What makes conflict linger and peace elusive?
Peace is not just absence of conflict. It is a reality of our lives, but it gets buried beneath the clutter in our mind. Inner peace is the key to outer peace and to understand peace comprehensively, we have to take a journey within. A few moments of silence and introspection can free us from the clamour in our minds.
Peace is the nature of the spirit and turbulence is part of the world.
Today, if you talk to parties on either side of a conflict, each side can convince you why they need war for their survival and self-defence. What is amiss? There is trust deficit and lack of communication – two vital aspects that can be handled when our mind is clear and calm. There is no conflict that cannot be resolved with skilful communication and a broad mindset.
Communication breaks down when we remain inflexible in seeing the other person’s point of view. A dialogue needs sensitivity in our hearts and sensibility in our heads. To foster better understanding, our minds need to be stress-free. A violence-free society is possible when communication improves among us and a sense of justice prevails. For this to happen, there must be a sense of belongingness.
Here, a few things can help. Persevere in keeping everyone’s focus on the common grounds and reduce attention on the areas of conflict. Create a safe space for people to share their side of the story. Let the solution to the problem come from them instead of you offering it. And, be patient, give them time to reflect.
Communication is about perception and expression. We need vibrancy in our spirit to perceive, think and express clearly. Here it helps to remember that we convey more through our vibrations than just through our words. When our presence is pure and peaceful, intentions are good and mind is clear, it shows up in our vibrations and others get it.
How to nurture this vibrancy? Firstly, when you feel a lot of distance, that is, the other person is higher or lower, then communication fails to happen. We require a sense of ‘belongingness’ for communication to flow. Then our little fights and disagreements will not blow up into big conflicts. Secondly, prejudices should be done away with.
Thirdly, sometimes, when two parties try to communicate with each other, they fail and emotions run high. Skill in communication is something only a serene and calm mind can conceive of. Peace cultivates patience and patience is necessary in any communication. Peace is not about accepting injustice; it is not complacency; and restlessness is not dynamism. We need to learn to be peaceful and dynamic.
Lastly, when we go with the broad vision of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, the entire world is one family, then we make sure peace prevails over hate and conflict. In this, we need to see that peaceloving people with a positive mindset come together and act. Each one of us can be a lighthouse of peace and it is peace that can bring prosperity and celebration in the life of any nation.
September 21 is International Peace Day
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