Introducing … The Human Being
Some people think if you feed the hungry, that’s it—there’ll be peace. Some think, “Oh, remove poverty. Make everybody rich.” That will bring peace. Others think, “No, no, no. End the wars.”
I’ll tell you a little story about this. One time, four blind people were walking down a road when they heard an elephant coming. In India, a bell is often tied to an elephant to let people know. Soon, they heard the man who was driving the elephant say, “Please, move out of the way! The elephant is coming!”
The four people stopped and said, “Please, we are blind, and we have never seen an elephant. Do you mind if we just feel your elephant?”
And the driver said, “No problem. You can feel the elephant.” So he stopped, and one blind person felt the leg. One went to the back of the elephant and felt the tail. Another touched the trunk. The fourth grabbed the ear. Of course, the driver was very curious as to what their assessments would be, because each had touched only the leg, the tail, the trunk, or the ear.
So he said to them, “Please, would you mind telling me, in your opinion, what is an elephant?” The one who had grabbed the ear said, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s like a banana leaf.” The one who had felt the leg said, “No, no, no. It’s like the trunk of a tree.” The man who had felt the elephant’s trunk said, “Oh, no—it’s like a big, thick root hanging from a banyan tree.” The last one said, “It’s just a tail, with a little bush on the end—like a cow has.”
This, of course, is just a story. Yet, when it comes to peace, it isn’t any different. Everybody sees their own need and associates it with peace. But these needs will change. Then what will happen to peace?
So, I want to clarify what I mean by peace. Let’s begin with the basics. The fundamental thing is: you are a human being. When was the last time you were introduced as a human being?
I find it funny. I have many hats that I put on, and people introducing me say, “This is Captain Rawat,” or “This is Prem Rawat, speaker about peace,” and so on. But who introduces me as a human being? I have been to many functions where we introduce each other as, “This is so-and-so, so-and-so, and so-and-so.” Fine. Not a problem. But who is introduced as a human being? You see, a cow may not recognize a donkey, but it will definitely recognize another cow. A fish may not recognize a crow, but it will definitely recognize another fish. Who will recognize you or me as a human being, except another human being?
To see a human being as a human being takes a very special eye. It takes the eye of simplicity. It takes the eye that looks at who you are, acknowledges your pain. We don’t want our pain acknowledged. “Yes, yes. We are all perfect. We have no problems. I mean, how could we have problems?” Excuse me, we do. It might be as simple as your cat doesn’t listen to you. Or it might be as complicated as your wife hates you or your business is about to go under. That’s what’s happening in this world.
So, who needs peace? The human being needs peace. When all the hats are off, and you are left with who you are, this human being needs peace. You. Me. The real peace. Not the imagined peace.
When that recognition begins, that’s when we can seriously start understanding what peace is about. That’s the day you relate to peace not as something for someone else, but for you. When I was very young, people used to say to me, “The world needs peace.” I would say to them, “You need peace.” And a lot of people were shocked. “What?! I need peace?” Yes.
The need for peace isn’t just social. It is to find the root of who truly we are. If you understand that peace is within you and the thirst for peace is within you, you have just taken the biggest step toward realizing peace in your life.
Whatever may happen, whatever may come, the reality is that your want for peace will be there. The reason for peace will be there. And the way to be able to fulfill that peace will also be there.