WHAT IS PEACEFULNESS?
Peacefulness is an inner sense of calm. It is a way of becoming very quiet and looking at things so you can understand them. It is facing your fears and then letting them go. It is trusting that things will be all right.
Peacefulness is giving up the love of power for the power of love. It is practicing justice, which means to be fair to yourself and others. Peacefulness is a way of approaching conflict with others so no one is made wrong. Everyone wins because you work to find a peaceful solution. Peace comes when you give up violence, prejudice, and thinking of others as enemies.
Peacefulness comes from an awareness that all human beings are part of one family. Peace in the world begins with peace in your heart and peace in your interactions with others.
WHY PRACTICE PEACEFULNESS?
A Peaceful heart is one which is free of trouble or worry. It allows you to trust. It is a quieting of your spirit, a willingness to enter your own inner stillness. Without peacefulness you feel that you have to control everyone and everything.
World peace is not only something that governments can create while all of us sit there waiting for them to do it. People make peace in their homes and schools and workplaces.
Peacefulness allows us to remain free of violence, free from prejudice, safe from injustice. When each of us is peaceful, all those who come in contact with us feel loved, respected, and treated fairly. Differences are seen as benefits rather than reasons to fight. The peace in our lives leads to peace in the world.
Without peacefulness we see differences as a threat to who and what we are. We judge others by what we have heard rather that by what we know, and look out for ourselves first even if others are hurt in the process. Without peace no one is safe. When there is violence, injustice, prejudice, or inequality, there is always fear and resentment. This can happen in a family or between nations. It leads to fights and wars. And no one ever really wins a war.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE PEACEFULNESS?
To be peaceful inside, take a few minutes to become very still and focus on your breathing. Try your best to let go of your worries. When you do this every day, you become more and more peaceful.
To be a peacemaker, use peaceful language. Instead of saying, “I hate…,” calling people names, backbiting or criticizing, use moderate language, even when you’re angry. Talk about your anger: “It makes me angry when you come in my room without knocking.” Speak softly and gently. Harm no one. Avoid hitting and other kinds of violence. Never, ever use weapons.
When you practice peacefulness, if you have a disagreement with someone, instead of attacking, making each other wrong, or using violent speech or actions, look for a peaceful solution. You can solve the problems so that both of you win. There are always lots of creative ways any problem can be solved. Violence never solves anything.
Look for the good in others. If something they do hurts or annoys you, forgive them right away. If they are violating your rights, stop them by reasonable, nonviolent means. Stand up for yourself and others. Appreciate differences instead of making them a cause for prejudice or fighting.
What would Peacefulness look like if…
- Your brother bursts into your room and steps on a model or painting you just finished?
- There are students of another race and religion in your class and some of your classmates are making fun of them?
- You start to worry about a problem and find it is on your mind all the time?
- You feel really angry about someone treating you unfairly?
- Some children start to tease you and ask you to fight?
- You decide to start a daily practice of prayer and reflection?
You are practicing Peacefulness when you…
- Create inner peace with a regular time to pray, meditate or reflect.
- Use peaceful language even when you are angry.
- Speak gently and respectfully.
- Avoid harming anyone.
- Appreciate differences.
- Find peaceful solutions to every problem.
I am peaceful. I use peaceful language and find peaceful solutions to any problem that arises. I find my inner peace and let it carry me gently through the day.
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