Today, people are awakening to the higher, spiritual values of life. They are recognizing that the survival of humanity depends upon recognizing that we are all one family. The tragedies of the twentieth century must not be repeated in the twenty-first century. We have made strides forward in realizing that no one wins when there is war. No one wins when there is hatred. The legacy of our forefathers must not become the legacy of our children. What gift do we wish to give our children and grandchildren? Do we wish to leave them a world of violence and war? Or do we wish for them a world of peace, love, and unity? The choice is ours to make.
If we wish their world to be better than what we have seen in the past, then we must be willing to teach them love and peace. They will not learn it if we carry our past hatreds and prejudices. They look at us as models. If we are filled with hatred, they will adopt that in their lives. But if we wish them to live in a peaceful world, we must put down our weapons that we carry in our minds and hearts. Attaining peace is not easy. The hardest is the first step, and that is forgiveness. We must learn to forgive our enemies. We must develop compassion for those who have hurt us. What our enemies have done may not be their own doing, but of how they were trained by their parents and grandparents. We need to recognize that even our enemies have been victims. We have all been victims of the discord of our ancestors. It is time to put a stop to it. Revenge must be replaced by forgiveness.
The children of the world have seen enough violence. They have lost enough family members. It is time to take a hard look at ourselves. It is time for us to develop the maturity and wisdom to say, “Enough violence. Let us use our energy to build a peaceful world.” How can we take those steps? How can we cleanse ourselves of anger? A solution that has worked through the ages is compassion, forgiveness, and peace can be ours through spirituality and meditation. What is spirituality, and what is meditation? How can we make them a part of our lives to build a peaceful future? Spirituality is the recognition that our true self is our soul. It is recognizing that our soul is one with God. It is realizing that we are not merely our body and mind, but a soul that inhabits the body. We may think of ourselves as a body bearing a name such as Mary or John or Maria or Mario or that we are a citizen of Colombia, Mexico, France, or India, or that we are one religion or another. Spirituality is the recognition that be- hind these outer names and labels we are souls, a part of one Creator.
As such, we are members of one family. When we develop this vision, we no longer see through the eyes of prejudice and discrimination. We break down the barriers that separate one human being from another. We feel like we are connected at the level of soul. When we experience our unity and connectedness, we start caring about each other. We help and serve each other. The hungry cries of our neighbour’s children cause us as much pain as the cries of our own children. We see the homeless man on the street as our homeless grandfather, and we help him. Our vision broadens, and we have compassion for all human beings. How can we develop this noble vision? We do so when we awaken spiritually. Meditation is a method that opens our spiritual sight to wash away hatred and replace it with peace. By sitting in stillness, we can get in touch with our soul. We find that we are more than this body. We discover that our spiritual essence is love, peace, and bliss. When we identify with our soul, we realize our oneness with God.