How is it that we say that we want Peace, even World Peace, and yet it seems as though we are ever devolving away from this state?
There is no doubt that we have many ideas and interpretations of what Peace is, but can we look at all those concepts and see how they can work together to make our lives safer, more hopeful and even joy-filled? Peace is a puzzle and we must work to find each individual piece to complete the “MasterPEACE.”
Puzzle Peace #1: Personal Peace
Peace to a soldier or fighter can mean the threat of violence has subsided, but peace to a person in physical pain may be respite from that pain. Peace to a hungry child might be a warm meal; and peace to a mother or father can be those wonderful, but often fleeting, times when their children are happy and thriving. Peace to a person in financial trouble is finding a way to stay in their home, avoid bankruptcy, or even pay a bill. Peace to an eager student may be a thoughtful teacher or mentor. Peace to an insomniac is a night of restful sleep, and peace to a refugee is a pair of welcoming arms from a human that cares about their safety.
In some form, aren’t we all soldiers, parents, debtors, patients, hungry children, insomniacs, students, and refugees? The degree of pain we are in is always relative. Life’s hardest challenges prey on our thoughts and minds and force us to feel uncomfortable feelings. We all do our best to handle those feelings and emotions in countless ways, but we often fail to understand their core. They are threats, and when we can’t manage those threats our physical bodies respond to the fear, we manifest anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.
Once we are aware of our own emotions and behaviors, we can learn healthy skills to manage them and begin to shift from a consciousness of Fear to Love. We can then become empowered with the first Puzzle Peace: Personal Peace
Puzzle Peace #2: Collective Peace
Peace for a neighborhood may be freedom from violence, but peace for a family might mean that each member is feeling supported. Peace on a team can be as simple as everyone using all of their gifts to uplift the organization, while peace for a group in a geographical region might mean that their environment is clean and safe. Peace for a country often means that its citizens feel protected from threats without and within.
Peace always starts with people feeling safe.
We are all part of a neighborhood, a family, a team, a region and a country. Once we see ourselves as being connected to everyone in these groups, we understand our responsibility to uplift and empower each other for the greatest good. When we help each other find hope and embrace the movement for collective peace, we heal ourselves, too. We have discovered the power of the second missing Puzzle Peace: Collective Peace.
Puzzle Peace #3: World Peace
World Peace is a perfect universal peace — but it’s really an aspirational concept. The theory that we can achieve such a peace crashes into so much reality that we must address it practically or assume it to be unachievable.
Countless conflicting motives cause endless tension in our global society. People and governments acting in self-interest, while directly harming others, ripples out and out — only to return as a new threat to peace. If we are ever to begin on a genuine path to a World Peace, we must build that MasterPEACE by creating a new vision for a society where the most essential principles of Peace are stitched into every facet of our lives from cradle to grave.
When we make the tenets of respect, non-violence, understanding, and equity the foundation of our classrooms, workplaces, communities, healthcare, justice systems, and families, we will reset our compasses in the direction of an authentic Peace.
We are at an inflection point, and it is in our own existential interests to reach critical mass. The time is now for a paradigm shift that will grow a new Culture of Peace in our hearts, homes, schools, work, and in our world.Spread the vision for a MasterPEACE. ~ Edwina Cowell, Spiritual Playdate September 21, 2021