Posted by: Lisa | December 12, 2010

Peace on Earth

Some of the most popular prayers from people of all faiths are for “peace on Earth” and for “an end to war.”  Do we ever stop to wonder what it would take for those prayers to be answered?

It often seems the world is filled with so much anger, hatred, envy and violence.  These things appear to be overwhelming.  They make us feel powerless.  We can’t help but wonder where to begin to overcome them.

The answer is:  Inside our own heart.

Ahimsa means non-violence.  It’s a central teaching in Eastern religions.  Acts of violence are always preceded by angry, hateful or violent thoughts, and sometimes by hateful words.  We tend to notice this more in other people or in large-scale confrontations between communities and nations.  However, if we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit the same thing happens within ourselves.  Our task is to learn to see and change our own angry thoughts before they have a chance to become hateful words or violent actions.

The opposite of ahimsa is peace and true compassion for all life.  This is something that can and should be actively cultivated.  The best place to begin practicing ahimsa is with ourselves:  How are we angry, cruel and judgmental with ourselves?  When we learn to see this, we begin to see how we direct this negative energy outward toward others.

Compassion is a choice.  When each one of us consciously chooses to be peaceful and compassionate in our thoughts, words and deeds – even when this choice is very difficult – then we will indeed have peace on earth. Peace happens one person at a time.

May there be peace within you!  May there be peace on earth and an end to war.

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Responses

  1. […] time to commit to peace.  The peace we all want to see begins within ourselves.  I shared a post (Peace on Earth) on this subject in 2010.  Today, I’d like to share a summary of my pastor’s inspiring […]


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