We will have so much peace in our life if we stop trying to control what is not ours to control.
Fr. Joseph Krupp (found in a Facebook video)
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
-Thich Nhat Hanh, shared by Keith in Lompoc, CA
Today’s pebble presented itself when I randomly stumbled upon a Facebook video of a priest responding to a concern about bawling babies at mass. His response was both light-hearted and also deeply profound: “When we have a little squeaker at mass and they are making a lot of noise, I assume the parents are doing the best they can and I assume I don’t know what I don’t know.” This seems like a gentle yet constructive way of remembering that what we observe in someone else’s behavior is such a tiny tip of the iceberg of what is going on in another human being’s life.
He then invites a shift in our experience of a crying baby, a pivot from annoyance to recognizing the blessing of new life. He even suggests we could use the situation to improve our concentration: “If you need perfect quiet to focus, you will never be able to focus.”
Peace remains elusive when imagined as a state of mind that we can achieve only when certain external conditions are just right. Peace is more accessible and more available by turning inward and remembering it is always there, patiently waiting for us to visit. So, the next time you’re feeling particularly unpeaceful, can you pause to take a few deep breaths (Here, Now!) and see if a peaceful feeling reveals itself.
Cultivating a culture of peace isn’t as simple as a deep breath, but here’s the deal: the more we access our inner peace, the more readily we can encourage peace in our relationships and throughout the world.
P.S. Another shoutout to my Patreon Peeps, a group of several dozen Ripplers pitching in to keep Ripples free and ad-free for all. Everyone who join us in 2020 will be considered a “founding member” and will be helping us launch several new initiatives. They’ll also receive a stream of bonus treats throughout 2021, so if you’ve been thinking of joining us, you’ve got 10 days left to make a splash: