I see the petitions for peace. I hear the pleas for an end to
America’s somebody’s so-called “War on Terror.” I can’t help but think as I browse the internet, watch the news, read the opinions, and reflect on my own feelings, “Peace at all costs?”
Are people so hungry for peace amid turpitude that they are willing to overlook pieces [peace] of their soul for it? I say this because I worry. I know often, for me, when I see gross injustices occur I go completely opposite in order to counteract the injustices - somehow feeling that only my “yang” to the original “yin” could suffice in bringing about total and complete righteousness.
So I have been thinking about my ideas of peace and what they mean to me.
Gandhi, for example wasn’t a “peace at all costs” kind of leader. [Had he chosen peace he would never have opposed the British Empire. He would have gone on, keeping his head low and staying out of the way.] He was, however, for right-thinking and right-action.
Peace, when all is well, is right. Peace, when all is unwell, is wrong.
Peace, therefore, should not be my goal; For when things are right, peace will be a natural effect. What should be my continual goal is “well.” It is my strong feeling that if I seek peace first - I may absolutely get it and yet still be totally unwell.
Striving for right intention, right thinking and right action has always led to my peace. And when I say my peace I mean my peace inside of myself and that place where it allows me to sleep at night feeling safe and comforted. The kind of peace that I have only been able to achieve by living through my integrity. This kind of peace means that the world outside can be crumbling down and burning to my feet but if I have it - I won’t have the chaos inside. As a result, a paradigm shift occurs, my perceptions change, and all of a sudden I will see peace outside of me.
The trick to my being at this place has never been because I have sought and gained peace first. No. I have gotten to peace as the by-product of right intention, right thinking, and right action. I have gotten to peace through rooting out the problem first. So when I hear and see all the petitions on ending this Iraq “thing” I wonder if some people may be making the mistake of seeking peace first; Of seeking peace as the result.
Seeking peace ‘first’ may be harmful or dangerous
- Wanting to keep peace within her family and not get her relative in trouble, a friend of mine suffered molestation from a small child into her married life. In the end - 15 or so years later - ?she ended up attacking her relative in defense of herself as her small child watched from his crib; Her family would end up discovering the truth when the police came.
- Wanting to keep the peace, a friend, when the police were called, wouldn’t tell that her boyfriend had hit her. Not only did he continue to hit her but he knew then that she would not tell so the hittings continued into full and frequent beatings.
- Wanting to keep peace, a family neglected to mention or discuss their relative’s continuing spiral into prescription pill use. Several years later, this relative would enter the world of street drugs and overdoses.
- Wanting to keep peace and avoid ugly confrontation, family members all over the world tonight are overlooking and not discussing a family member’s alcohol consumption or the effects it’s manifesting.
Pardon the metaphors of trees and fruit - I’m feeling Biblical
To ignore a bad tree’s bad fruit for the sake of peace is really a lie. It’s really “pseudo-peace” because it’s pretend. You can’t really ignore the bad fruit - you just pretend to. You overlook it for whatever reason - it’s easier or you feel like it’s all you can do… But inside of us where our truth compass resides, we have the chaos and the sickness of eating the bad fruit. But many people still smile, chew and swallow and they think this is peace.
In this case, look to the tree. Cut it out at the bad root, burn it and then plant a healthy tree that will offer good fruit. The good fruit will offer peace. Internally it will nourish and sustain us, and externally we won’t be watching bad fruit rotting and pretending it’s not coming from a bad tree with a rotten root.
Deal with the problem causing the unrest and disharmony first.
Peace will follow.
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