This world can seem like a battlefield of challenges and strife. On a daily basis, we directly view or hear reports of varying degrees of conflict. Everyone has preferences: we desire this, but not that. As the number of so-called “others” increases, the issue becomes more complex. Our differing opinions regarding right and wrong leave us with little or no middle ground labeled “Peace.”
During such times, it can be challenging to resist the temptation of being “against” a circumstance, rather than having the wisdom of being “for” what feels right in our heart. This metaphysical principle of behaviour (which I refer to as Standing “As”) is vitally important to understand: That to which we give our attention persists more strongly. To improve conditions, we must resolutely place our attention on that which we desire, not its apparent opposite. Let’s imagine, if we can, a peaceful world in which we live by the following:
- Can we stand “as” tolerance, without being against intolerance?
- Can we stand “as” honesty, without being against dishonesty?
- Can we stand “as” selflessness, without being against selfishness?
- Can we stand “as” equality, without being against inequality?
- Can we stand “as” honour, without being against corruption?
- Can we stand “as” love, without giving your energy to hate?
- Can we stand “as” peace, without being against war?
- In short, can we stand for the result we desire, rather than expending our energy by being against its opposite?”
Through the development of our character, we may exemplify the beliefs that we hold most dear, without becoming self-important or proud. This is clearly illustrated in a famous poem entitled Sermons We See, by Edgar Guest. Here I offer the first stanza:
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
Mahatma Gandhi also expressed this vitally important principle in his famous and succinct expression:
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Perhaps we could develop the habit of asking ourselves, “What attitude am I broadcasting to the world today?” It’s up to us to ensure it’s a good one, born of our highest ideals.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,