Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reaching Inner Peace

There are times in my writings where inner peace is mentioned. Having inner peace is crucial to global peace. Yet there is always the question of how to find that inner peace. There a multitude of websites to gather information and now this article is another. At the very base of being peaceful is the decision to be so. From there each of us will become peaceful and be very skillful as well. Another part of peace is that each of us has all the tools within us already. The task is to be diligent with being peaceful at every moment. Being peaceful begins at the very first moment of waking up. Be aware of the first thoughts for that day. How do you feel about these thoughts? What is the purpose of these thoughts? Do you feel in control of your life? Each of those questions relate to how a person thinks and feels about life. No matter what circumstances a person may have to deal with, the mindset of that person will be the most important part of that equation. This mindset is also known as a person spirituality or belief. At this point most people think of the religions of the world. However spirituality has very little to do with religion. Spirituality is all about the inner most values a person holds and defends. In this world many people do have money as the ultimate value and they put all their faith into the pursuit of that. For those such people, everything comes down to monetary gain. For others life is about friends. There are some that live for the moment and others believe in an eternal life. For some there is a deep connection to everything. There is also the religion component, which speaks to a path of inner peace. Reaching inner peace is an everyday decision. Each step you take is one more closer to that dream point of happiness. How long it takes depends on the person and there is no one clear way, other than taking each day a choosing to see life in a peaceful light. It takes very little effort to discover the prayers, mantras, meditation guides or sub conscience altering methods that relate to obtaining inner peace. Each one makes the point of staying focused on daily tasks and keeping a positive mindset. All of these elements do help. However, the basic point is that none of those work unless the individual decides to be peaceful everyday To reach the point of inner peace, make the decision at every moment you feel you are not at peace to be peaceful – do so because it is what you want to do. Being peaceful is a choice that should always put confidence in your heart and a smile on your face. It is doing the best you can and knowing it is your best.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Live in Peace

The process of rebuilding society or peace has many pitfalls. As issues are being dealt with there will be points where past wrongs are brought to the surface. At such a point fresh wounds or even old wounds can reopen. Depending on how strong the people are, these wounds can provoke fresh violence. For those that study peacebuilding, understanding this risk is a must, yet the process must take place. For the critic of peacebuilding such a point will bolster their argument that peacebuilding is an impossible task and war must be played out. Allowing war to take place is a failure of our courage and intelligence to be peaceful. This was the final message of Nelson Mandela as it was of all the great peacemakers. Yet we often put aside those words of wisdom and stake our hopes in violence as a solution. An example is lived everyday within the chaos in the Middle East. There is no place in the world that would benefit more from complete deweaponization than the Middle East. Sadly there is very little hope for such a wise act to take place because fear rules in the Middle East. Too many people will bring up wars that took place months ago, then years, decades, centuries and even millennia. A peace process is one that makes certain (as much as possible) that all wrongs have been addresses. Due to the number of people involved the process is very complex and time consuming. As we have experienced, such a process can take decades or even centuries to complete. This time factor is another reason many say peacebuilding is not worth the effort and wars should be allowed to play out, the last one standing type thought. Such an attitude is how we find ourselves in protracted wars such as the Middle East chaos. How do we get from the point of chaos to a place of peace? As mentioned at the start of this article, we must acknowledge the reality of risk. The dangers of falling back into chaos will only delay the inevitable process of peace. The tough part is to have the majority of the people believe that the peace process is worth the effort. Also it must be continuously communicated how fragile peace is. For example World War One began with a single event and we are still living the impact of that moment. The war that ripped apart Yugoslavia had elements which reached as back as that moment and even further. Most of the violence could have been displaced had we allowed for the courage of peace to take root. Going further into the realm of fear we must take into account the recent issues of spying. Such acts are rooted in fear not peace. Although many will argue that the information gathered is essential for peace, the argument is a spiral of reason circled around fear. For peace to take root, fear must put aside. Of course the usual answer is that such people do not live in the real world. Well what about the Nelson Mandela that we all pay tribute to and wish to be? What about Vaclav Havel, Ghandi, or the icons of religion? Each live in this world that has endured violence, corruption, hatred and the spiral of fear. Each put their fears behind them and pushed on to live in peace. Each went through the process of peace and understood the daily attacks that must be seen in a different way than fear can allow. The pitfalls of peace are real but to give into the chaos of fear will only delay violence. The element that we need in the world is a stronger belief in peace. We have lived for thousands of years in fear, built armies to protect us, bombs to eradicate enemies and organizations to spy on everyone. Although we have made some steps towards peace, the most success has come from non-violent methods.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Believe in Faith and Peace

Working to achieve the peaceful state of being is a goal many will never reach. The reasons why many will not find is peace can be summed up in a simple phrase – lack of faith. I am not talking about a religious component in life. What I am pointing out is the personal commitment to be peaceful. Within that personal commitment we must understand that peace for you may not be peace for another. To truly be peaceful, that reality must be understood. Along with that personal understanding or peace comes the broader realm of living a non-threating life. When it comes to violence, war, weapons and protection from such, peace is often misrepresented. Now, a peaceful person has no need for weapons because there is no need to fear anyone. However there is the reality of insanity of those that do fear and do carry weapons. What does a peaceful person do then? Depending on how much faith you have in yourself will determine if you need a weapon or not. We have recently experienced the passing of Nelson Mandela. This man was once a very violent person. After 27 years in jail he renounced violence as he understood that it accomplished very little. Nelson Mandela believed in peace so much that he no longer had faith in the phrase, peace by any means possible. Peace must be found from within first. From there, the reality of peaceful relations with others is rooted in communication, trust and understanding. For example if you walk up to a bear that has cubs, you should understand and trust that bear will put up a fight. However the bear will most likely seek to scare you first and avoid any physical confrontation. But if the communication is not clear violence will be a result. The same with people. In the realm of interpersonal communication we have many layers. There is the person to person (you and me), group to group (gangs and police) and country to country (allies and enemies). In such matches we have used guns, knives, bombs and chemicals to fight each other. Alfred Nobel created a weapon he thought was powerful enough to end wars. That proved to be wrong. We created nuclear weapons which have done very little to stop war. The piece we often forget is that every war starts and ends with a discussion. With that understanding, the one area we need to improve on is our communication, not methods of killing. We need to focus on relationships guided by kindness rather than fear.