
PEACE. It’s a nice thought, which arouses one’s imagination, triggering further thoughts of: being at the coast, or alongside a river or waterfall, enjoying a stroll in the forest, a stroll through the bush, etcetera. But the feeling is usually a fleeting one, which passes the moment any memory or thought comes to mind of hurt, envy, anger towards any person or event, revenge or resentment, past fears, everyday stresses, corporate competition and politics, unreasonable expectations, ill health, poverty, lack of basic human needs, unemployment, any financial strain. And there are more, but we don’t need to expound on this over laboriously.
So therefore then; before one can begin to consider the momentous topics of world peace, national peace, regional peace and peace among people in a society, one first needs to address one’s own state of peacefulness; each and every one of us, starting with me.
Beginning with questions like: What are the causes of all strife and discord within myself? Do I dislike my body, or my face, or my personality, or my race, or my parents, or my forebears, or their background? Do I dislike or hate any person or race group, any religious group, any institution, or anything in particular? Is there any inherent dislike, irritant, or hatred in me that was taught me by my parents? Plus many more similar questions that need to be answered.
If the answer to any of the above questions is to the affirmative, I will need to sort them out, somehow eradicate the causes and then choose to develop a state of peacefulness within myself. I would then need to adopt the mental attitude of intention to choose to love, to choose to be patient and kind, and to choose to live in harmony with everyone, including myself. And once I have accomplished these huge challenges, I might be in a position to discuss the larger, much more complex issues pertaining to societal, regional, national and world peace.
As Gandhi so rightly taught us that, in order to see change
in the world, one needs to firstly be the change
in the world. However, if we continue to fight the historical wars of our forefathers in history, if we continue to hate the Germans, hate the Jews, hate the black people, hate the white colonialists, hate the North or South, hate the Communists, on behalf of our grandparents, there will never be world peace; it is absolutely impossible. Likewise, if we continue experiencing identity crises and conflicts within ourselves, the task is even more unlikely to ever be achieved.
From me, I wish you all love, peace and harmony.
Vaughan – One for All – All for One