We can’t talk about believing without mentioning religion (s). As a peacemaker, my core belief is that everyone should be free to practice their religion and worship (or not) in the way he or she is called, and yet not impose their beliefs on their neighbors. (image from randomviewpoints.wordpress.com)
Believing is stronger than holding an opinion or championing an idea. Much of what we believe (to be true) is so deeply held as not even to be conscious, and as we can clearly see in this divisive and war-torn world, we don’t all hold the same beliefs. Yet we share a planet and we are all part of one interconnected web of Life….
Some of my neighbors think I should have to follow their religious practices. Whether it is a religion requiring women to cover themselves from head to toe, or requiring families to have children or to not have children, or defining who people can love and marry, or either requiring or forbidding prayer and worship, it violates my core beliefs. Still, as a peacemaker, I have to recognize that my core beliefs and my neighbors’ conflict – and we must find a way to co-exist. To do that we’ll have to talk about nonviolent use of power – the subject of another day – because the neighbor is using power to get her way. If it were easy, the world would already be at peace.
If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Mahatma Gandhi
“If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won’t, you most assuredly won’t. Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad.” Denis Waitley
The other aspect of believing I want to briefly mention is that before we will see lasting peace, we have to believe peace is possible, even probable. More than that, in order to bring something into being you really want, first you must imagine it… what would it look like, sound like, feel like, what would be possible now? We all remember John Lennon’s song, “Imagine,” and each time we play it or sing it, I imagine another dreamer added to an unstoppable peace-soul-force until finally peace is inevitable; what a powerful way to bring a dream alive… thank you, John.
Just as I was writing that last sentence, I looked over at facebook (I multi-task) and I found…the wonderful people at “Playing for Change”…playing “United.” These are the folks who bring people together to sing a single song from all around the world. It’s so beautiful. Do take a few minutes and listen to it, and dream. If you haven’t seen their work before, listen to some others, and dream. People everywhere are longing for peace. I believe it’s possible, let’s dream more peace into being each day.
AFFIRMATION: I am a part of a growing worldwide community of millions working for peace. Peace becomes more available, to more people, ever day.
ACTION / SOUL-ution: Music, art, meditation, writing, speaking, email and facebook sharings, demonstrations are some ways people are spreading peace. What are the ways you can use to shape a wave of peace so powerful that even the most bellicose dreams with us? How do you do your part?
The Season for Nonviolence is celebrated from January 30-April 4, each year, between the anniversaries of the assassinations of Mohands K. Gandhi and Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in order to further their vision of just and peaceful world.
This series of blogs are intended to inspire peacemaking, and are spiritual, not political