Peace begins in the heart of each person — not societies, not countries, not nations. Each person.
– Prem Rawat (http://www.tprf.org/home.html)
The United States has gone to war many times in my lifetime, each time with one of the stated causes being peace.
Two world wars have been fought by dozens of countries, each of whom wanted peace. Some of them wanted power and domination over others along with that peace, but peace was ostensibly the primary objective in the reasons they gave for going to war.
I remember the Dukhobors, a spiritual Christian sect from Russia that wanted nothing more than to be left in peace when they migrated to Canada in the mid-twentieth century after being persecuted for over a century in their native countries. They defied Canadian laws, though their behaviour was in line with their own beliefs. When the police came to arrest them, they protested, often in the nude and sometimes violently. They wanted peace for themselves, not so much for others.
In our past, every society, country and nation has gone to war to exact peace. It hasn’t worked.
The United States issues more and more permits for its citizens to carry handguns to protect themselves, the idea being that they can have peace of mind and their communities will be more peaceful because bad guys won’t risk creating problems for themselves with people who carry guns. Neither the United States as a country nor its citizens as individuals nor its communities feel safer or more at peace. Peace and fear remain, as always, at odds with each other.
The individuals who are really most at peace are those who have created peace within themselves. Unlike those who advocate violence, promote fear and create unrest among their fellow countrymen, those who have peace within them do not advertise or brag of their accomplishments.
We don’t know much about people who live peaceful lives because our media find nothing interesting about them. People who live peace do not proselytize to find others to join them. To do so would be to violate their peaceful existence.
Those of us who want to live lives of peace must find it for ourselves, within ourselves. As Prem Rawat said, “peace begins in the heart of each person.” It cannot be otherwise. Peace doesn’t work that way.
Peace cannot result from fighting. Fighting for peace is a false objective advocated by those who want violence. For them, the promise of peace is a tool for war.
People who want peace want it for themselves. People who want violence want it for others.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to grow children who are capable of living peaceful lives, who have the knowledge and skills to find peace for themselves.
Learn more at http://billallin.com