War and Peace
Most of the posts on this blog focus on personal development. I firmly believe this where we all must begin, if we are to live the life we seek. That said, there are global issues that impact all our ability create the world we envision.
Among the greatest of these issues is war and peace. War is as old as human civilization. The desire for a peaceful world is probably a few moments younger. Human history is littered with self-serving and self-appointed empires seeking to control others. They do it for benevolent reasons and always, always for the betterment of the world. After all, their way is the best way – the way everyone else must follow.
We know about the financial and human cost of war, even if it is regularly hidden from the American and western populace. “Our men and women in uniform” are keeping us safe from the evil hordes beyond the gates. We’re attacking them before they attack us. I’m quite certain this was the argument made by the earliest stone age societies that picked up stones and sticks to battle for the land closest to the river. Have we not evolved? Have we only found more sophisticated reasons and better weapons for destroying each other?
The thing is, we live in a connected world. There are energetic and spiritual effects of perpetual war that impact us all negatively. Just as we are bound by our personal mindsets, we are bound by our collective mindsets. Human being have simply accepted that war is normal and unchangeable.
It is not. That’s a mindset just like I’m not good enough to have that job like or I’ll never make the basketball team. It can change just as those beliefs change. Let us refuse to accept that this source of suffering, chaos, and negativity in the world is “just the way it is.”
You’re probably think, “Ray, that’s great. I agree. How do we do it? What are the practical steps that could get us there?
Here are 10 steps I outlined about 10 years ago. I think they are a great start and we all have role to play in virtually all of them. I’d like to highlight #10. In my mind, it should be a prerequisite for leadership that you advocate for principled peace rather than war for profit.
- Live and let live.
- Transform religion from a force for division to a force for personal growth and development.
- Find a viable replacement for the global war economy.
- Respect the rights of every individual.
- Respect the needs of the group.
- Develop you instead of worrying about everyone else’s flaws.
- Find peace within, it will shine without.
- Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
- Recognize we are really one tiny planet -we’re all in this together.
- Demand that leaders and would-be leaders talk beyond labels. Most arguments for war and hate fall apart without the labels.
If only, you might be thinking. I’ll leave you with this story today.
There’s an anonymous story of a man who came upon a meditating sage. The sage looked so peaceful and serene that the man had to know his secret. After a brief conversation, the man said to the sage, “I wish I had your faith so that I could live as you do.”
The old sage smiled and said, “Ah, if you lived as I live, you would have my faith.”
Having a peaceful world is not a wish. It’s the result of each of us and all of us choosing to see our world through different eyes – eyes where peace is the priority. A better you is aided by a better us.
Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous day!
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