Give Peace a Chance

girl on hammock in nature

 

As I write this, I’ve decided to take a day off from Facebook and from trying to keep up with every urgent news update.

It’s not that I don’t care about what’s going on or how people feel about what’s going on. It’s just that I need a little break.

These are tumultuous times, politically. I’m worried, and I’m more engaged than I ever have been. And shame on me for not being more active prior to this!

But what is the best way to be involved? It gets overwhelming sometimes, doesn’t it? Well-intentioned friends on both sides of the political spectrum post outrageous headlines from dubious sources, and the reaction is an escalation of outrage. Accusations fly, people get defensive and emotional, and sometimes ugly.

And it occurs to me that if everyone is outraged and yelling, who is listening?

I tried an experiment a couple days ago. I entered an online conversation where the exchanges had already gotten heated. I responded to someone with opposing views from mine. I let him know that I believe his concerns are valid, that his voice is being heard. And yet, I suggested, the “other side” makes solid points as well, and perhaps the best solution to the problem is a combination of what he was proposing AND some of what others were saying. He calmed down. He agreed! We reached consensus.

I have strong feelings and beliefs, as most people do. I will keep fighting for what I think is right and decent. But the “fight” needs to be based on real information and rational stances on issues. It’s helpful to take the crazy-making emotions out of the equation.

So I’m backing off for a day, to reclaim my inner peace. Sometimes being angry is absolutely appropriate, necessary. But clarity is always appropriate and necessary. Sometimes we all need a moment (or a day) to quiet the noise, and to appreciate what is good and beautiful around us.

I love this quote from Peace Pilgrim: “My inner peace remains in spite of any outward thing. Only insofar as I remain in harmony can I draw others into harmony, and so much more harmony is needed before the world can find peace.”

This does not mean everyone needs to agree. We probably never will. And, of course we can’t remain passive when we believe injustice is being done. Some things truly are unacceptable.

But sometimes it’s good to acknowledge that differing points of view can be a positive thing. However challenging, at least some of the time, we can help each other see things from a different perspective.

Maybe if we start from a place of inner calm, we can find better paths toward solutions. Maybe at least we can stop yelling at each other! And take turns listening.

May what’s unique and sacred in me recognize and honor what’s unique and sacred in you. (Even if I vehemently disagree with you.) Namaste.

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth Posted on January 31, 2017

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