Great changes start with individuals; the basis of world peace is inner peace in the hearts of individuals, something we can all work for. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
I like this quote, as it is the basis of a lot of what I have been saying in my blog posts for years. Only the rarest of individuals impact the world.
But all of us can impact ourselves. While it can be hard to imagine that our small contribution matters, all the little contributions add up to something great.
By working on our own hearts, and moving towards inner peace, we can help raise the level of peace in our family, and eventually, in our community, and beyond. But we can only improve ourselves, and encourage others.
And that is what this quote is asking of us. Start with ourselves. Find our path to inner peace, and walk it until it is so well trodden, we rarely take any other path. That is a goal we can work on, as individuals.
Why is finding our inner peace important?
While calls for top-down enforcement of world peace is an interesting concept, any government strong enough to enforce world peace can also enforce total war, should the leadership change. That is why a bottom-up method of moving hearts and minds towards peace is the only practical solution.
Until all people have found their inner peace, and can avoid anger, the world will not know peace. It only takes one angry person to bring about a wave of anger, and that can lead to war. Just look at history for example after example of such behavior. While there is anger, there is risk.
World Peace will only come after the people of the world has attained inner peace. And inner peace starts with the individual. As we learn, we become an example for others who are interested in shedding their anger and hate, and learning how to be at peace within themselves.
In this way, we become leaders within our family, with our friends and in our community. As we become more centered in our inner peace, and less so with our anger, we begin to spread peaceful feelings where-ever we go. I imagine you have felt a peaceful feeling come over you, just because someone has entered a room? You can become that person, if you wish.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I believe that this quote can be applied to nearly every aspect of our life, or at least all the places where we get angry. What about the boss or your co-workers? The annoying person your friend keeps bringing with to your social gatherings? The idiots on the road around you? Where would inner peace be useful? You tell me.
Think of times in your life when you have been angry. What have you done to rid yourself of the anger? At different stages of my life, I vented my anger through violence on inanimate objects, then through massive physical exertion, then emotional exertion. All of these burned the anger out of my system.
Eventually, I began to understand that anger can only exist with my permission. With that realization, I began to find ways to undercut my reactions, and find other ways to react which were not anger. Depending on the situation, that might be forgiveness, sympathy, pity, or even laughter.
I am not completely rid of anger, but it is now a rare visitor, not a constant companion. In this manner, I have worked on finding a path to my inner peace, and practiced travelling it regularly. In the process, you may also find your threshold for what gets you angry raised to the point where it rarely happens.
There are probably as many methods for ridding ourselves of anger as there are people doing it. Some use meditations, others burn the anger from themselves through physical action or emotional effort. Take the first step in a manner that works for you.
But please, seek other methods to try, for no one method will work in every situation, every time. At least not at first. I am told that people who have become masters in meditation can use it to handle almost every situation. I might get to that point some day. But in the mean time…
What answers did you find when you considered how you rid yourself of anger when you find yourself in its grip? That would be a great starting point for your journey towards inner peace. You might also consider seeking out those who seem to be difficult to anger, and ask them how they do it.
The world can change, but it will only happen one person at a time. Take the first step, and become part of the solution.
For some odd reason, my ‘related articles’ app is still face down in the mud. I hope to have something that works by early next week…