Blog#69: From Gratitude to Inner Peace to World Peace
Some sentiments of the Thanksgiving to New Year’s Holiday Season, including gratitude and peace, become more attainable when we first find and use them in our individual lives. One could argue that world peace will not be attainable until most people find inner peace. It could also be argued that inner peace would not be possible without gratitude.
In our materialistic Western culture, we tend to be conditioned to always look for more that we would like to have, thus making us consumers who keep our country’s economy “healthy”. Never mind that we spend vast amounts of time and energy earning money, which we then spend on luxury items such as new wardrobes, iPhones, late model cars, and tickets to sports events. Never mind that when we are not able to obtain desired luxury items, we may feel angry, sad, insecure, or even depressed. These feelings are the opposite of gratitude or inner peace, and do nothing to contribute to world peace. In fact, they detract from it. Not that we should never long for or enjoy the beautiful, delicious, entertaining or inspiring; but why do so at the expense of time spent with loved ones or at the expense of our good health and longevity or our cultivated interests and talents?
One way to develop a sense of true gratitude is to compile at the end of each day ten things for which we are really grateful, and then to give thanks for these things as we fall asleep that night. A list might consist of: 1.having the ability to talk, 2.having a car or other reliable form of transportation, 3.having a job or avocation, 4.having clothing which keeps us warm or dry, as the weather requires, 5.having watched a beautiful sunrise on our walk outside that morning, 6.having neighbors, friends, and/or family with whom to share our lives, 7.having just finished reading an interesting or inspiring book, 8.having cooked and consumed a satisfying meal that day, 9.having music or a musical instrument which we enjoy listening to or playing, 10.having just learned a new joke that made us laugh. That makes ten, and the list could go on and on. After doing this for several nights, we usually find that our sleep becomes sounder, we wake more rested, and we feel more appreciative in our lives. This leads, in turn to more feelings of inner peace.
Eventually, feelings of inner peace tend to guide us toward interacting with others in more appreciative, considerate, and generous ways than we might do otherwise. We might find it more natural to listen to others’ differing viewpoints without feeling threatened or judgmental. We might discover new ways to manage or de-fuse conflict or stressful situations. We might find that we are wishing happiness, good health, gratitude and peace for increasingly larger portions of the world’s population. Which brings us to inner peace consciousness feeding world peace.
And so I wish all of you a happy, healthy, loving, and peaceful holiday season. That is also this monthly blog’s offer. Plus, if I can be of help this holiday season, please let me know.