Given the nature of world events lately, which are a lesson in mindfulness and reactivity for all sides, and a message to us all about our self-empowerment, it is fitting that I write this post on world peace.
World peace is not some idealistic state that we can only dream of. That is the illusion we give ourselves to avoid responsibility, or the illusion we take on to unconsciously conspire in other people’s agendas for war and domination. Rather, world peace is a very practical potential that requires us all to clear our unconscious habits and be mindful so that we can contribute to making world peace a reality. World peace starts when we experience the inner peace and beauty of life through mindfulness, and continues when we commit to this as an uncompromisable standard or value.
We are not alone. Almost everybody wants world peace, so we need only work together for this outcome! World peace can be achieved with an agreement on the following ten principles of world peace.
- World peace begins within us. When we are at peace we can never be at war. Inner peace means being free of the reactivity that breeds disrespect, resentment, hatred, and conflict. Inner peace also means being at one with life.
- Anything that promotes the flourishing of life with compassion and awareness deserves our full commitment and support. Anything that promotes violence, death and destruction is anti-life and deserves the withdrawal of our energy and support.
- Respect for life always facilitates peace and will never lead to an act of war. We are all human beings sharing one planet. Together we have shared needs and a shared identity that deserves to be realised, respected, and made the foundation for world peace.
- When we respect all life, the differences as well as the commonalities, can be valued. Valuing differences takes strength to break through the egocentric view that the world should be how we see it from our conditioned point of view, or is there to meet our needs only.
- World peace is a collective responsibility shared by each one of us. Waiting for others to bring about world peace is an avoidance of owning our responsibility and power, and will only perpetuate the tendency for war by diminishing the potential for peace. Peaceful thoughts and values are not enough, and need to be embodied in actions that contribute to world peace.
- You cannot force peace. False peace is what is achieved with nuclear deterrants, threats, wars of words, military strategies, and bombing others into submission. These actions are not peaceful and only mask over the underlying hurts, tensions, conflicts, resentments, and mistrust, which remain a constant threat to peace. False peace is a disguise for a world still at war.
- Concentrating collective power in the hands of a few is dangerous as it makes power more likely to be misused or abused, and increases its destructiveness. It can expose populations of people to the intensity of that power, most often expressed through powerful weaponary, which can be highly destructive and even world-destroying.
- Developing compassion for others, by placing ourselves in their shoes, and connecting to our shared identity, awakens our desire to wish others to be free of suffering.
- Gratitude for the blessings of life enables us to value the peace process and the opportunities for growth, cooperation, and healing it presents
- Mindful communication, which requires emotional awareness and sensitivity, promotes understanding of shared needs and differences on which to build world peace, and avoids triggering others into reactive states.
Sometimes I am asked, “What about those who commit acts of violence? Shouldn’t we protect ourselves from them with violence?” These principles are not a call to let violence happen to us, or to the innocent, or to anyone at all. These principles are addressed to all in this world who perpetrate violence, and to all who stand by and do nothing to stop it. If you think violence is the answer, please go into your heart, please look underneath your own pain and disconnection from life, and see if you can find the inner peace and compassion that will contribute to world peace. Come back to your true nature and you will come back to life.
You may ask, “So while we wait for these principles to be implemented by everyone, are we expected to do nothing when faced with violence?” Of course not. We all can uproot the causes of violence everywhere rather than fuelling its growth, and instead fuel the growth of inner peace and compassion. If we are faced with immediate violence, we of course can protect ourselves and the innocent, with all the resources and support we can gather to minimise suffering. But to prevent such a thing happening in the first place, let’s begin focusing on implementing world peace now, not perpetuating the patterns of conflict and violence by our acts of omission and commission and leaving world peace until it is too late.