Incumbent upon Us
What I have to say is really quite simple because it deals with every individual. Recently, I was going for a walk, and I found myself in the midst of some really tall buildings. And it hit me that what I see is a massive building, but what is it? I see the face of it, the windows, the decorations, but what is this building?
I sometimes forget that a building is standing on a foundation that I can’t see because it is buried. Only when something like an earthquake happens does my attention even go toward the foundation, hoping that it will stand. I also forget that, however tall this building is, it is built of blocks, of components that are much, much smaller than the building. And the integrity of the building actually relies on the integrity of those far smaller components.
When we talk about peace, it isn’t any different. We look at the world. We see huge nations, countries, cities. What we forget is that all these countries are actually built on little components called human beings. We are the components. And the integrity of each country depends upon the integrity of the individual components.
We talk about countries. What we don’t talk about is people. But if a person does not have peace in their life, whatever they are trying to achieve will never succeed.
Peace begins with our understanding what we have been given. The entire world is telling us what we do not have. Nobody is pointing out what we do have. What we have been given is this life, this existence. And this existence needs to mean something. When existence means nothing to us, human life—that one thing that is irreplaceable—loses its value. Then any cause can take on a greater meaning for war than for peace.
You are alive, and that needs to mean the most to you. You, yourself, need to understand the preciousness of your existence. Do you want peace in your life? Or do you want chaos? The potential for both exists in every person’s life.
What is it that we are looking for? Everybody has their own definition of what will bring them happiness. That’s what we’re looking for—happiness, contentment. So we look, and we search, and we do what is necessary. And in all our searching and in all our doing—who do we forget? Us.
What is it that you want in your life? In whatever equation you have created for happiness, please put yourself there, because otherwise it will mean nothing. Without you, without your heart, without your understanding, without peace in your life, there can never, ever be world peace. This is where war starts, and this is where peace resides—within you.
Peace begins with you. Peace is possible with you. Yours is this life, the gift that you have been given. Realize what a gift you have been given. Understand the beauty that is dancing in front of your very eyes. Don’t wait. This is your time. Grab the request for peace in your heart; find that contentment in your life. That’s what peace is. Peace is beautiful. Peace is real. Peace is that passion for existence, a feeling, an understanding of what life means—what every day means, what every hour means, what every breath means. Then I can begin to savor what peace is all about.
Understanding the value of each person finding that contentment, one at a time, is the only possibility for world peace that has never been tried. To solidify every brick, every block and to say, “Yes, indeed, this building can stand tall because every block is solid, has integrity. When the earthquake comes, it will not fall down.” That is the integrity that is needed.
The people of this world are the bricks and the mortar and the steel girders of this structure. It is incumbent upon us to at least try to make a difference. Rather than to offer logic of how it cannot be done, to at least try to see the possibility of how it could be done. And then maybe, at least the hope indicates, there will be peace on earth.