I started The Peace On Earth Movement as a direct result of the Las Vegas shooting last October. I, like probably many people, found out about the shooting through Facebook and everyone posting their thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families.
But one of my friends’ posts stood out. It was negative and spiteful against everyone sending thoughts and prayers. I was honestly a little naive about the whole thing and was thinking, “How can you sit there and take a steamy dump on everyone’s well-wishing?”
We got into a bit of a back-and-forth about it. He didn’t like me pointing out that his negativity and dumping on others was just as unhelpful (or more) than people’s thoughts and prayers. I mean, how does ridiculing well-wishers help the victims? It doesn’t. But, he did help me be more aware of politicians ignorant and apathetic response to major tragedies such as public shootings. Now, gun politics aside, I agree that thoughts and prayers are an unworthy even embarrassing response to gun violence.
So me, preferring to be solution-focused and action-oriented, started wondering…maybe a little late in the game, admittedly, “If we have a National Rifle Association, we must have a National Peace Association, right?” I did some research, and honestly, there are some good organizations out there devoted to peace, but I couldn’t find anything resembling a national-level organization devoted to peace. That seems like a mind-boggling dynamic to me, that we as a society should be so violence-oriented.
The only thing I could think is that we need more peace-oriented organizations. So, I created the Peace On Earth Ministry & our outreach effort, the Peace On Earth Movement. The point of the movement is to create Peace Awareness, to Educate & Support people living the principles of peace, and to ease the suffering of others through humanitarian outreach. Part of my effort is to create systems that allow peace-loving people like you to incorporate peace into your life as easily and systematically as possible.
At any rate, the point of this podcast is to share my thoughts about “Thoughts & prayers.”
Quotes about taking action:
“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.” ~Unknown
“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” ~Arnold Glasow
1. Sending your thoughts and prayers is an action. I won’t disparage anyone sending thoughts and prayers. Emotional support is immensely important during times of struggle and need. Knowing that you’re not alone helps the healing process. So, send those thoughts and prayers!!!!!
2. Thoughts and prayers have limits. Emotional support helps those after the tragedy has already happened. If you really and truly care, you’ll want to prevent these kinds of tragedies before they happen. So — more action is required.
3. If you really care, you’ll do more. I know it can seem difficult in this breakneck world. We live so fast and fill our lives to overflowing, it’s hard to fit anything else into our lives. But that is part of the problem. If you don’t have room in your life for peace and kindness — there’s a major problem. So,
- Start with your own life. How can you fit peace into your own world? Do you need to simplify your life? Rearrange your priorities? Meditate? Exercise? Other forms of self-care? A peaceful, happy you will make this whole world infinitely better.
- Extend peace to those nearest to you. Who is close to you? Friends? Family? Peers? How can you open the door to peace in the relationships closest to you? How can you mend relationships that need it?
- Remember the little things. Everything you do makes a difference. Every kindness sends ripples into the world. Holding a door, smiling or nodding at someone, lending a listening ear, being nice to…anyone. A tiny act of kindness can restore someone’s faith in humanity.
- Remember the big things, too. If you can do more, you should. There are enormous amounts of violence, fear and suffering in the world. If we want to see the world make a major shift toward peace, major efforts are needed. That means large numbers of people living peacefully and supporting peace in big ways, too.
- Plug in to a community
- Take part in meaningful dialogue
- Start a positive initiative of your own
Some of the outreach initiatives I’m organizing are Peace Groups to help adults learn and practice the principles of peace. I’d also like to bring peace-education to schools for children to learn and practice. I didn’t learn peace in school. Not enough of today’s children are either.
So, I encourage you to stay connected with the Peace On Earth Movement and our initiatives. Keep listening to the Inner Peace Podcast. And for now, like, comment and share! Invite others to join. Peace happens when we all create it together.
Ideas for Practicing Peace:
There’s really only one homework idea today — Ask yourself “What can I DO to create more peace, today?” Then, go do that. And keep doing it.
Final Quote About Taking Action:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Unknown (loosely attributed to Gandhi)
Photo credits: John Peters at UnSplash
Music was provided by Lee Rosevere. Album “Music To Wake Up To” (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/Music_To_Wake_Up_To/). Minor alterations made with permission, copyright license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.