As every year on the last Monday of May, yesterday in the USA we celebrated Memorial Day remembering the men and women who have died serving in the armed forces.
Rhetoric aside, it seems to me that we have become comfortably complacent with the status quo and reality of war.
Now really, how much are we striving towards the day when we can celebrate the achievement of sustained world PEACE?
I believe there are at least 3 very practical approaches each one of us can implement towards this goal starting today:
1. Cultivate inner peace: “As Within So Without” – We are a powerful microcosm of the universe and our outside world is really a reflection of our inner world.
2. Know that ultimately we are all one or different manifestations of the same original essence, all related and all connected.
3. “Same same but different” as the Thais say: Realize that we rarely operate at a spiritual level and that in the material plane of our existence, DIFFERENCES PLAY A MUCH LARGER ROLE than we often like to acknowledge. Hence overcoming the comforting yet deceiving tendency toward universalistic assumptions and the minimizing of differences will be key. Peace in fact requires the willingness to truly understand each other and each other’s perspectives. Only then do we have the chance to connect.
Developing CULTURAL COMPETENCE – the ability to recognize and effectively navigate cultural differences – is one powerful tool toward fostering understanding and ultimately peace.
Feel free to check out my Paris TEDx Talk on “Cultural Competence as a Paradigm for Peace”.