Peace Begins with Me
Recently I attended a Peace Conference. Early in the day we were told that “peace begins with us.”
Peace begins with us.
I have been contemplating those four simple words since the conference. Peace is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “In a general sense, a state of quiet or tranquility; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind.”
If peace begins with our own ability to enjoy peace, what are our chances for peace beyond us? How many of us have peace in our daily lives?
Today during my morning walk I had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Og Mandino, one of my favorite authors. His talk is entitled “Target Success.” He reminds us that there is always crisis in our lives. Every waking moment we are either approaching a crisis, in a crisis, or recovering from a crisis. Yet we know that even in crisis, there can be peace.
Og Mandino goes on to tell of a meeting held in 1923 that was attended by nine of America’s most powerful and successful men. Joshua Brown wrote about this meeting in his article, “The Nine Financiers, a Parable About Power.” He writes that the meeting was “said to have been both a celebration of their success and an opportunity to plan their future exploits and dominance.” Within 25 years, each of these men met a horrible end to their careers or their lives. While they were wealthy and successful it is safe to assume that there was little peace in their lives.
Next, Og refers to Sir William Osler’s address from, “A Way of Life.” Sir William encouraged the “practice of living for the day only, and for the day’s work.” He encouraged others to live “Life in day-tight compartments.” Live in the moment. This is powerful advice. When we live contemplating our past regrets, there is sadness. When our thoughts are of the future (without set goals or plans) our lives become wrought with anxiety. It is when our attention is in the present that we can experience peace.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “ Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.” Peace can be found in the present.
Another suggestion by Og is to give. He states that “those who give unselfishly to others with no thought of reward seem to suffer less stress and less depression and enjoy life a lot more.” How do we move the to the target of peace within? Give more than is expected of you with no thought of any reward.
Og goes on to remind us of a couple pitfalls we often fall into. The first is busy work. He refers to Dorothea Brandes’ advice in her book “Wake up and Live.”
“We may say that the most obvious intention is to beguile the world into believing that we are living up to our fullest capacity. This is particularly true of those cases where the outward life is full of a thousand little matters, or one big job of drudgery conscientiously done. No one, surely, could ask us to do more than we are doing? Are we not plainly so busy that we have not one minute or a grain of strength to do anything more? Is it not our duty to do the dull, insignificant, unsatisfying task thoroughly? In the long run it makes little difference how cleverly others are deceived; if we are not doing what we are best equipped to do, or doing well what we have undertaken as our personal contribution to the world’s work, at least by way of an earnestly followed avocation, there will be a core of unhappiness in our lives which will be more and more difficult to ignore as the years pass.”
Og warns against being so busy with trivial activities that when an opportunity presents for something meaningful and impactful that we respond with, “I’m just too busy.” Busyness does not lead to peace.
Don’t neglect the little things. Og tells us about Oscar Hammerstein realization as he flew over New York City and got a bird eye’s view of the statue of liberty. He noticed that Lady Liberty actually has hair carved on the top of her head. When the statue was original designed in the 1880s, nobody could have predicted that people would ever be able to fly in planes high enough to see the details on the top of her head, but that artist carved intricate braids for her anyway.
Og Mandino concludes that the most important mission in your life is that you should, “Do NOTHING, ever, that you would have to apologize for doing to those you love.” He uses the following poem to drive that point home:
The Face in The Glass
by Dale Wimbrow
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that face has to say
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The person whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people might think you’re a straight-shootin’ chum
And call you a great gal or guy,
But the face in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look it straight in the eye.
That’s the one you must please, never mind all the rest,
That’s the one with you clear to the end,
And you know you have passed your most dangerous test
If the face in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the face in the glass.
It is my hope that that you experience peace on a daily basis. If for you, like many, peace is elusive, you may want to consider engaging a certified coach. Please reach out to me if you would like to have more peace in your life.
Stacey Bevill, ACC, NCC, MPM®
HeartMath® Certified Coach
Conversational Intelligence® Enhanced Practitioner
Ask and Receive Coaching, LLC
4109 E North St, Suite 300A, Greenville, SC 29615 (by appointment only)
864-414-3598 Cell 866-306-1492 Fax
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