Freedom is the signature quality of our sweet land of the free and home of the brave. Most of us live our whole lives never fully appreciating how sacred freedom is; and, anyone who knows what it’s like to live without basic freedoms will forever appreciate the sacredness of it.
In our own world where we live, move and have our being, we can believe what we want and operate within our world from these beliefs. We have this right in America.
In America, we are free to be peaceful, if that’s what we choose. This is no small thing on this planet.
Forget world peace
Forget world peace. Not because it’s never going to happen; not because the idea is too enormous; not because the tasks associated are overwhelming; and, not because not everyone is on board with this goal. Forget world peace and focus on personal peace.
Leo Tolstoy said, “Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody thinks of changing him/herself.” This wisdom echoes what I learned years ago: the only thing we can truly change is our mind.
Do what’s doable, but do that much.
During our weekly meditation class last year at Holistic Wellness Center in Klamath Falls, the epiphany came to me: forget world peace; focus on personal peace. Personal peace is doable everyday…at least enough to make a difference in my life. Personal peace is me taking responsibility for what I’m able to respond to…my world.
World peace is something that’s always a “someday” notion, often followed by a hopeful sigh. World peace depends on others, all of us, really, and as I look around and see what others are doing it creates a huge chasm of rational doubt. How is it ever going to happen at this rate?
Personal peace is about me making adjustments in my life, my consciousness, and my body so that my level of peace remains steady, real and connected to divine power – a power in us, but not of us.
It is what it is
At fifty-something, it’s come up for me recently that life does not get better as we get older like our youthful fantasies promised. When we’re young we think that someday we’re going to figure it all out and live happily ever after. But, it doesn’t happen like that; life is life – life is good; life is bad; life is good; life is bad; life is good……etcetera.
No matter what, it is what it is.
The world is going to do what the world is going to do; if anyone wants salvation, they better look for it themselves. Perhaps, afterall, the world can’t be saved; but, we can save ourselves. In fact, we must; no one can do this for us.
This epiphany about world peace does not diminish my essential Aquarian-universal love-hippie-earth muffin-love one another-Oneness mentality, perspective and philosophy one iota; in fact, it enhances it because I no longer worry that world peace may never happen; or, that it’s not happening right now.
Actually, in many ways, it is happening right now. That’s all we have: look at the good…there is always something good going on somewhere.
Now, I can look upon the tragedies of life with a calmer heart because there’s only something to do if I am called to do something; I can be in the world and not of it the way I was taught because I don’t have to worry if my brothers and sisters are on the same page as me; I only have to focus on one thing: my peace.
My piece of world peace is my peace
Buddha said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
Jesus counseled us, “In the world you have tribulation, but I have overcome the world.”
The magic wand
In kindergarten at Rossmoor Elementary, in my hometown, Los Alamitos, California, we used to have nap time every day where we would all lay on the floor with the lights out for a brief period. It was always a privilege and delight to be selected by the teacher to be the one given the “wand” that lightly tapped each child on the shoulder into wakefulness. Adulthood, and the urge to be a miracle worker and save the world, feels the same way at times.
This epiphany about abandoning the goal of world peace probably won’t stop me from fantasizing about having a magic wand and zapping everyone with happiness, but it feels good to let go of the effort toward world peace.
Children live what they learn
In my daughter’s 6th grade class last year, they did what is a popular exercise for the human condition since the publication of Judith Viorst’s book, “If I Were In Charge of the World.”
The link takes you to a site where you can spend a few minutes and create your own poem – I highly recommend it. My poem was a one-liner: If I were in charge of the world, I’d cancel fear. In our humanness, everything can be traced back to one of two things: love or fear.
If I Were In Charge of the World
As a mom, it’s good to know the ideas that roll around in my precious daughter’s mind and heart; it makes me both proud and a bit sad at her summation, but, mostly heart-warmed, and glad for the world that has her in it, whether it arrives at peace or not.
As a student and teacher of the laws of consciousness, it delights me to know these ideas are truly her food for thought, and that these seeds will be what gets nurtured in her consciousness.
She’s as playful as she is serious; as thoughtful as she is silly; as passionate as she is compassionate. She’s as merciful as possible yet intolerant where justified. Her poem makes me wish she really was in charge of the world.
My daughter’s world in the months preceding this inspired creation of hers was nothing short of traumatic, chaotic and continuously challenging. First, a final ending of my rocky second marriage which took people she loved out of her world; our beloved family dog of ten years passed away; we were both involved in a car accident with significant injuries; a blackwater flood in our home during the Christmas holidays forcing us to celebrate Christmas at Motel 6 with our entire zoo – four cats and two dogs; a fiberglass contamination in our home causing an emergency evacuation and substantial and devastating damage, and unusual physical illnesses that we later learned related to the contamination. These events are the highlights of this young author’s recent world.
But, by the grace of God, kids live in the moment and in the moment she was to write this, she still found places of deep compassion, thoughtfulness, wit and wisdom:
If I Were In Charge of the World
I’d cancel drama, bullying, and spiders; also, Josef Kony and child and animal abuse.
If I were in charge of the world everything would be zebra print.
No one would be homeless or hungry and there would be pink grass and starry nights.
If I were in charge of the world you wouldn’t have worries, you wouldn’t have growing up, and you wouldn’t have dying.
It would be a law to eat chocolate dipped ice cream cones every day.
No one would obsess over themselves;
And a person who forgets to show they care and that doesn’t fit in everywhere would still be allowed to be in charge of the world.
Celebrating America’s Birthday in the Basin
There’s a couple of common denominators among nearly all Basiners: this is one of the prettiest places on earth; there’s not much to do here; especially for our active youth during summer break. So, on holidays the major event going on in town is generally the only thing going on in town.
Independence Day in Klamath Falls sees a delightful 4th of July parade down Main Street that begins at 4:45 p.m., and is followed by fireworks over Lake Ewauna at Veteran’s Park later in the evening, usually around 9:30 p.m.-ish. Crowds, music, vendors with food and families packed full of kids, cushions, food, blankets, cool drinks, mosquito repellant and lawn chairs fill up the grassy lawns that border the picturesque Lake Ewauna at Veteran’s Park.
We have the pleasure of being able to walk to a small park behind our yard perched hillside overlooking the town and sit with our nearby neighbors to see the fireworks display from Lake Ewauna if we want a relaxing celebration.
Remember to give pets extra calming attention during these noisy festivities.
After washing your hands the many times throughout the day, sprinkle yourself with the water off your hands instead of drying your wet hands and give yourself a great hot summer day treat!
Happy Birthday, America! May all your birthday wishes come true.
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