A long time ago, I was coming from Canada to the United States, and the customs officer asked me, “What were you doing here?” I answered, “I was giving a talk about the possibility of peace.”
“It’s not possible,” he said. “As long as there’s so much greed in this world, and all these power struggles are going on, there will be no peace in this world.”
I thought about it. “Is he right?” And I said to myself, “Yes, he is right if he is talking about the concept of peace that everybody has.”
I’m not talking about the same peace; I’m talking about personal peace. Personal peace is very possible because it has nothing to do with the struggles on the outside. It is time to rethink what it means to be alive. It is time to rethink the gift that we have been given.
Often on birthdays, people put candles on a cake, and the birthday person blows them out. Each candle represents a year that person was alive. As he blows out those candles, he puts those years behind him. We have created a little ritual that people go through: Everybody comes and sings, “Happy birthday to you.” And the person thinks, “Wow, I get to blow out the candles.”
Who were you in that first year when there was only one candle on the cake? You were alive. What were your priorities? We look at children and we’re fascinated because they remind us of ourselves, of who we were. Aspirations. Hope. That’s what dances in a child’s eyes—incredible hope. We know about this; we’ve been on this journey in life.
All the citizens of this earth need hope. Future generations need hope. And if there needs to be some investment in life, besides all the other investments we do, there needs to be an investment in peace. Peace has become a hollow word that people just say but don’t mean, because nobody knows how to go about finding it. It begins with knowing who you are.
I’m not here to say, “This is how it is.” Each person needs to feel the need for peace in their life. If I am someone who has a water stand on the side of the street, do you know who my best ally is? Not advertising. Not my face. My biggest ally is thirst, because thirst will bring people to my stand.
If you want people to come to the stand that you have in this existence, then thirst is your best ally. Feel the need for peace, for joy, in your life. Once you have felt that and understood that need in your life, then yes, it will be possible for you to have it.
I just want to give you one simple message: what you are looking for is inside of you. Turn the volume down outside if you want to listen to the whisper inside. Understand that you are the source of that joy and peace in your life.