“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”
Dalai Lama XVI
I recently had an experience that seemed some natural to me, and it was not until later, that I realised the significance of it all.
A weekend just passed, I was invited to and attend a neighbour’s 4th birthday. Doesn’t really seem like a big deal right? Except this family are migrates to Australia from India. And even though we live in such a multicultural country, one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet, it is not common for the mix of cultures to occur particularly with recent (less than 5 years) migrants. My son and I were the only Caucasians at the party. I honestly didn’t even care or notice the difference until later when I was telling a friend about my experience, and how great it was to feel so apart of the community in my neighbourhood.
This whole experience got me thinking. I hear so many people say things about migrants and wanting them to immerse themselves in our culture. But these people who make these comments remove themselves from the equation. We also have to receive and accept them into our culture, our way of life. There needs to be an exchange. Ask yourself when was the last time you went into a recent migrants home and had dinner with them? or invited them over to share a meal with you? When was the last time you sparked a conversation with someone whose cultural heritage is different to yours? You play a part in the segregation that can happen too.
We are all human. These people they are us. We all have dreams, hopes, desires, worries, concerns. We experience the same experiences. We all have a past, have our own challenges. We all have a future. And within us, are deep desires for peace, for wholeness and for one. Once you realise they aren’t different for us, and see the similarities. There are endless possibilities by connecting with people outside our own circles, outside our own knowledge. When we connect and share with all human beings, we learn and develop in ways we couldn’t have otherwise done so.
This connection of people, and openness of self, has the potential to shift the world. Think about the broader issues in the world, it stems from segregation of others. Of a ‘us’ and ‘them’. Wars are fought over these basic differences. Just because we accept someone else is different to us, does not mean that we dissolve. There are ways to function in harmony. It is what you want, it is what they want, it is what we all want. When resistance happens, it can create growth, only if you learn to be flexible. The lessons behind conflict need to be realised to then move forward. Perhaps you can think of a conflict in your life, that once you started to see the other person, as a person again, that you were able to shift and move from it.
Unity is all around us. It happens in nature. A balance and equilibrium. Conflict still exists. Because challenges and resistance have the ability to form change and growth. Plants, animals, they live in harmony with one another. Kindness and Peace does not start at political or global levels. Peace and Kindness starts with you. It is each individual and their ability to hold peace in their hearts and to be able to resolve conflicts with positive intent.
Help shine the light on the world, and do your part to create a greater peace for all. Doing so will not only increase your quality of life, but a higher quality of life to all of those around you. Consciously contributing and being grateful for all that consumes your life, is the highest form of grace.
I am thankful for your time in reading this. I am thankful for the changes that happen from now on. And for all that lead you here. We are one. And you are whole.