“Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means,” wrote Ronald Reagan. Rotary International celebrates its 113th birthday with a focus on world peace through the elimination of poverty, hunger and disease. Increasing the standard of living certainly helps reduce conflicts in the world. Affluent countries have never had a war within their borders in the last few decades. So what can we do to promote peace?
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding,” wrote Albert Einstein. Fighting for peace does not prevent war. World peace starts with each of us. It starts in our home, on our street and in our social life. As Jonathan Lockwood Hule said, ‘Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.’
Bharatha in his Natya Sashtra does not consider Shantha or peace a major rasa. But, today, peace is a central theme. All of us are devoted to the cause of peace. Shantha pours into your life when you plant the seeds of positive rasas.
Make space for silent meditation in your life. When assailed by negative emotions, retreat into silence and peace will follow. Service is the lightning path to peace. When you serve from heart, positive energies flow into the mindspace. Love and compassion are the handmaidens of service and peace is its constant companion.
Here is an action plan to bring peace into your life:
- Practice silence everyday
- Seek the company of peaceful people
- Avoid toxic people
- Visit a place of prayer
- Serve the needy
- Support programmes for harmony
- Avoid arguments and conflicts
May there be a long lasting peace in this world!
Dr Rekha Shetty is the author of Happy Street and Everyday Happiness Mantras...