War and Peace

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I AM SO FRUSTRATED. The more determined I am to not see difference and otherness, the more sensitized I am to noticing the prevalence of separatist thinking and being angered by it. The more determined I am to eradicate judgement of others in every way, and live a peaceful life, free of conflict, the more intensely life tests me. It’s not like I’m looking for a fight. And yet, the harder I strive for peace, the more I enter the war zone.

As I wrote that last sentence I had to laugh at the antithesis of the statement. How can I strive in a hard, determined fashion to achieve peace? Can one fight for peace? How can war bring about a state of calm and love which is unconditional and all-accepting? Once we wage war on anyone we have invited revenge. Every attack we launch on humanity, whether verbal, emotional or physical is war which invites anger and retribution, and ultimately it is an attack on ourselves.

We have the choice between love or judgement. The two are antithetically opposed. Love is peace inasmuch as judgement is war. It is impossible to have unconditional love for all of humanity and still encourage punishment. You cannot forgive, BUT still meter out a suitable punishment, because forgiveness is FINITE. There is NO follow up.

I’ll give you an example. Some years ago, when my oldest son was three years old, his nursery school teacher had told me that he had bitten his friend and following her orders his friend had bitten my son back. At the time I reckoned this was very good teaching. Then a while later I had witnessed my son hitting another playmate and as I metred out his punishment by hitting him, I had a moment of enlightened intelligence and was shocked by the stupidity of my actions. I realised right then and there that all I was doing was perpetuating the endless cycle of I hit you, you hit me to which there is no end. I questioned myself: “How can I teach my son a peaceful non-aggressive approach to life by matching violence with violence?”

My actions need to lead by nature of their non-violence. I need to seek peace over being right, emanate love during an attack and return verbal attack with words of kindness.

Some of the greatest teachers of all time have demonstrated this. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, once threatened by the Chinese, slipped quietly out of Tibet. Mahatma Gandhi silently fasted in a non-aggressive approach to encourage unconscious humans to awaken. Madiba exchanged his militant ways after 27 years behind bars, and determined to BE THE CHANGE he wanted to see in the world by ensuring his words and actions extended only unconditional love. Never once did he promote punitive action or revenge. Like Jesus they all said NO to violence in any form.

And so I find the answer to my unconscious statement above. There is no ego, no fight and no trying involved in being an emissary of love and peace. In order to have peace I must stop trying and just BE PEACE.

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Talk is cheap. It is easy to be peaceful when you are hiding out in a cave or surrounded by like-minded, peaceful people. The real test comes when you can hold your peace in the midst of an attack.

So, without further ado. I let go of my determined stance and my gritted teeth, and with a smile on my face and a belly laugh I remind myself I am an emissary of LOVE and nothing else matters.

Make love not war with your thoughts, your words and actions this week.

I Love you


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