Is peace is truly possible on earth? Many times we've heard
the call to peace, yet somehow another war of words, another
bombing, another invasion seems to undermine the permanence of peace. We wonder, when will people finally stop using violence as a solution? Or we ask, when will a permanent peace finally take hold?
Yet we assume peace can be achieved through negotiation, through coercsion, through compromise, through disarmament, or even through the threat of war itself. Yet, peace is not a condition dependent on external circumstances.
Peace is our true nature calling us to bring forth our true reality of
eternal calm, eternal wisdom, and eternal respect for life. This is not about whether or not we use arms to defend ourselves. It is about
bringing forth the reality of peace that has far too long been dormant on this planet.
“Solutions for Peace” is a call for each of us to explore Peace in a new and lasting way. Instead of seeing Peace as a condition outside of ourselves and dependent upon the behaviour of others, we see Peace as our true nature as humans and a reality we can each start to experience today. Peace depends not on what others do, but how we choose to see and relate to others and the world around us. We see that the solutions to create Peace are within each of us and practicing them can change our world dramatically.
I am not a victim. I choose to be free.
The world as we've known it encourages people to perceive themselves as victims. Our world looks for blame and justifies harming others to avenge suffering. When we feel victimized we are not free. Being a victim is not the same as being a survivor. A survivor looks to the future, while a victim looks to the past. Victimhood is our greatest bondage. The only way to loosen the chains of victimhood is to grieve our suffering, express our legitimate suffering or the suffering of others. And then we let go. Victims never allow themselves to be freed from the past. One way victims renact victimhood is by becoming perpetrators. Perpetrators relieve victimhood by victimizing others, believing such perpetration is a kind of justice for past wrongs. But by being perpetrators, we do not escape the cycle of victimization and perpetration. Instead, to leave this cycle, we choose to be free. We seek safety for ourselves and work to heal our wounds, not create new ones. We seek to join with others who will help us to express our grief and losses. We can accept that others have acted out their victimization in harmful ways, but we can also choose to end the cycle of victimization. We become free people once again.
Peace is Freedom
When we are truly at peace, we find ourselves living the freest lives possible. When we are engaged in conflict, we are most burdened and imprisoned in cycles of suffering. While occasionally strong force or strong action may end unacceptable violence against others, we acknowledge that force alone does not create peace. Only a decision to be peaceful creates peaceful world. Peace and freedom are interchangeable, because when we are at peace we have the most available choices to us that encourage and strengthen our humanity. When we choose violence instead of peace, we become captured by the tolls violence takes on our bodies, minds, and souls. We have learned through experience that violence impacts not only the one who receives it, but also impacts the one that delivers it. Peace, on the other hand, acknowledges the humanity of all--even those who seem to deserve it the least. For it is the humanity within us that peace calls back to each of us, so that we may heeds its call again. Peace ultimately brings us back to the freedom of choice.
Be the change the world seeks.
The world waits for each of us to do our part, however "small." We wish the world to be different and to change, and yet we hold on to our own prejudices, resentments and bitter memories, convinced that only if others changed we would be happy. We find that when we wait for others to change, we will probably never be happy, because they will likely never change to our satisfaction. However, when we realize that we can influence our small part of the world, we become empowered to be greater than we are, and to bring happiness and joy where we can. It doesn't mean we have to hold offices to influence men and women in power; we can simply bring positive energy and peace to our families, to our neighbourhood, to our community. Perhaps we need to reach out to people who have been alienated or ostracized or misunderstood. Perhaps it means we look others in the eyes or talk to those we may have ignored. Or perhaps we can find time each day to pray or meditate for ways to increase the peace we seek in our lives.