Peace is a beautiful word because it denotes something that exists both in the world around us and also within ourselves. More than anything else, it is a condition toward which we can strive. Inner peace is something which everyone seeks. Most of the time we look at our life as being happiest in the absence of conflict. Peace can be found if we look for it, and it can be experienced if we chose to live it. With peace comes a sense of well-being and the idea that everything is right with ourselves and the world around us.
Native people enjoyed a certain perception of reality that was optimistic when they were able to live in harmony and balance. By nature, they were a peaceful people. They did not disturb the natural order but found a way to fit into the natural scheme of things. Nature, in all her bounty, could be enjoyed. There was an equal amount of give and take, and almost no disturbance in the process.
Peace is the absence of fear, and the stress that results from it. There is less conflict when we choose to do some things and not others. We could ideally live in a far less violent world, but this also requires that we create peace within ourselves. Peace is both a condition and a spiritual principle. We feel better when we are less threatened and less fearful, especially if we learn to reduce the threat from one another. We all have to learn to get along, and eventually the ideas or beliefs that lead to conflict and violence will begin to disappear or become insignificant.
Violence is a learned behavior. Some argue that it is natural. But we have to remember that what we see in the world around us is only a reflection of what is within ourselves. If we want a less violent world, then we have to strive to find more peace within ourselves, and share that with others.
Peace is an attitude, a perception and a state of mind. Peace brings along with it the need for forgiveness and humility, because we are human and we all make mistakes. Conflicts and differences exist, but there is no law that states that it has to result in violence. Violence is a man-made phenomenon. It is not part of our best nature, and there always has to be concern about its prevelance.
We are not powerless to change our world or the reality we live in. In fact, we have contributed to what it is, and must ask ourselves how can we change it if it needs changing. We can all agree on the need for a more peaceful, less violent world.
If we want peace, and a less violent world, then more words have to be said about it. It is amazing how we can sometimes justify our actions, or say we want something and then do the opposite. Peace requires clear goals and objectives. We can not waver from our ideals, or allow them to be clouded with other sentiment that interferes with the achievement of peace. Peace is a subject deserving of many words. There is no such a thing as saying too much about it. It has to be at the heart of how we live.
Every society experiences conflicts between war and peace. War can cause a people to lose their perspective about the need for peace. It goes back to the thing about balance. Something terrible happens when a certain perspective dominates. The voices of peace are soon absorbed by silence, and its perspective is missing. That is what has happened in the process of becoming civilized, if we lessen our striving to attain and experience the most ideal and desirable conditions by which we can live.
Civilization can become stressful and violent regardless of the freedoms or comforts we enjoy. Peace is a spiritual principle. It cannot be faked. It either exists or it doesn't. The same is true for inner peace. We have to work for it, and be vigilant about maintaining it. If we don't, then certain unpleasant things seem to happen.
There is nothing magical about prophesy. If we do good things, good things will happen. If not, look out. We all have to pay attention to the consequences of our actions, especially what our children learn from them. If we expect them to live in a better world, then we have to act accordingly. So there should be no shortage of words or example about peace, tolerance, patience, forgiveness or humility; and, a lot of teaching about harmony, balance, respect and a reverence for the earth and all its inhabitants. We must be better care-takers of ourselves and others, and of the earth our mother. We must mend the hoop and all live within the circle of life, transcending our differences.
Some Native prophesy predicts major earth changes, or natural disasters, due to the disturbance of nature or because of what humans are doing to each other. We live in world of cause and effect. How we think and act is important. Everything plays a part. Human beings have achieved much and aspired to much more. But the greatest path to walk is still ahead of us, and it lies in the spiritual realm—making our ideals a reality. This is why the voice of peace is so important. It calls us to create the conditions that will allow us to transcend our differences and mend the hoop among all nations and peoples of the world. It is possble to live in a world at peace whose resources are not diverted to waging wars, but to helping its people.
So I invite you to share in a dream of Turtle Island as part of a new world, taking the next step toward a world at peace. We were meant to live our dreams. If we do good things, good things will happen. We have to believe in that, and it will take us through the struggles that come with true growth and progress. If we allow the dream to die, who will take up its cause? Join with me in making heard the voice of peace, to raise that perspective to the level which it deserves, giving it the attention that it needs - for the sake of those generations to follow us.
May you walk in peace