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Spread Peace One Relationship at a Time and Remember That We Are All Connected

Tree of lifePHIL: There is a strong emphasis on the primacy of the individual in current culture, whether praised for rugged individualism or panned as the “me” generation, but by focusing so intensely on individuals, we pay less attention to the matrix in which we exist.

There’s society. We all need each other in order to exist. Other people grow your food, make your clothes,… It’s a long list. You do things for them, and we’ve invented something called money to keep things fair (though many books have been written about that fairness). This mutuality is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to overlook it.

Then there’s identity. Turns out we have trillions of microorganisms inside us, helping to digest our food and protect our body. We’re a walking cooperative. And in the other direction, we’re part of larger groups, whether social, like the local bowling team, or part of the phylogenetic tree, our place on the tree of life, where animals are but one of 26 branches.

On that tree, our group is humans, yet seeing all men as created equal is a challenge. People have been called subhuman, animals, cockroaches and vermin for their physical and cultural differences. It’s fear that makes that happen. Yet stronger than the force of division is its counterpart, love, that keeps us together. Scientifically we can attribute this to empathy carried out by mirror neurons, but far better is to know this directly by looking inside and feeling that attraction. It’s love and gratitude for your friends. It’s pain at the suffering in Ukraine. It’s thankfulness for your next meal. All that connection, all that joy and grief arising from being alive, can flow into and through you every day and illuminate your life, can be a reality that stands beyond any explanation.

MAUDE: Now more than ever, it is important to acknowledge that we are all connected. What happens to one, happens to us all.

Many among us suffer from a false doctrine and complete misunderstanding of individual liberty. We are individually free, yes, but free to do what? We are free to make a choice – we can act for the good of all and in so doing, create true personal liberty, or we can act from a limited isolationist perspective that sees us all as divided and separate.

As we awaken and come to see just how interconnected the world’s people truly are, it becomes even more critical to create peace in all our individual relationships and to keep love active in our hearts. We can truly spread peace from within and let it radiate out to all our relationships, both intimate and casual. This must be a choice that is reflected in both words and actions. Each of us can find ways in our lives to have an impact on this all important truth.

In last week’s blog we offered a number of suggestions to activate peace within your relationships. There are many practices that help us connect to our inner selves and find that truth within: mindfulness, spiritual practices, meditation, living by the golden rule.

In these war torn conflicted times, it behooves us all to find ways to bring into reality, into thoughts and actions, love and peace in how we relate, whether we are within arms reach of each other or across the globe.

Photo credit: NASA
Photo note: Shows where animals live on the tree of life.

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner

Books on shelfThis week, we wrote about spreading peace and that we are all connected. We found so many fascinating writings from a number of different angles that we are sharing four links this week. We think you'll finding them inspiring.

Promoting Peace "This section is about peace – a most fundamental asset to community building, to personal growth, and to the very survival of our planet. At the heart of many faiths, practices, and cultures, advancing peaceful co-existence is essential to ensuring productive, meaningful lives and sustainable societies. After providing a working definition of peace, our main focus will be on practical steps one can take to advance peace, so that we can strengthen ourselves and our communities."

We Are All Connected "Why does a negative person poison the emotions of everyone around him/her?  How can a wonderfully charismatic person raise the energy, mood, and productivity of a group?  Why do you laugh more at a funny movie when you’re in a theater full of laughing people?  Our ability to affect others is not a coincidence.  Let’s look at the science behind human connectedness."

What Can We Learn from the World’s Most Peaceful Societies? "Given the grinding wars and toxic political divisions that dominate the news, it might come as a surprise to hear that there are also a multitude of sustainably peaceful societies thriving across the globe today. These are communities that have managed to figure out how to live together in peace—internally within their borders, externally with neighbors, or both—for 50, 100, even several hundred years. This simple fact directly refutes the widely held and often self-fulfilling belief that humans are innately territorial and hardwired for war."

Spirituality, Religion, Culture, and Peace "This paper is about different spiritual and religious traditions in the world and how they have or could in the future contribute to the creation of a global culture of peace. As the above quotations indicate, almost all of the world's religions, in their own sacred writings and scriptures, say that they support "peace". Yet it is a known fact that war and violence have often been undertaken historically, as well as at present, in the name of religion (as is discussed further below). Yet religions profess to want peace. So what is 'peace'? And how have religions historically helped to promote peace, and how might they help create a more peaceful world in the 21st century? These are a few of the questions that this paper will attempt to explore."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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