Some people, myself included, believe that the Earth and us living upon it are part of one system, one whole. Kind of like the human body we all affect each other and if the kidney ain’t doing great, the brain gets affected. You might not think about it, but the fact that people have older cars in Poland means that they pollute the air that you breathe. And you thought that Polish welfare had nothing to do with you.
To think that people killing each other in a war on the other side of the planet does seem irrelevant sometimes as you didn’t start the war, you don’t sympathize with either side and you just wish they could resolve the friggin conflict and stop throwing bombs because you want better news. Well, it does sound far-fetched, but they say that in areas where people meditate crime rates fall drastically (apparently there is also less crimes in cities with more trees…). They also say that patients in a hospital that were prayed for recovered much faster than those that weren’t (patients knowing nothing about this). If that’s true, how much better would people feel all over if everyone became peaceful?
On a more tangible level war and peace reminds me about the fable about the axe and the forest. Into a forest a woodman came. He asked a tree if he could cut down his neighbor. The tree thinking he would protect himself said yes. And so it continued until the woodman had cut down all the trees but the one tree standing. Finally he also cut that down.
In a similar manner to that story Hitler almost overtook the world. Some things are none of your business, and to try to resolve a conflict from the outside, unless you understand the inside, is foolish. But there are times when we need to butt in and help. Because by the end of the day, it wouldn’t be fun being either the last tree standing or the last tree cut down, knowing you allowed all the others and yourself to end up in that situation.
I don’t think that in very many instances you can “force” peace upon someone, but you can lead by example. By learning to resolve the conflicts in your own life. By teaching your children, students or employees to do the same. By signing petitions for peace. By buying goods from countries that are recovering from war. By meditating on peace. By fostering a community that is focusing on solutions and resolutions. By not buying goods from countries that behave like maniacs.
Nature, of course, affects us all. If people pollute anywhere, that pollution, sooner or later, gets to where you live. And it’s easy to get pissed off with China, as they have more people than anyone, and seemingly pretty bad standards. And compared to China, what you can possibly emit in greenhouse gases and other pollutants in your lifetime, might seem very little. But every little counts. It’s the drops that make up the river. If everyone but the Chinese took eco-friendliness serious, it would make a seriously grand difference.
It’s always easy to put the blame on someone else. It’s the government. It’s the church. It’s the media. It’s the big companies. The fact is that none of these would exist without us, the common people. If someone is in charge, it’s because we let them.
Oftentimes people say things like “look at Gandhi” when people complain they are only one man against the system. Well, everyone is not Gandhi because everyone does not want the kind of life Gandhi had. Gandhi was like a hurricane and some people only want to be a breeze. People have their calling in different fields. Everyone does not want to be a revolutionary leader, but you can still start a revolution. Because by the end of the day it’s the people, not the leaders that decide. Every day you make choices that determine the future of this planet and the future of humanity. Whether you buy eco-friendly loo roll or not is a big decision. Whether you meditate on peace or not is a big decision. Whether you donate a percentage of your salary or not to charity is a big decision. Whether you support a child in Africa or not is a big decision. Whether you teach your children integrity or not is a big decision. Whether you buy eco-friendly cleaning detergents is a big decision. Whether you are nice to the guy in the shop or not is a big decision. Whether you decide to become the best you can be or not is a big decision. YOU are a BIG DECISION.
You make up other peoples’ lives as other people make up yours. When you smile the world smiles with you. Whether you believe it or not you affect people. And if you don’t believe it – start smiling more 🙂
What you can do to start a revolution (in my opinion…):
- be happy
- smile when walking down the street
- buy organic
- go on vacation in a country that needs your money
- support a child in need
- adopt a child
- volunteer – either in your local community or why not go a volunteering vacation http://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/projects/index.html (not sure they are any good, but these are pretty much free volunteering options, not those you pay for)
- go on vacations that support local charity work
- give presents to your partner or leave them notes with compliments and love
- buy energy saving light bulbs
- turn off the water whilst brushing your teeth
- use eco-friendly detergents
- buy organic furniture
- read the National Geographic
- use this site to plant trees for free: http://jogogreen.com/
- compliment a person each day and make sure to compliment your partner at least once a week
- use organic clothing
- get local mineral water
- tell someone you love them
- meditate on good things – peace, love, understanding
- love thy neighbor as thyself
- laugh a lot
- sign petitions for good things: www.avaaz.org
- set up a business with integrity – good for yourself, others and the planet
- look people in the eye
- be honest without being cruel
- always go towards what you want (not away from what you don’t want)
- instead of complaining, offer a solution
- join an organization that supports peace and human rights, like the UN or Amnesty International
- set up entrepreneurial opportunities in developing countries
- sass it up, spice it up, live it out