Originally published September 23, 2016 written by Bawn Campbell
“At the end of the day, we have very simple needs, and on top of the list has always been to feel contentment. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is a fundamental human need that needs to be felt from within.”
After last year’s September 21 “Peace Day at the Art Gallery at Artisan Square” I felt inspired by the 25 people who showed up to watch the Video “Peacemakers with Jeremy Gilley (Founder of Peace One Day, Ted Talks, filmmaker) and Prem Rawat (Ambassador of Peace for Italy, Brazil, European Parliament and Peru). I volunteered to write this article, god help me. First off I am not an expert I just I know that when I feel at peace everything around me feels good.
Words are just symbols to which some personal meaning is attached. Your meaning and mine are not always the same. How often have you expressed something that is misinterpreted and resulted in conflict? My hope is that you reflect upon peace within your life.
There is little doubt in most people’s mind that our lives are moving too fast. Choices are being made without enough forethought about the implications of those choices. We seem to be living in a world gone mad for acquiring money, power, possessions and experiences. How can we break this spell?
The constant bombardment by ads convincing us that newest aftershave, perfume, car, TV, IPhone will bring us happiness. If we just own those things our lives will be better; the opiate of possession. It is hard to stop it. It’s hard when all around us are promoting it.
This happiness that we assume comes from “owning” something, where is it located? The feeling of happiness resides within, inside ourselves. Happiness is a feeling, love is a feeling, Joy is a feeling. Contentment is a feeling. Somehow we need to break the “opiate of possessions” hold on us, we need to find a way to feel happy within ourselves. The world cannot sustain this process of acquiring.
There are over seven billion of us on this planet that is hurtling through space around the sun at 107,200 kph and spinning at 1,600 kph (remember that when you are stuck in traffic); Too often I forget what is important in my life. I forget that I am alive. That, right now, this moment will never happen again.
Most of us have heard the quote attributed to Albert Einstein that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. We go to war again and again and again. War has never resulted in real peace only in profit for a few. How can we stop this insanity?
At some point we are going to realize, as an individual, that our time on this planet will end. We do not live here forever.
The UN study of average life expectancy puts the world at 70.7 years or 25,806 days. In Canada the average is 82 years or 29,930 days. We don’t have that many days to waste. Each day is so precious. Too precious to waste in anger, frustration and guilt.
My family sometimes is concerned with my focus on how many days I may have left to live but I do it to remind myself that this day, this moment, is more important to me than tomorrow or yesterday. It is in this moment that I want to experience happiness.
I don’t know about you but I do know that I like feeling good. I like clarity, appreciation, love, contentment and the feeling of being at peace. I don’t like confusion, disregard, hate, anger, guilt and the feelings of restlessness and inadequacy.
Somewhere, somehow I came to the realization people matter to me. That we have value and that we are not just some data point in a database.
So how does Peace enter into this essay? When I feel clarity, appreciation, love, contentment the feeling of being at peace is not far behind.
The Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO declares that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed“.
In order to build those defenses of peace some shift needs to take place in how our lives are lived, we need to see that Peace is as fundamental to us as is water and air, love and joy.
Ultimately it is our own personal experience of peace that we want, not an idea of peace but the experience of peace in our individual hearts. When we have that experience it is easy to see the value of those around you and to know how valuable life is. To see the value of life in your friend and in your foe. Life is the most valuable thing we have. It is the miracle we have waited for.
“Knowing is better than Believing”, know peace.
Practice Peace, change your world.
– Bawn Campbell