This post is written in response to Linda G. Hill’s prompt on Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Today’s theme is “piece/peace.” Make one or both your theme or just include them somehow in your post. Anyone can join in! Enjoy posting and/or Reading other posts here!
Inner Peace versus World Peace
I used to think about world peace.
When I was young(er), I thought big; the world was my oyster. Ironically, at that time, in the 1970s, Internet, google, smart phone, low-cost travel, etc. were not in our vocabulary. So the information we had about the rest of the world was reduced to documentaries, and occasional news from a few friends and relatives scattered around the globe, but that didn’t matter, I thought very big. Why not?
Anything and everything, such as world peace, was possible, although I never really thought about how it would ever come about, as if just willing it would be enough.
I would talk about it, take part in debates, sometimes even marches. I also wrote letters to newspapers, or my local MP, as if it were possible just by talking and writing about it.
When I started working, in the 80s, I was busy paying my bills and bringing up a family, and in spite of still having the same ideals, I was no longer doing anything towards them, except believing. I still believed world peace was possible. Why not?
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it all started, but as I’m approaching my retirement, I no longer believe in grand issues such as world peace. Don’t get me wrong, I wish it would happen, I just no longer believe it will in my lifetime, and I’m even more convinced that I’ll never have anything to do with it, if it does happen.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams any more, I do. It’s just that in spite of all the technological and digital innovations and massive worldwide communication, my dreams have become more realistic. Despite having friends and acquaintances (some I’ve met, others I never will. I say this knowing it doesn’t matter, or does it?) in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada, as well as Europe, the US and parts of South America, my dreams have become intimate and local. Very local.
Now I dream with my own inner peace, because it’s the only one which is in my hands, and it’s the only one I now value.
I’m aware that ‘peace’ is an arbitrary word, so I feel obliged to clarify what it means to me.
Being at peace with myself and my surroundings means I’m not interested in races or arguments, being right, or being perfect. I just want to be at peace with myself and those I interact with and care about.
I try to do the things that make me happy, and I also make sure I feel happy about the things I do, so I make sure those around me don’t sweat the small stuff, and look at the bigger and nicer picture, as I do.
I’ve found many things which make me feel at peace:
Reading and writing, talking and thinking about reading and writing, meeting other writers and like-minded people, being with my children and grandchildren, going to the cinema, for a walk, or a coffee with my friends, and valuing the routine, wonderful, little things I enjoy as often as posible, such as a walk by the beach, a stroll in the countryside, an interesting conversation, or an occasional glass of wine.
And when I have to do things which are not my choice, I make an effort to enjoy them. I refuse to argue about unimportant things. Fortunately, my job does not involve life and death situations, so very few things are important enough to argue about. I make an effort to see people’s good points, and work at them, overlooking their worse points, and if I really can’t see any good points (I’m still an optimist, so this doesn’t happen often), I make sure I avoid them as much as possible.
I’ve come to believe that if I’m at peace with myself and can transmit that peace to those around me, locally and internationally, by paying in forward and having as my only aim to bring peace to myself and those around me, then the world will be a more peaceful place.
I take part in initiatives such as #Speak1000, which posts on compassion, bullying, etc. and I occasionally cooperate with local volunteer organisations and initiatives, too. I can manage that. Can’t we all?
If we all brought peace to our lives and those around us, world peace might be posible, might it not? So perhaps I do still believe in world peace after all, don’t I?
What gives you peace?
How do you avoid or cope with things or people who take away your peace?