Everywhere I turn I hear somebody talking about peace. World peace. Inner peace. Peace prizes. Apparently it has some value if so many people want it.
But when I look around, or turn on the TV, peace is the last thing I see. People hurting people is the order of the day. Everyone’s fighting to get what they want, or to keep others from having it. And whether it manifests as oppression, control, war, terrorism, violence, lawsuits, corporate excess, corruption, political disputes, or simply people not being very nice to each other in their daily affairs, peace doesn’t seem very high on our list of priorities.
If peace is so valuable and we want it as much as we say we do, why don’t we put it at the top of our lists?
Why isn’t peace the first thing we commit ourselves to every morning, and the last reminder we give ourselves before we go to bed?
Do we really expect it to just show up on its own, materializing in our reality simply by wanting it and thinking good thoughts? I doubt it.
If we want peace, then we have to CREATE IT! Like anything else we want in our lives, we’ve got to want it enough to go get it, and do what it takes to have it.
Now, this whole idea of “wanting” something — the process of forming a desire and attaching it to an object or condition we want to experience (or not, in the case of the things we fear) — plants a seed that often grows into conflict when our desires clash with those of others’. But that’s a big topic, so let’s set that aside for a moment.
Creating peace is going to require a whole new way of living than the ways we’ve been using to create the things that steal our peace. It just might mean letting go of some of what we want. Or think. Or believe. Especially when it sets the stage for conflict with others.
It especially will mean changing how we see and engage the energies in our lives, and that flow to us from others or the world around us. For if we want peace, it’s very hard to justify taking sides in battles that perpetuate conflict and steal our peace.
I won’t pretend it’s going to be easy to change our ways. But to have peace, we have to pay the price. And that price is rooting out the seeds of conflict within us and all aspects of our affairs, both individual and collective. Most of all, it demands that we change how we do business, solve our problems, and treat each other along the way.
If you say you want peace and you’re not willing to do these things, then how do you expect to have it? Sure, there is a source of peace inside you can connect to. But if you turn around and fall into the same old patterns of engaging those outer energies and interests, you aren’t doing a very good job of walking your talk.
Peace is your responsibility. Wanting it isn’t enough. Intending it is enough, either. You have to do whatever it take to have it. Not by making war upon the world around you to impose your will, but by making peace so that all can have what you want for yourself.
Remember, we’re all in this together. If you don’t find a way to bring peace to others, how do you expect to keep yours if they keep bringing you upset, turmoil and conflict?
Don’t expect to just make a choice and have instantaneous peace. There are conditions lurking deep within each of us, not to mention our societies and cultures, that condition us to actions and response that are less than peaceful. But just because we fall today doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back on that horse to ride toward the peace that’s waiting on the horizon.
In the end, it’s up to you. And me. And every one of us. It’s a choice we’ll have to make for ourselves, in this moment and every one to come.
All I can suggest is that if you want peace in your time, do what you can to create peace today. In you. In your world. In everyone around you.
Only then will you have a chance to really be at peace.
God bless you indeed.