Peace for the Win!

There are few things everyone in the world agrees on as an ideal.  In fact, there might not be anything.  When on the streets of New York, I sought to enjoy every moment, no matter what circumstances might currently be affecting me.  I found a reservoir of great joy and happiness in the idea of peace.  Whether wishing to peace to others, holding up a peace sign, or simply saying peace with every step I took on the streets – peace pervaded my reality. Something about peace so wholly aligned with my essence that it energized me in a way beyond what I had ever experienced.

I believe there is an inherent goodness to peace.  Whether we are talking about inner-peace or World Peace, most everyone in the world will agree to such a state as an ideal.

I said “Peace,” and flashed the peace sign to over a thousand people during my week on the streets in NYC.  Throughout that whole experience, only one person responded in a negative way. As we walked past each other I shared with him an enthusiastic, “Peace!” to which the yarmulke-wearing man replied, “No.  I don’t like peace. I like war.”   Even though that man suggested he liked war, I think that if we talked further he would have explained how he believed war was a necessary step in order to achieve peace.  Who knows.  Either way, I think we are easily deluded to believe that war is a necessary evil, and that just makes no sense to me.

We live in a world filled with death, and that death occurs well beyond the scope of war.  Perhaps the worst part about the death that occurs at almost every second of every day is that so much of it is entirely preventable.  Whether we are letting people die from malnutrition or consenting to the slaughtering of animals so we can get a protein in our bodies, such death is preventable.  We all possess the ability to become more conscious of our daily activities, and we can choose to not participate in institutions that promote death.  Elevating our preferences for food so that we do not consent to the unjust murdering of animals is a necessary step to achieving World Peace (and it very might well be necessary for mere survival if this drought continues).  We can sacrifice a little bit material comfort for the people without food and water in this world, and by doing so we are demonstrating that we value the wellbeing of humanity.  We are global citizens, and the world is getting smaller and smaller.  Some day we may all come face to face with the people of the world who are starving to death – will we give food to them then?

World Peace is a very real possibility.  The achievement of such a feat begins with individuals.  We are incredibly powerful, and the impact we have on the behavior of one another is likely beyond our ability of knowing.  Just remember that each time you act a certain way, you are setting an example.  Is the example you set one worth following?

If we are to commit our lives to one cause, could it be World Peace?  Is there a better option?   As far as I understand, World Peace is a worthy cause.  The best part about it is that everyone pretty much agrees to it!  Sure, there are some people who think lots of war is necessary to achieve World Peace, or that World Peace is impossible without the world uniting under the umbrella of some religion – that may or may not be the case – but we shouldn’t let notions of religious differences hold us back from doing what we can to achieve inner-peace in our own lives.  Once we have inner-peace, we can then share the peace with others, and person by person, World Peace becomes a very real possibility.

Consider the question, “What do you need to be at peace?”  The answer might be a lot simpler than you first think.  If your answer is complex, think about simplifying your demands for peace so that you can experience it now. Peace is here and now as soon as we choose to become aware of it.

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