By Mary Jaksch
Do you think we could have world peace one day? It seems an impossible dream, doesn’t it?
Just look at today’s news: Shootings, bombings, wars, civil unrest – it just goes on and on, day after day, year after year.
But what if you could make the world a more peaceful place?
I’m not talking about big-picture peace; the kind of peace politicians try to achieve. I’m talking about grassroots peace.
But first, let’s take up an important question:
Who is responsible for peace?
Whom do you hold responsible for peace: politicians, or the ‘system’?
Or is it the ‘others’?
Those who don’t have your kind of values, or who don’t believe what you believe in, or who come from a different background and don’t understand the way you live?
Who is responsible?
I bet you can guess who is responsible. It’s not the politicians, or the system, or the others who are responsible for peace.
You and I are responsible for peace.
Grassroots peace is what we each create in our little bubble of the world. Each bubble is linked to every other bubble. And our little bubble of peace can spread. It can spread right across the world.
Here are steps toward grassroots peace.
1. Let go of being right
Do you enjoy looking down from the ‘moral high ground’? There is a kind of satisfaction about thinking that we are right and they are so, so wrong, isn’t there? Be honest now…
What would happen if we gave up on being ‘right’? What if we gave up on concepts, like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?
Watch the video below to see what would happen.
2. Stop ‘us and them’ thinking
It’s so easy to slip into a thought-pattern of ‘us’ and ‘them’. This estrangement is the root cause of much suffering in the world.
Just think of ridicule, bullying, and ostracism on one end of the scale of evil, and slavery and torture at the other end. It all starts with the thought of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
3. Let go of grudges
Do you hold a grudge? Maybe it’s time to let it go. Or do you want to hold onto it for longer?
Do you want to hold onto your grudge for another day, another week, another year, another decade, or even for the rest of your life?
Grudges eat away at the soul and poison relationships.
The good news is that you can let them go. All you need to do is to notice each time a grudge and its poisonous story arises in the mind. Then say to yourself with compassion, “I let go of that story,” and bend your mind toward something else.
The gift of peace
If you take up these three steps toward peace, your heart will become more peaceful, you will smile more and others will enjoy your company.
They will enjoy your company not because you are smart, or interesting, or beautiful, or successful. They will enjoy your company because you offer the gift of peace.
What do you think? How can bring about peace? Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments.