During last nights Dharma talk, Tony was doing the Q&A and the concept of World Peace came up. Most people’s view of peace is quite confused and unclear. Most people assume that when you are not at war, then you must have peace. This is obviously not the case, when you are not at war, then you are in a state of not-war.
When you consider peace to be that point in time where you are not blowing someone up, then you live in a state of confusion that will eventually lead to more war. To be at peace requires that you can respect and understand, not necessarily agree with mind you. It requires that you can work together co-operatively despite any differences that may exist.
He also finds it very funny that so many people want to do something to help bring about World Peace but are at a loss as to what to do! World Peace is a wonderful to aspire to, because it is nothing more than a nebulous fiction that exists ‘out there.’ Spending a lifetime working towards World Peace is really just a lifetime working on nothing.
How can this be you ask? Well let me tell you. How can you get to World Peace if you can’t first take out the garbage, wash the dishes, do the laundry or take care of the yard? How can you have World Peace if you don’t even know your neighbors name? How can you have World Peace if you can’t help that person two doors down mend a fence or help them change a tire?
How can you build World Peace if your own house isn’t in order? How can you have World Peace if you can’t help a neighbor or stranger in need? World Peace starts very simply. It starts with each and every one of us. It does not require that we go to demonstrations or protests. All it requires is that we take out the garbage, wash the dishes, and do the laundry. It starts with your own home and with helping your neighbors.
It is very easy to point to something ‘out there’ and worry about it. It is very difficult to look at what is right in front of us. As a nation, we all pulled together for the Katrina and Rita relief efforts sending our extra cash and supplies their way. But check your local food bank. Many of them have been coming up very short because everyone sent their extra resources ‘out there.’
World Peace starts simple and small. It starts with each of us in our own homes. It reaches out to our neighbors, our block, our neighborhood, our city and so on. World Peace is a bottom-up process, not a top-down one. Until we all start working from that approach, World Peace will remain that nebulous entity in the sky!