Reflections, Vol 2: How Can We find Peace In A Troubled World?

This series poses life-questions for personal reflection.

My views are offered as a thought starter.

Question: How can we find peace in a troubled world?

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Last week, Apple notified me that my daily screen time was 3 hours and 10 minutes.

A lot of that time was spent at this keyboard. You’d be surprised how long it takes me to crank out 500 words each week!

Still, I spent a good portion of it reading world news. Most of it made me feel sad and helpless! I wish things were different, but they aren’t. 

How do we find peace amidst all these troubles?

It may sound small, but our thoughts and feelings impact ourselves and the world around us. Two favorite quotes point in that direction. The first is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Watch your thoughts.  They become words.  Watch your words.  They become deeds.  Watch your deeds.  They become habits.  Watch your habits.  They become character.  Character is everything.

The second is from the ancient Indian text, The Upanishads:

You are what your deep driving desire is As your desire is, so is your will As your will is, so is your deed As your deed is, so is your destiny

Clearly, there are things each of us can do to help others in this troubled world. At the same time, we have a responsibility to ourselves to find inner peace and thereby impact what we transmit to the world.  

Buddhists say suffering arises from wanting things to be different than what they are. It’s hard to deny that! Circumstances are often disturbing, but life is a “whole meal deal!” We must learn to accept the yang along with the yin. 

For me, peace comes when I stop struggling with circumstances. This requires practice. Here’s my approach:

1. I focus on accepting the moment, letting go of the pain that sometimes accompanies it.

2. When someone asks, “How’s it going?” I reply “Never Better,” and then practice meaning it.

3. I let go of concerning thoughts that arise in my mind.

4. I look for the “we” in everything.

These practices aren’t easy, but they bring peace.

The world may never be at peace. But if we can find inner peace, perhaps in a small way, we can impact the world.  

Anyway, that’s my take on it.

How do you find peace in your life?

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6 Replies to “Reflections, Vol 2: How Can We find Peace In A Troubled World?”

  1. Good piece!  This week on a daily walk I tripped over a blackberry vine hidden in the grass.  Fell into a parking lot and broke my nose.  Instead of feeling negative about the experience, I am thankful it broke straight on and I don’t need surgery.  I am also thankful it wasn’t very painful and that I didn’t have other injuries.  My older friends said that’s what happens when you walk 4 or 5 miles a day.  But I am happy that I can walk daily and don’t just sit as some of them do.  I am 68 and like you, have had a fair number of issues – breast cancer, losing my husband 12 years ago – but every day I am grateful that Pillsbury and General Mills contributed to my pension which helps me live a life in retirement without financial concerns.  Thanks for being a small part of my work life and supporting me, even though I may not have realized it as much at the time!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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    1. Wow, that sounds painful. Glad it wasn’t worse. Didn’t know you had lost your husband. That has to be so hard! You have always been such a strong person with a positive attitude. Glad that has carried on!

      Tim Sent from my iPhone

      >

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  2. Tim—- Always great and always on point and relative to the times !!! Reminds me of Michael Jackson—— Take a look at these two Videos—– “Heal The World “—- 198 million views !!! and ” Man in the Mirror”— I’m starting with the man in the mirror– I’m asking him to change his ways– and no message could’ve been any clearer–If they wanna make the world a better place–Take a look at yourself and then make a change.

    Way too many of us just think the other person has to change to make things better—but so often it is WE who have to make the change that starts making the world a better place.

    PEACE, LOVE AND BEER—- Warren.

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  3. Michael Jackson was no saint but he was certainly a visionary. If you are checking out his videos, take a look at The Earth Song. I still get very moved every time I watch it. And kind of relevant to today’s topic. Hope all is well with you and your family.

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