To create peace in the world, we have to be peace. Right now, as we are reeling from the events of the world this week and month and year, we get to choose. Will we be a force of peace and love or a force of fear, chaos, and separation?
We can see how important a choice this is by reflecting on non-peaceful moments in our own families. If your children are fighting and you join in with yelling, things get worse, right? But if your children are fighting and you stay calm and steady, they begin to settle. If you listen so well that you really understand them, even the things they don't yet understand themselves, it's easier to create a peaceful resolution because each person's true needs are met.
In the world, in our families, and in every part of our lives, we have this choice. We can add our energy to truth and love or to fear and hatred.
It takes honesty and clarity to serve peace. As a classroom teacher, I couldn't trust that my intention to be fair to kids regardless or gender or race or background was enough. I had to investigate my teaching practice and uncover bias so that I could change it. I needed to listen deeply to children and families to see all that was not peace and respond to it in a loving and clear way.
As a mom I have to be willing to look at myself honestly, discovering the roots of power struggles, judgment, fear, and injustice. By sitting with what is not peaceful in my family, I am learning to listen and respond to it.
In your work, in your parenting, with your own family or friends, in all of your communications, are you identified with peace and love? Or are you reacting to your own children or the news or a colleague with fear and hatred? Please, join me in bringing both the intent and the practice of loving and peaceful presence into your life. Our kids need us, and the world needs us.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.