Peace: The Greatest Healer

In the Indian ethos, three levels of peace are recognized. The first is inner peace – that of the mind. The second is peace in our immediate environment, our family, friends and community. The third is peace in the world, between nations.

Inner peace is the foundation for building peace in communities and families. A peaceful state of mind is essential for the courage and confidence required to act for the greater good of humanity.

As humanity grapples with the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic, even those who don’t normally bother about peace are beginning to seek it in their lives. The humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and other parts of the world have further exacerbated the complexity of the multi-dimensional challenges confronting humanity today. The need of the hour is to combat the scourge of ignorance, extremist ideologies and misinformation. This toxic combination is threatening the very foundation of human civilization.

Without inner peace, the outer goals of global peace, sustainable development and social integration will remain a mirage.

Peace is not something one can buy in the marketplace. It has to be nurtured within each one of us.

The primary obstacle to finding inner peace is the stress in the mind. Today, the young and old alike are experiencing stress, loneliness and anxiety on an unprecedented scale. Depression and mental health have become a global concern.

Unfortunately, neither at home nor at school do we learn how to manage our negative emotions, how to get rid of stress and endure difficult phases of life. Stress and aggression are directly linked. They both feed each other, thus creating a cycle of violence. On the other hand, the strength that comes from inner peace helps one to take on challenges with a constructive mindset.

World peace cannot come merely by enacting high-level policies. It is peaceful individuals who can make a peaceful world. A person with inner peace will be able to positively impact those who come into their contact and thus establish peace in their community.

An agitated mind cannot find solutions. It buckles under its own weight and further complicates the problem. In these difficult times, inner peace has become more important than ever. We must have the energy and wisdom to perceive our problems as challenges and turn them into opportunities. Perhaps this resilience and wisdom is what has enabled life to evolve and prevail over the toughest times on the planet. Cultures around the world are replete with examples of people who turned crises into opportunities for the benefit of their societies.

Now again with humanity at the crossroads of transformation, we need to invoke the peace within each of us, that will enable us to surmount the present crisis with courage, confidence and compassion. Inner peace is the foundation upon which we can assemble the strength and commitment required to bring recovery and healing to the world.

 

Related article: Overcoming Challenges to Peace

 

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