These past few days, this quote has been in my mind constantly:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I came back to this quote as my feelings loss, pain, fear and many other emotions in regards to Paris, Beirut, and all the other senseless attacks in the world, became overpowering. Gradually I have come to a realisation.
Fear cannot drive out fear; only inner peace can do that.
After the attacks, many people in the world are afraid. And no matter what you are going to say, they will stay in fear for themselves, for their families, for their way of life.
Inner peace is lost completely when you are locked in this primal fear. Yet, inner peace heals fear.
Peace starts within you
In a recent interview with dw.com, the Dalai Lama says:
We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society [..]
There is an important lesson to learn from this. Peace doesn’t start with governments, with a politician’s rhetoric, with religion, with war, with conflict.
Peace starts from the ground up. It expands from individuals like you and me.
Peace starts within you.
This is why it may seem so hard to achieve peace. You may feel disheartened when you are peaceful within, and all your neighbors are on a war path.
If that doubt settles in, look at all the beautiful changes that non-violence and peace have made to the world, and you know that it is worth believing in peace.
Peaceful hearts lead by example
I have been at a lecture by the Dalai Lama at Glastonbury, earlier this year. Standing in that crowd I could feel his peace touch my heart. That lecture changed me for the better.
This is how peace works. It touches others on a fundamental level and brings change, even if they do not realise it at first.
I know there will some who say that peace does not change a thing. My answer to that is that fear doesn’t change anything either.
So take a deep breath, and let peace enter your body. Let it guide your steps and know that what you do with a peaceful heart is causing a ripple effect, anywhere in the world.
And as I write this, I have no idea if my peaceful heart will touch another, and who that person is.
But, with inner peace comes trust that what you do, no matter how small, is part of the ripple effect of peace. And that is a beautiful thought.