Peace Begins with You

It’s a wonderful notion (and might be a better world) if the majority of mankind put more effort into being peaceful. But a task of this magnitude takes immense resolve, discipline, and inner strength. Each of us have a responsibility to live to the fullest, to develop inner resolve, selflessness, and genuine compassion for others. Though it sounds unattainable and Utopian, there are small ways to get there. Here are some critical ingredients to becoming an inspiring peacemaker …

Inner Peace
Going along with the idea of, “one must love themselves before they can truly love another” … outward peace is a direct result of inner peace. Inner peace is by far the most important factor to our human existence. We can hopefully assume that it is one of humanity’s most common goals — but what does this actually mean? In today’s world things move faster and faster, we get bored quicker, and are constantly looking for the next thrill to provide us with momentary happiness. This is not inner peace. Using materialism in place of connecting with actual consciousness will lead to a vicious cycle of highs and lows. This is due to a dependence on our outer environment … what we should be focusing on, is our inner environment.

This is the first step in heading towards our destination of inner peace. A meditative discipline is crucial in cultivating our self-awareness. We need to take time each day to quiet our minds, slow down our intake of information and focus just on being alive. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time … ten minutes will be sufficient if that’s all you can spare. Through meditation we begin to become mindful of our lives, which enables us to develop a sense of gratitude and/or appreciation. Appreciate your health, your fortunes, and the people around you … even merely interacting with nature. Reflecting on our consciousness puts us in touch with our innate goodness — our “peaceful” state. Accessing this part of our selves will inevitably start being reflected in our lives.

Becoming Mindful
Through our determination of becoming more peaceful on the inside, taking proper action (meditation), will hopefully lead to a heighten sense of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a very important player in peace not only because it improves clarity, but it generates compassion for others. Being able to sincerely appreciate your own life will no doubt prompt you to appreciate the lives of others. All others — even the last guy that cut you off.

Being considerate of others would have to be one of the most overlooked traits in our society. We have to learn to minimize our self-centerness and come to the grand realization that we’re all connected. The interconnectivity of life is one of the most awe-inspiring concepts we have come across. In order to create a society, or even a world of peace — we all must understand that we are interdependent. I depend on you and I know you depend on me.

A Domino Effect
Now is your time to shine! If you have put time and effort into cultivating inner peace, naturally you’ll feel much more relaxed when dealing with situations and individuals. You’ll feel more fluid, as if emotions flow through you effortlessly. If there’s a difficult situation at hand, you’ll be prepared to conquer it with peace, patience, and understanding. This is when our highest potential as human beings reveals itself. Not only will you feel less aggression, anger, and hostility, but it will also become a domino effect. Positivity will flow and ripple out into your peer group, among coworkers, and in your most intimate relationships. As the adage goes, “A change in one individual will change the entire direction of humanity.” Can you imagine if billions of us understood and put this mentality into practice?

How do you strive for inner peace in your daily life? What do you do to create positive effects in the lives of others?

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