Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A season of nonviolence begins today

The 64-day period from Jan. 30 (the anniversary of the death of Gandhi) until April 4 (the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.) has been designated a Season for Nonviolence by some group called the Association for Global New Thought. This past Sunday, our church included an insert in the order of service with a list of 64 ways to practice or promote peace and nonviolence, one for each day of the season.

I like the idea of taking these practices into my life for the next couple of months, so I'm going to try to incorporate them into this blog. Some days I may just list the daily practice; some days I'll reflect on it or share how I incorporated it. The basic daily list is linked off the AGNT website, but I can't seem to link it directly here.

Day 1: Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me.

I'm actually a bit proud of myself, because I woke up this morning at 4:30 with a backache and the knowledge that I was going to have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom before I'd be able to fall sleep again, which would normally be a guarantee of future resentment and crankiness. Once I get out of bed, I'm generally awake for at least an hour. As I lay there, trying to convince my feet to leave the quilt behind, I started thinking about peace instead, and what it does mean in my life. The older I get, the more I lose touch with my desire for "world peace" -- it's become something of an irrelevant construct, and an idea that is fanciful, at best. It surprised me this morning to realize that I don't find that depressing, though. I do believe in peace, but I believe in it in a very personal way, and on an individual level. It's a cliche, but there you go. Peace in the world begins with peace in your own heart.

Peace in my own heart -- now that's something I can work on.

Now, later in the morning, after not getting much more sleep, a particularly discombobulated breakfast time, a cranky Rocco, a self-centered WonderGirl, a bizarre interaction between my car's belly and a metal something-or-other which my car won, but only after sustaining $600 worth of bruises, and a DT who had to spend far too much energy helping everyone else, when he really needed to be helped himself, I can say that I do feel peaceful. I'm sure it won't last all day, even, but for now, waking up with the thought of peace first in my mind, and meditating a bit on the idea that peace at home is intensely relevant, has left me better off than I would have been had I slept later and not had that quiet time, waiting to be able to convince myself to get out of bed.


Christy said...

This is a wonderful post. It is so hard to find peace in this world, even within my own heart. I have seen so many horrible things, sometimes it is hard to stay focused on an idea like peace.

Unfortunately, I am the type of person who has trouble forgiving others. This often makes me angry and a little bitter. If I hope for the world to be a better place for my children, I need to work on having peace within myself.


Ruth said...

Christy, I think that's a great point. It's often only by focusing on the benefits to someone else (our children) that we convince ourselves to do what we know we should. I'm the same way - a lot of my current desire to be more peaceful only comes from seeing parts of myself exposed to my children (and reflected in my children) that I really don't want to pass on. It's a journey. None of us will get there quickly. Thanks for commenting.