Wars, civil unrest, social upheaval, and violence around the globe and in our own country. Why can’t we all live in peace?! We can, but to do so we must first find peace within ourselves and from that place work to overcome our own violent thoughts, words, and deeds. Then, and only then, can we become effective instruments of peace in our families, our communities, and our world.
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The Peace of the Wild Things by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Only when you are directly in touch with the problem, when you see that without peace today you cannot have peace tomorrow, when you have no reason for peace but actually see the truth that without peace life is not possible, creation is not possible, that without peace there can be no sense of happiness – only when you see the truth of that, will you have peace. Then you will have peace without any organizations for peace. For that you must be so vulnerable, you must demand peace with all your heart, you must find the truth of it for yourself, not through organizations, through propaganda, through clever arguments for peace and against war. Peace is not the denial of war. Peace is a state of being in which all conflicts and all problems have ceased; it is not a theory, not an ideal to be achieved after ten incarnations, ten years or ten days. As long as the mind has not understood its own activity, it will create more misery; and the understanding of the mind is the beginning of peace.