With so much hate and rhetoric flying around at the moment I feel that we are being called upon to consider how we can create peace and harmony. In contributing to this we need to reflect on how we can have more peace in our own lives and then how our actions can be effective in enabling more harmonious relationships across our communities and in turn within the world.
On a personal level I find pleasure in singing and creating harmonies with others. I have been part of a choir for years and it is only here in a new environment that I have not yet joined a choir. I suppose this comes from a bit of fear about being able to do this in a different language to the one I was born into. I find it easy to be at peace in nature, living where I do I only have to walk out the back gate of my garden to find paths up into the mountains where I can walk and not meet a single person. I love to take my camera with me and often take pictures of the beautiful scenery and flowers that I find on my path. The other practices that I find give me a sense of balance in my life are my yoga practice and dancing. There is nothing better than a boogey in the kitchen for my sense of wellbeing to prevail!
I find the words commonly being used at the moment disturbing: “Let us fight terrorism”, “Britain First”, “America First”. In America they are at a place where the right to free speech is being taken from them with four journalists that covered the unrest at Trump’s inauguration now being put on felony charges. In a world with many displaced people countries are wanting to create walls, division and turn inwards rather than offer hope. I feel that you cannot use conflict to find peace. As Ram Das said in, ‘Be Here Now, 1971 p.28:
Hippies create Police … Police create Hippies.
If you’re in a polarity you’re creating polar opposites. You can only protest effectively … when… you love the person whose ideas you are protesting against as much as you love yourself.
This understanding could serve us all.
In finding love for ourselves we may simultaneously uncover a reservoir of love within ourselves that is so vast and deep that we can extend our love way beyond our immediate tribes or communities to include all people and all species on this planet. Something that does offer hope though is the pictures of the Women’s March that took place at the same time as Trump’s inauguration where millions of women and some men from across the globe came together in an awe inspiring, record breaking, healing and historic show of the force of love and dignity. What impresses me about a person is their humility, generosity, integrity, compassion and kindness and not whether they are a millionaire, have many followers, or an impressive title.
As Dina Leygerman wrote after a woman decided to say that the march was futile:
Open your eyes. Open them wide. Because I;m here to tell you, along with millions of other women that are not equal. Our equality is an illusion. A feel-good sleight of the hand. A trick of the mind. I’m sorry to tell you, but you are not equal. And neither are your daughters.
But don’t worry. We will walk for you. We will fight for you. We will stand up for you. And one day you will actually be equal, instead of just feeling like you are.