The Face in the Mirror
Everybody has their own definition of peace. Some people think peace is an absence of noise. Some people think it is absence of wars. Some people think it is a beautiful scene.
If that’s what peace is, there is no shortage of beautiful places in this world. And there are places that are extremely quiet. So why isn’t there peace? Is peace a manifestation of something that happens inside a human being or is peace something on the outside only? This is where we have to slow down, because the definitions are abundant. What is peace? Where does the desire for peace come from? Was it that somebody sat down at their dining room table one day and said, “Good idea to have peace in this world”? Or is peace and the desire for peace innate to every single human being?
This, in my opinion, is the pivotal question because if the desire for peace is innate and fundamental to every human being—like food, like breath, like sleep, like water—then without it, we cannot be. Without it, everything is out of balance. If you put someone in the most beautiful room with an incredible sofa, nice wallpaper, and a view but no air, will they enjoy that room? Or will they bang against the door for someone to let them out?
You cannot explain to them, “Look. Air is a small part of the scene. You have the wallpaper, the room, the sofa, a television. Relax! Enjoy yourself. Why do you care if there is air in there or not?” You can’t see it. But when something fundamental is needed, explanations alone are not sufficient. You cannot explain to a hungry person, “It’s okay.” When you are trying to address something that is very basic to a human being, there are no compromises.
Peace is the same way. A human being without peace is not complete. You were never taught the desire for peace, just as you were never taught to cry. The baby knows how to cry, how to laugh, how to be. These are fundamental things nobody has to teach. The desire for peace is also fundamental. This is who we are. This is our foundation—a need from our heart pushing us to be content every day, to find that missing piece of the puzzle.
If you are putting together a puzzle, and you know there is a piece missing, not which one, you keep trying. That’s what the world is doing. Somebody comes up with a better formula, a better word, a better description, a better book. And people say, “This will do it.”
“If we could all come together and set aside our differences. . .” Great theory. Hasn’t worked. Why? Four kids cannot do it. Have you seen four children come together and put aside their differences? I haven’t. All it takes is one ball, one ice cream, one candy bar…
When we look at a person, we say, “Young, old.” These are our qualifiers. “Indian? American? Italian? Chinese? Japanese? African?” We say, “Where are you from?” We have forgotten how to view a human being. And we have forgotten how to view ourselves. We see a face in the mirror, and we don’t look at the face. We look at the imperfections of the face: “What’s this? What’s that?”
That you exist is a miracle. That this breath comes into you every day is an incredible miracle. And you feel and know and understand. That’s a miracle. In the heart of every human being dances the desire to be in peace. If we want social peace, the first thing that needs to happen is that the cause of the turmoil be taken away. Who fights? People. That’s where the turmoil comes from. If that turmoil has to be taken away, first it has to be taken away in people. People like you and me.
There are people trying to bring peace. Peace does not need to be brought from anywhere because peace exists inside of you. Very humbly, I say to you that what you’re looking for is within you. Peace for you as a human being is entirely possible. Turn within and you will feel it. How? Start with appreciating every day of your life. There is only one thing that can stop the onslaught of unconsciousness, and that is a little bit of consciousness. Live this life with a little bit of consciousness. Be aware of your existence, because all too soon, you won’t have it.
There is no magic wand, because the magic formula has already been unfolded, and it is us—each one of us on the face of this earth. With all our needs and wants, there is one more that has not been identified yet, and that is peace. That’s what we want. Unquestionably, I don’t care who they are—rich or poor, educated or non-educated, tall or short, dark or light—as long as they’re human beings, that’s what they want.
Give it a thought. It’s a very, very special subject to discover in your life.