Ripples #904: Refracting Peace.
Sept 19, 2016
It isn’t enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it.
One must work at it.
―Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Julie in Missoula, MT
Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.
—Etty Hillesum (via Values.com 12/4/15)
Peace can be such an abstract concept; it can mean so many things to different people and can shift meaning as contexts change. I’ve been lately conceptualizing peace as having an internal aspect (serenity within oneself) and an external aspect (harmony between and among beings). I’m increasingly convinced that an important early step in reducing the amount of conflict in the world is to enlarge the quality and quantity of inner peace that is available to us individually. Finding time for reflection, relaxation, meditation, and/or prayer can strengthen our efforts to cultivate peace in our communities and in our world.
As we refine our own ability to calm anxieties, focus attention, and generally center ourselves, we naturally become both more inspired and more effective in addressing interpersonal conflicts. As we are more patient and compassionate with ourselves, we effortlessly extend patience and compassion to others, which expands our ability listen, to empathize, and to seek mutually beneficial resolutions to the inevitable conflicts that arise in life.
I invite you to join me in refracting peace this week, first by deepening the well of serenity within your own spirit and then making a conscious effort to bring more harmony to those around you.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I initially described this week’s theme as “Reflecting Peace,” but that ultimately seemed too passive, like we were suppose to just mirror the peace we encounter. I was eventually energized by the idea of refraction; I imagined lightwaves of peace transforming as they passed through me and then continuing to spread out and enlighten others. Reflect on it, and if it makes sense to you, refract it as well!