Saturday, May 17, 2008

"To have a Meaningful Life"

10 Ways to Bring Peace to the World

By Susan Skog

As Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated with his life, the entire world is lifted up by one individual choosing peace. One person can create something that ignites all of our collective hopes, energies, and dreams. What if you could do that too? What if you are destined to be your generation's peacemaker? "We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization," King said. Here are 10 real ways you can cultivate deep in yourself the loving peace you want to see in the core of the world.

Wherever You Stand, Make It Camp David

"The only way we can make peace is for each of us to be the peace we want to see." -- Susan Collin Marks

It's up to us. We can't wait for someone more powerful or wiser to deliver peace. We are the wise and powerful ones who choose peace in every thought and action. King showed us that even the simplest acts tilt the world toward peace. When his house was burned during the civil rights movement, he raced home not knowing if his wife and young daughter were safe. And he knew whatever he did could affect the anger brewing in the country. He stepped onto his porch and said, "Remember, this is what God said, 'We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love your enemies. Be good to them. Love them and let them know you love them.'" Global peace is a personal choice, hour by hour. Ask yourself, "Am I going to add to the fighting in the world? Or offer up something greater?"

Nurture Peace in Yourself

"The first step is to come home to ourselves. You don't need to become a Buddha. You need to become yourself." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

It's hard to stay peaceful if we're overwhelmed by life. Find some peace, calm, and stability in your inner world so you can be kinder in your outer world. Do whatever soothes you, daily. Spend time in nature, meditate, sing, dance, play, chill on the couch. Do yoga, read by the fire, eat good chocolate while watching an entire sunset. Disconnect from conflict and just breathe for a while. Center yourself and tap into the peace you already carry within.

Heal a Piece of Your Anger

"Peace is as much about getting the bombs out of our own hearts as out of the Pentagon budget."
It's normal to get angry. But as peacemakers, our challenge is to channel that frustration into something greater. Think of your anger as rocket fuel that can launch your dreams--not scald people around you. View it as a surge of energy to create what you really want and need. Practice breathing deeply, disarming yourself and asking, "Why am I so angry? What do I really want?" If we can transform our anger into a higher dream, as King did, we take a stand for peace. We step away from the vise of anger and step into the lives we really want.

Focus on the Positive

"Plant yourself in the middle of what you love most--the thing within you that is most alive." -- Yael Lachman

"Dream. Dream. Dream. Be idealistic. Dream the world can be a better place." -- Archbishop Desmund

Believe that peace can happen anytime, anyplace. Love the idea of living in harmony more than the idea of living in chaos. Spend time each day visualizing how your own life will be different when peace grows in all your relationships. Imagine your community cooperative and thriving. Imagine our country no longer warring with others. See our homes bathed in peace and prosperity. Feel the joy of that! Believe that a peaceful world is our destiny.

Serve a Piece of the World

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The world is asking for your light. Find a way to give back and make a difference. Help someone else. You and I make all the difference in whether the world grows more chaotic or more peaceful. "You don't need a college degree to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve," King said. "You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." Serve the world with your peaceful heart, with your peaceful soul. Make it big. Make it so.

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