A torrent of air escaped my Cousin Simon’s oval shaped mouth towards the golden, luminous flames of three small candles. Small streams of amorphous smoke gently rose from the burnt wick and an abrupt cheer roared through the atmosphere.
“Make a wish! Make a wish! Make a wish!” His family and cousins chanted in a unified voice.
“I won’t wish for the same thing again.” My Cousin Simon replied. “Every year on my birthday I wished for the same thing, but I know that it will never come true.”
I gazed longingly at Simon’s facial expressions and uttered with curiosity. “So what is it that you wish for? What is this something that you can’t have?”
“There is only one thing that I really want. And that is world peace. I wish for it every year, but I know it will never come true…” Simon replied in a sadden tone. “I’m just going to wish for something simpler.”
As Simon reflected on his deepest wish, I looked at him with a hearty grin. Everyone in the family was in a happy and energetic mood, except Simon. I knew the subject of his wish was weighing heavily against his heart, but nonetheless I rejoiced in celebrating Simon’s birthday along with all my other cousins.
I didn’t pay attention to how Simon was feeling. Why? Because I knew his heart was in the right place and that was all that mattered. If we take a look at most people in the world including myself, we know that we are preoccupied with our own personal lives and drama. But Simon was different. He had a great intention, a desire for harmony in the world. If you ask me that is enough.
Yes, it’s true. He can’t achieve world peace just by having good intention. But at least he was aware that something needs to be done. He is not indifferent to the world. He cared about others. And that is a great place to start.
It may sound cliché and nonsensical, but I know how to achieve world peace. In fact, it is incredibly simple.
How to Achieve World Peace
The only way I know how to achieve world peace is this: Be at peace. That is all.
You may ask, “What does that even mean?”
I would reply with “Take the words literally.”
If you still don’t understand what I mean, then I’ll explain. Can you define world peace? What are the conditions that must be satisfied for the world to be at peace? Maybe it’s similar like this:
- There will be no human conflict.
- There will be a harmonious relationship between humans and all other living creatures.
- There will be no environmental destruction and pollution.
If these conditions are satisfied, is the world at peace? Are you able to live your life without conflict, drama, and violence? And if these outer conditions of your life are never satisfied, does it mean you can never be at peace? What is your answer to my questions?
If you understand anything, you probably know that there are billions of people with different intentions and desires. Some are even conflicting with others. Some goals are the same, but similar goals can also lead to conflict. For example, there are limited resources in the world. If all countries want raw resources, they compete with one another, or use power to acquire them. How is world peace even possible at this rate?
Let me tell you, world peace is not possible without a transformation in the whole human consciousness. Until we separate the meaningful from the meaningless, until we understand the difference between things that are merely desirable from things that are necessary for survival, there will be no world peace. Think about it.
What are our main forms of entertainment? What do they all contain? Violence. Violence in movies, video games, television shows, news, and many more.
How much food do you think goes to waste in the United States alone? Why are there people suffering from obesity when others in the world hardly have anything to eat?
Why do we prioritize cost over sustainable green energy and renewable products that does not end in the landfill?
Why is there a need for more and more things, when we truly don’t need much at all? Why can’t we share, learn to live interdependently, and respect one another?
If you look at the current situation, you will find an unlimited amount of problems and conflict. You can see that world peace is surely impossible to reach.
But if you are like my Cousin Simon, why do you cling on to these problems? Is it because it differs so much from your ideal scenario that you can hardly accept reality as it is? I’m sure that this is the case. It was the same for me as well.
So what changed? What made me realized that world peace is possible?
I realized that world peace is just a bigger picture of inner peace. A microcosm of world peace is personal peace. You want world peace? Just start at personal peace. Be at peace with yourself. That is the place to be.
Don’t think so much about things that you can’t do and focus on things that you can do instead. So let me ask you, what are you contributing to world peace? What is something that you can do right here, right now for the world to be a better place?
Can you stop arguing about the world’s problems? Can you stop yourself from falling into a negative pattern of blame and accusing others? Can you smile more and accept things for how they are? Can you offer words of praise to others around you? Can you help others without receiving anything else in return? These are things you can do on a personal level to achieve inner peace. It may seem incredibly hard if you are experiencing lack or any negative emotions, but trust me on this. The more you are at peace with yourself, the more good you can do for the world and the easier it is for you to love another person.
A person who is dwelling in negative thoughts cannot contribute to world peace. In fact, he is doing the opposite. He is contributing to more conflict and inner resistance. If he finds his own life lacking, he will isolate himself from the world. How can he offer to help others when he needs help himself? How can the world be at peace, if he himself is not at peace? Even if the world is at peace, he will think otherwise. I know this is true because I was that person.
Let me give you a secondary advice on how to achieve inner peace. The first advice is just to be at peace. This is incredibly hard because to be at peace, you must be conscious enough to know peace. However, most people don’t know peace because they only know conflict. Being at peace is hard to explain because it cannot be understood by the mind. It can be felt. It is like a pause, a moment of silence when everything is fine regardless if they actually are. I’m probably not making any sense, but as I’ve mentioned, it cannot be understood by the mind.
The second advice is for you to grow consciously. And how do you grow consciously? Well, there are many, many ways. First of all, you can evaluate and observe life and go from there. Second, you can explore the topics of personal development and self-help. If you do both of this, you are following my footstep. Just like with all the other stories I posted, I was evaluating and observing my own life and sharing it with you. I’ve also read dozens of books in the field of personal development and caught a glimpse of wisdom from others wiser than me. I have had amazing, heartfelt conversations with all kinds of people, learning from what they say.
When you grow consciously, you will see things differently. It’s not because it redirect your already existing thoughts into another, but rather it reveals the layer of unseen, but already existing knowledge that is present. Only then can you end your battle of internal conflict and fighting because you realize there is no point resisting the inevitable. There is no need to run elsewhere. There is nowhere you truly belong. Everyone’s going to die, so just enjoy the ride. You realize that most of the problems are self made. They are the creations of your own mind. And only you can end them.
This is where peace lies. Only when you have shed all the self-made problems, can you see that the peace you are looking for have always been there. By shedding, I don’t mean making the problems go away, but more of a mental transformation when problems are no longer perceived as problems. Instead problems become situations, situations to be dealt with right now or left for later.
The final part that transforms inner peace to world peace is simple. Teach others how to achieve inner peace. Be pro peace. In the world that we live in, we love to fight. We fight for our beliefs, rights, and freedom. However, sometimes when war comes what do we do? We fight against the war. We propose anti war propaganda. Let me implore you that that is not the way to go about peace. If you want world peace, be pro peace, not anti-war. Teach the world about inner peace, compassion, and empathy. But most importantly, be at peace. Even if your voice can’t reach others, at least it has reached yourself. You know what that means? We are one step closer to world peace, one out of billions of people. But hey that is always greater than zero!