I believe that peace is something that is often miss understood. I hear many people throw around the word saying that they wish for world peace, or a wish for peace for all mankind. As I sit here on my porch this morning, enjoying a truly peaceful morning, residual rain dripping from the tree leaves and morning birds singing in the woods, I find myself full of conflict and struggle internally. This raises the questions, “what is peace?”.
I am forced to ask if perhaps peace for one person is different than for another. I know that for me, despite internal struggles, I am more than simply content on this beautiful quiet morning. With the water dripping through the trees from the rain last night, and the birds signing, the muggy, humid air from the passing storm sits like a warm blanket providing comfort as it wraps around you. There is a gentile breeze that helps to free the mind into deeper thought, and this is where I find myself. It is with this gentile breeze that I am finding my peace, right now. I understand that this is not some global cease fire that will stop all wars. I can understand the difference. But perhaps if we all were to take a moment to find what peace meant for our own individual lives, we would be better prepared to support peace in others.
I am a firm believer that if you do not care for yourself you will have nothing to give those around you. I think this principle may apply here as well. How can we ever help others find and achieve peace if we are unable to find it in our own lives. How can we help find a greater peace if we are still seeking peace in ourselves? How can we presume to know what peace means for another if we don’t know what it means internally? Beyond these questions, I also ask who are we as individuals to presume what peace means for another if we do not walk in their steps?
I am a very fortunate individual. I live in the woods in the Northeast corner of the United States. I am a person of privilege. I have more than my challenges, but I am filled with gifts. I work in a major urban city environment. I see every day the struggles and chaos, or so it appears to me, that others live in. I could not imagine what peace would be for those that live in that urban setting. However, I have spoken to a few individuals from the city and they are horrified at the idea of a quiet, dark night without the background cacophony and lights of the city’s hustle and bustle. This dichotomy illustrates how my perception of peace may be very disjointed from another’s
So, as I bring this to a close, I too wish for peace for all mankind. But with that I put a condition. I wish for every person to find their own peace, whatever that may be. For the things that we can control, may we work toward an inner peace. For the things that we cannot, may God bring us peace and serenity.