Dear Dharma Friends,
I am delighted to share this message as Faith in Peace Ambassador for Peace Day on 21st September 2013. With the United Nations Secretary-General and countless others supporting this global day of peace, this is an auspicious moment indeed.
So what does it take to be a Peace Ambassador? It might feel like a very grand title, one that Governments or large organizations might use. We might think of ambassadors traveling the world, spreading a message, visiting places of conflict. While this is certainly true in some cases, there is a different – but equally important – type of ambassador.
In life, it is somehow easier to think of peace as being needed somewhere on the other side of the world. It is the responsibility of diplomats, charities and large organizations – how could we possibly have a role?
Meaningful peace starts much closer to home. Meaningful peace benefits those directly in front of us. What is the point in promoting peace in one part of the world, if we leave those directly around us feeling upset? Meaningful peace needs us all to be ambassadors for peace. Right here. Right now.
Fortunately, we all have the tools already to be Peace Ambassadors. Being an ambassador for peace does not require special training, experience, or a title. Being an ambassador for peace means tapping into your own innate values – your inner wealth – and using them to benefit those closest to you. It means being alive, awake, taking responsibility for your actions. It means not being driven by your emotions, but controlling them.
But how? Well, the first step is to recognize that we all affect the people around us by our thoughts, words and actions. Those people will influence others through their thoughts, words and actions. These personal encounters and influences are magnified in communities, on social networks, until very quickly millions of people are touched in some way. So the first step is to recognize that in today’s society we all have the power to be a global peace ambassador through the people closest to us. I think straight away of my family, and my students. They make a difference to me, and I also make a difference to them. We can all affect people positively or negatively, towards or away from peace. Peace starts with our own thoughts, words and actions.
Now that we have this power for peace, and we realise that it is not the sole power of big organizations and governments, it is important that we use this power to benefit others. Sometimes, when there are difficulties, it is difficult to smile, and to try and bring positivity to yourself and those around you. It might be beneficial to reflect for a moment on the most important people in your life. Reflect on their kindness, the sacrifices they have gone through at times to express that kindness. When we appreciate these people, we may also be inspired to show kindness, to share a smile, even when it feels hardest to do so. So it’s not about doing years and years of work and finally bringing something called peace. It’s not like that. Peace is now.
So on Peace Day 21st September, I appeal to all people to be ambassadors for peace – a meaningful peace that starts within us, and with those directly in front of us.
On this day, I share my heartfelt wishes for all people to nurture their innate values of compassion and wisdom, and for all to reflect on and appreciate the kindness of others. And I share my heartfelt wishes that one day, every day will be a day of peace.