…and let it begin with me.
September 21 was the UN international day of peace, and it kind of just whizzed by without much notice in our country…maybe because we’re still engaged in a war, have a crashing stock market, and people are so involved in their own troubles, that world peace is a distant ideal as usual. We usually think of it in the trite terms of some ditzy pageant contestant’s empty answer…but maybe we should think about it on a more personal level.
You may be wondering…what does this have to do with stress relief? Well, it’s really just a matter of common sense. If we do as the song says… and let the peace begin with me, then we have to be conscious of how we are contributing to the lack of peace. It can be as simple as not tailgating the slow driver in front of you, taking a deep breath and just letting it be as it is, instead of wondering why they are driving so slow when you need to get somewhere. Your frustration grows and contributes to the mass of negative energy and thus lack of peace in the world.
I wonder if they could just get the entire world to engage in ten minutes of peaceful meditation all at once, what would happen. Would the world stand still on it’s axis? Would it be effective at all? All we can do is contribute our own small part. Small ways we can do this are for example, counting to ten in our heads before shouting at our spouse or children for something, and soothing the anger. Another effective strategy for peace is staying in the moment instead of worrying ourselves about the future, or stewing about the past. Not staying in the moment creates the anxieties and depression which sink us lower and lower.
Finally, in case you need reminding about what it means to feel peace on earth…listen to these children sing it to you…
Video- Coates Elementary Chorus, 2010 Performance at Mount Vernon Slave Memorial