Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thanks, Coke!

On January 15th this year, I wrote a post, entitled 'Peace Vs. Coke' where I expressed my desire that peace education must have a reach like that of Coke or Pepsi, if not better. The post also suggested that it would be a great contribution if every Coke bottle could carry a message of unity and hope…  Coke's new advertisement brings the message of hope directly into the bedrooms around the world in several local languages.  



Yes, there are more and stronger reasons to be hopeful. Thanks for reinforcing that belief, Coke! I wish more and more companies would take the message of peace, hope and love and make it a jingle in our schools and streets.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Business of Serving

To serve others is the greatest act that human beings can do, it is also a beautiful gift to God and the best part is that one can indulge in serving without much cost and there are ample amount of opportunities to serve! This world is full of poor, disabled, and broken people and many times all they need is sincere attention.

The challenge is to find the desire to serve. Once we are able to find the desire, we can easily find the time to serve. Serving involves serious business. It is the transaction of smiles, happiness and peace. The better you are at the business, the more profit you make in gaining all three.

For many 'serving' brings psychological healing. Helping others to heal has healing effect on the helper. For example, I often receive feedback from my readers about how this blog has helped them in reclaiming peace in their lives. However, I think the biggest beneficiary of this blog and the feedback from you all is me. As I write and get your reactions, I gain insights that bring peace in my life and my family. I can easily say that this blog has made me more peaceful than what I was when I first began.

Yes, serving is a serious business, which brings actual profit. My friends, get involved if you are not already and share your benefits with us too. Blessings! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The balance of Peace

The Balance of Peace (Dayal de Prewitt A. 2012)


Today peace-builders are looking for the most apt definition of peace. We know that peace is not merely the absence of war, it is way beyond that. Peace can be defined both at societal and individual level. It can be an environmental condition or state of mind or a combination of both. 


Different people define and attain peace in different ways. In India, for thousands of year 'sadhus' (sages) migrate to Himalayas to search for peace and enlightenment. Others spend time in religious activities to achieve peace. Sadly, some engage in violence to look for peace. For many, simply spending time with dear ones or relaxation can be peaceful.


No matter how we understand peace and how we choose to achieve it, there are some factors that will affect that process. These can be internal and external factors as shown in the illustration above.  


As a result of interactions with several people in different parts of the world, I have gathered that forgiveness plays the most important role in inner peace. However, sometimes forgiveness alone cannot resolve ongoing situation. For example, for a rape victim the act of forgiveness can bring peace in her/his heart, whereas another victim may require a combination of justice, support and forgiveness to be able to embrace sustainable peace. 

In case of oppression, justice is essential to achieve peace. Justice can also be perceptual, therefore it must be defined by the oppressed not by others. Although justice for peace must break the chain of violence. However, it is important to note that revenge sometimes can be misconstrued as justice. 


Developing and focusing on relationship with inner self and/or God can help see the bigger picture and the greater good. Spirituality helps to look at the immaterial things and justice beyond this world and the current life. It can help germinate the seeds of hope and lead a life towards peace. Spirituality strives for oneness with the creator/universe and usually goes beyond religious rituals and differences.


Peace requires both decision and action, which can be facilitated by support of others. Support from family and friends can bring peaceful showers on a person's heart. Guilt is an enemy of peace and it can be eventually eliminated through validation from others. Just sharing laughters, meals and even pain with dear ones can make place for peace. Support from others is as important as supporting others. Peace derived from serving is divine peace!

 
In hindi, there is a saying, 'Bhuke pet bhajan na hoye Gopala', meaning with a hungry stomach it is difficult to even worship God. Economy plays an important role in attainment of peace. If people are constantly worried and struggling for their meals, homes, and other basic needs, peace talks can be ineffective as well as useless. This is where the role of state comes in the picture of peace. Job opportunities, means to meet basic needs have a direct connection with peace.


Contentment or feeling of satisfaction with life is also an important factor related to achieving peace. One may not be oppressed and be economically well but if he/she is not content from within, it may hinder peace. A healthy and positive perspective towards life and supportive society is critical for peace to take birth and grow in a balanced way. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Live

If you are experiencing hopelessness or fear, I urge you to look deep within. You can do this by spending some time with yourself or taking a walk in fresh air or playing an outdoor game.


Challenge yourself and face the fear. Visualize what is the worse that can happen. Think of three nice things that you can still do in that situation. Simple things like spending time with family or going for shopping or helping others or teaching poor children or partying with friends or just praying... the list can go and on!
 
The point is that sad things happen in everybody's life and most people eventually learn to move on. We all have the capacity called resilience, which helps us to bounce back from an adverse event. All we need to do is to believe that we will overcome.
 
No need to die before it happens, live your life because it is meant to be lived. Look for brightness in the sun, look for fresh water in the rain, look for twinkling stars and calming silence in the night, look for hope for future in a child's smile, look for God's power in the sky, His skills in the birds that fly around, His art in the Trees and flowers, look for life when you breath. Live!!!

Ah, The Moments of Faith!

Faith and fear, How different they are, To find a place in my heart, They're always at war! There are moments, When fear w...