Last night, walking back from the theater in the middle of the night, I found great strength in the peace sign. I felt empowered, fully capable, and confident.
A few times, however, I would come to an overpass and walk under a bridge, or walk in a part of town that was unlit. At these moments, I found that the peace sign was not necessarily enough to cast away my fears, and so I began to sing. “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,” according to the rhythm of the Hallelujah song I learned from Shrek. I was thinking through in my mind how I perceived the message of Hallelujah, and interpreted it as “Praise be to God.” Even greater than Peace is God. And great is God who gave us voices to sing, even if it might be one of the most tone-deaf voices on the planet.
In addition to singing Hallelujah, I found courage in the marine motto, “Semper Fi!” I occasionally chanted “Semperi Fi – Always Faithful!” and could hear it echo across the trees.
I’ve been searching for a source of energy, vitality, vigor, vim – whatever you’d like to call it – that allows me to cast out fears and act upon what I believe is right. Often times I will meditate on Peace and experience a closeness to a greater power during those times. Last night too I found great energy in Peace. Even then, though, I came back to the looming realization, “I do not know what Peace is.” Just as I do not understand the nature of God or the nature of the universe or really the nature of anything – I do not completely understand Peace. I have notions of what Peace is and what Peace looks like, a vision which currently consists of people meditating together, but other than that – Peace is ambiguous to me.
Before I began meditating on Peace, which started shortly after I came across Thich Nhat Hon’s book, “Peace is Every Step,” I found the concept of Agape particularly powerful. Agape, as I understand it, is a love in the incredible potential for goodness that resides in all people. Rather than loving someone for particular behaviors, even if such behaviors are unjust, such as theft, Agape allows us to love all people, no matter what they are doing, because we know that deep down inside of all of us rests an infinite source of potential to love, give, and serve – to act completely just. This notion of the ever-present great potential of all individuals is how I understand the Spirit that flows through each one of us.
Before Agape, who knows what I meditated on, or if I meditated at all. Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer in meditation and the notion that we become what we think about. Therefore, meditating on ideals allows us to more fully manifest those ideals in our daily lives.
Last night, I found myself in a greater state of ignorance than ever before, especially in the darkness, and found that singing “Hallelujah” and chanting “Semper Fi” were the most invigorating words I possessed. Praise be to God, whoever and however God works, and let me remain always faithful to just action as I come to understand it more and more.