Creating a culture of peace
For a beautiful garden to grow it needs planning and a fertile earth. The same is with compassion and peace, they can only take root if the culture allows.
We’ve seen plants growing through cracks in the concrete, where only the most determined or random plants take hold. But for those who truly believe in creating peace, that concrete needs to be broken apart and trees planted.
Creating a culture of peace and compassion can only come about through enough individuals who care enough to make the culture happen. And how do we change the culture? The only sure way is by changing ourselves. We can get frustrated and angry at other people not behaving in the way we would like them to behave, but can we change them? In reality it’s unlikely. After all, why would they change because you don’t like the way they behave? It’s not within our control to change other people. And really, do we have the right to change other people, no matter how much we believe they “should” change?
So the only other option is to change ourselves. And individually if we start to take on the challenge to “be the change we wish to see in the world”, we realise that it takes a long time to do so. So there’s definitely no chance we can change “them” overnight. The change happens within each of us.
Piece by piece we have the ability to look at ourselves honestly and objectively and ask: is this the way I wish to behave? It’s a start, and there is comfort in knowing that once you are aware of something, it innevitably changes. But gradually, hour by hour, day by day we notice ourselves changing. We start to take inspiration from Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama.
There are great examples throughout history of people who embodied the values of peace, kindness, altruism, love and compassion, that they continue to inspire us today. And by changing yourself, you may also have the opportunity to inspire those within your own family, your own community to also think: “maybe there is a different way of living?”.
And once people start to experience your peace, they start to understand how beautiful it is, how kindness and happiness pervades as you naturally care more for other people. And if enough people start to experience peace within our communities, gradually our culture will change.
And with the right culture, we can grow the most extraordinary world. Not just a world at peace because there is no more war, but a happier loving world, where fear of the other is no longer a threat. Where we understand the one-ness of the human race on this tiny planet hurtling through space. After all, there is nowhere else to go!
Let’s imagine what that world would be like. And slowly, piece by piece, person by person, let’s create the change we so eagerly want. Let’s create the world we wish for ourselves, our children, their children, and all the future generations to come.