Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dona nobis pacem 2008

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Dona nobis pacem ~ Grant us peace

Now I’ve been thinking about the world lately…

When I first decided to participate in the Peace Globe Project my first thought was “What does the word Peace actually mean?” Peace… it’s a word we fling about a lot, same as ‘Love’. For many people Peace means no wars, but no fighting does not automatically mean no violence or hatred. It’s possible to force people to behave and not fight, but that’s not peace – that’s intimidation. A lack of violence and aggression can be attained through apathy and weariness too, but that doesn’t make it Peace.

Sitting thinking about the word the song “Peace Train”, by Cat Stevens, kept running through my head. I went looking for the song online… and something interesting happened. I found a small film documentary on why Cat Stevens had become Yusuf Islam. In it Yusuf/Cat spoke about how he had moved from singing about changing the world to being more involved in real change, but how first of all he’d had to change himself - change from within.

The truth is as much as we may talk of Peace, pray for Peace or Blog for Peace, we can never achieve anything unless we start from the simple truth that it has to begin from within. You cannot change the world to change people – people have to change themselves in order to change their world.

There’s a lot that has been written about what needs to change in order for us to live in Peace. Some talk of forgiveness, some of Love, charity, empathy, patience, tolerance… there are lots of words associated Peace. Today I’d like to add my own choice; I’d like to add ‘ENOUGH’.

It’s not an obvious word to pick, but the more I look at the world today the more I feel that this might turn out to be a very important word for Peace in our planet’s future. It seems to me that the concept of ‘Not enough’ causes most of our planet’s wars and violence, or at very least the belief in ‘Not enough’. Not enough food, not enough oil, not enough land, not enough power, not enough religious dominance, not enough religious tolerance… humans have found many reasons to justify aggressive actions through ‘Not enough’.

We fear it too. We fear ‘Not enough’ terribly and that fear makes us miserly and cruel. Believing in ‘Not enough’ we hate those who we think have more than us today and we refuse to share, in case we might be in need tomorrow. We use it to justify our greed as well. We use it to rationalize taking from others. We believe we have the right to have MORE than enough.

As far as I can see, for this world to have enough Peace we first need to let go of this phrase ‘Not enough’ and all the fears and angers that surround it - in other words we have to learn how to share. The thing I like best about the word ‘share’ is that it implies equality and mutual respect. You ‘give’ charity and donations to those you consider lesser than you, you ‘take’ from those you resent or hate, but you share with those beside you. Sharing happens between equals, family and friends. More importantly - you don’t take from people you share with. You don’t take their lands, their lives, or their freedoms and you don’t hate, murder or go to war with them either.

We need to relearn our concept of what is ‘enough’. Enough is being happy with what you have and who you are and then sharing that happiness with the world around you. Enough comes from filling that fear of ‘Not enough’ within yourself first; of finding your own inner peace, each in our own unique and individual way. What fills your soul with ‘enough’ might be anything from creating Art, writing a novel, saving a whale, mothering a child, or following a religion, as Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam did.

We need to remove that dreadful phrase ‘Not enough’ from our mindset, because it links us back to always grasping for more - more money, more power, more wars… more than enough.

Had more than enough?

I have.

How about you?

Now come and join the giving,
its not so hard to do.
Throw your bread upon the waters,
They will come back to you…

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46 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

I love your 'slogan' on your peace globe!! Yes, someday, the time will come.

Come on over, and read my impressions of peace if you can find time today.

Amel's Realm said...

EXCELLENT post, M!!! I REALLY love it. :-))))

The other day I felt stressed out due to the constant drive to have "A, B, C, D, E, F, etc." What changed my mind was when I read a daily devotional that says that we live not only for this world, but for AFTER we die...that really changes my perspective. I can actually feel my tensed muscles loosen up...and I feel at peace.

This post also reminds me of one of the most important things of all. THANK YOU for sharing!!! :-))))

Robin said...

Yes! It's time for less sitting and more doing. For all of us.

Tina said...

what a nice little poem on your globe.

no where near enough gets done, your right enough is enough.

thanks for stopping by mine :)

citizen of the world said...

Letting what we have be sufficient - you're dead on with that idea. And Peace Train is one of my all time favorite songs. Lovely post. Peace.

Jeni said...

Very good concept and oh, so true too -when do we have "enough?" And yep, to use a phrase frequently said of late in the states, "You betcha" that the concept of "not enough" does cause, create much if not most of the havoc in our society. Loved your peace globe too. Stop back and visit again.

Tink said...

I did know the word peace in a few more languages, but the rest I found here:http://www.columbia.edu/~fdc/pace/ :) Your globe and post give me food for thought.
Thanks for the nice comments!

Carver said...

I love your peace globe and this was an excellent post. You express yourself so well and I agree! Dona Nobis Pacem

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

A well thought out and terrific post. What a terrific Peace Globe. Peace to you and those you love...

Julia Smith said...

I'm seeing a trend in the peace globe bloggers - a coaxing toward taking action. And Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam definitely shows us how his convictions led him to change. He's one of my husband's favorite singers, so I love this song, and especially the way he sings it.

This is a very thought-provoking post. My late friend Pam would agree with you wholeheartedly - she was a very active catalyst for change as someone who worked with government and industry to preserve the forests here in Nova Scotia. She always maintained that 'enough' was a word to worry about.

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Peace Train is a wonderful choice of songs....music means so much
Sending*Peace*Love*Light* to all!

Immi said...

Beautiful. Peace to you and yours.

Betty said...

Wonderful post, Michelle! :o)

Carletta said...

A very well thought out and written post!
This Cat Stevens song is almost as old as I am and I've loved it forever. What is sad is that after all these years we are still needing peace.
Loved your post and your globe!

Ivanhoe said...

I cannot wipe of that smile of my face since Tusday's election results :o)
Peace & love to you from Ohio.

Lux said...

What a wonderful peace post. We agree with you! Love your globe ...

Peace,
Luxie & family

Genie said...

Neale Donald Walsch talks a lot about "enough." Fascinating subject when you really sit down and think about it. Interesting ponderings, Michelle, as always.

Lizza said...

What a wonderful post. Achieving inner peace and contentment is hard work, but it's worth it.

Peace to you and yours.

Shannon H. said...

Excellent post and wonderful Peace Globe!

Daisy said...

Michelle, this is a lovely post. Very well written and so true all the way through. Thanks for sharing it. :)

Travis said...

Hear hear! I applaud this post.

Peace.

April said...

A profound and inspiring post! Love the peace globe with those great words from 'Peace Train'. Peace to you!

Mickey said...

Peace to you and your family :)
What a great post!!
Thanks for stopping by :)
Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

Vita said...

AMEN.
a wonderful thought provoking post!

storyteller said...

I love your Peace Globe & message … much of what you’ve shared ‘resonates’ with my own thoughts about peace coming from within … changing the self rather than trying to change others … redefining ‘enough’ … surrendering and/or moving through fear. (Cat Stevens is a favorite of mine too).

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that ‘Peace is in every step’ … a choice in every instant no matter what’s happening around or within us. As each of us blogs for peace today, we join our minds and hearts together to create this reality in our world by beginning within.
Hugs and blessings,

Leesa said...

Great post and soo very insightful!! Just stopping by to wish you a very happy BBFP Day, though for us, it's just now over!! Take care, Leesa

FickleMinded said...

just keep blogging for peace and i think it's possible.
thanks for stopping by.

Blur Ting said...

Indeed a good post. As always.

Ferd said...

I loved your peace post, Michelle!
I so agree that we can't change the other person. In reality, we only have the power to change our own selves. That's the serenity prayer all over. I voiced a similar sentiment on my own peace post today.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Peace!

Napaboaniya said...

We've all come together in blogging for peace :)

Carol said...

I loved Cat Stevens as a young man and I love him in his elder phase now. Thank you for bringing him into the BlogBlast for Peace.

I wholeheartedly agree with your post.

Perfect.

Thanks!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Michelle, you have created an enchanting Peace Globe and written words with which I can resonate!

“Enough” is perfect word to go along with peace. There is a line in on of the Eucharistic prayers in the United Church of Christ, U.S.A. Book of Worship that reads: “We look to the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none.” Enough can be peace in many ways!

Blessings and shalom, my new friend.

Raven said...

What a wise crow you are. Beautifully written. I think in Native American Medicine traditions, Crow is the keeper of the "Law". Seems like a good fit. Peace.

jmb said...

Wonderful post Michelle. You had me singing in my head when I read your globe. I never thought of dear old Cat, one of my very favourite singers and one of my very favourite songs. Peace be with you and your loved ones.

Big Eyed Gal said...

Better late than never... :)

The whole time I was reading your post, I kept nodding my head in agreement. Well said my friend.

And like you, I too have more than enough. :)

Peace to you and your loved ones from our side of the globe.

Big Eyed Gal
Wapsicle Popsicle

The Chronic Shopper
Vital Sighs

Polly said...

Oh, your peace globe is beautiful and your writing is wonderful!

When you wrote:
"You cannot change the world to change people – people have to change themselves in order to change their world."

That's exactly how I feel. That's why I chose the Ghandi quote that I did for my globe.

And you're right about "Enough" I think this word needs to happen at a young age as well. We're raising our children in an environment where more is better and that it's somehow okay to get every material thing that you want. NOT okay!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mimi Lenox said...

"You cannot change the world to change people – people have to change themselves in order to change their world."

That was just the beginning of what is one of the most powerful peace posts I have read since this project began.
Standing and applauding.
Really.

Your concept of "enough" and sharing and the dialogue it began here on this blog is poignant, timely, and the very essence of what this movement is about. I am so glad you joined us today.

There is not enough praise for this post.

Mimi

Eric S. said...

You have done a wonderful thing with this post. Your concept is perfect indeed, and very insightful. Now all we have to do is promote "ENOUGH", and as you say peace will most likely follow.

Twilight said...

I'm a bit late to the peace party, Michelle, but had to pop in to congratulate you on your post.
You got right to the heart of the matter!

I've ben distracted by the US election of late, but the result was the one I wanted from my first ever vote in the US. Let us hope that our new president will promote peace and sharing as energetically as the current one promoted war and greed.
:-)

WAY TO GO Y'ALL !!!!

Jean-Jacques said...

I missed this particular "Peace Wagon", but I've always been on the " Peace Train" ;-) Love that song too.

You've touched on so many true and fundamental points here Michelle - a beautifully written post. I think you have it absolutely spot-on. It's the percieved LACK of things that create strife, war and conflict.

It might seem obvious, but we need to learn how to focus on "what we've got", instead "what we haven't got" and we've got SO MUCH! - we just need to habitually "dwell on it" a bit more instead of taking it for granted as our natural born right.

The more we focus on How Much We Have and frequently point that out to each other, the more we learn To See Value in Everything, the more we should be able to come from a Place of Abundance With-In.

We already live in a physical place of abundance (on earth) and its time that we need to respect it's resources (including human resources) more.

Have a nice weekend!
J.J.

Julie said...

So I'm looking at your globe and I'm thinking I know this! A smile crept across my mouth as I remembered TRYING to do a blog post on Cat! I always loved his music and still do! Thanks for this memory. I pulled him up on youtube and now will be listening to him as I continue riding the peace train through the blogosphere.

May the spirit of peace take over!

Angela at mommy bytes said...

What a wonderful song to remember on for the Blogblast for Peace. Peace to you and yours.

Michelle said...

Thank you everyone! Your replies were all wonderful and worth more than just a short "thank you", so I will be replying to each person personally on your blogs, in case it gets lost out here.

:-)

Cat jump punch said...

You are light! Thank you.

Peace to you.

Finding Pam said...

What a beautiful peace globe and your words are full of wisdom. A shift in thinking is a good place to start.

I have all I need and all I need I have. I can share with others what I have too. Why does it take folks so long to make this shift in thinking?

Thank you for all your wonderful thoughts.

Michelle said...

Hi Finding Pam

Thank you for the very thoughtful reply.

Peace blessings to you. :-)