“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

 

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

Peace signs and peace demonstrations. Peace in the heart, peace in the home. Peace of mind and peace of spirit. Peace, a state of harmony and calm that is characterized by a lack of violence, can be found in many shapes and forms.  The English word was derived more than 700 years ago from the Hebrew word “shalom,” which means safety, prosperity and friendship. Since that time, the word “peace” has been used to connote lack of war, goodwill among others and a calm internal state, among others.

Peace is a universal value, which, like love, compassion, integrity, respect and responsibility, can be found on every continent, every country, every state, city, town and neighborhood. Peace is diverse and knows no nationality, geography, culture or race. As a general rule, the more widespread peace is, the more unity, happiness and accord will exist among tribes, cultures, governments, families and friends.

Inner peace is a particularly prized state, since someone who experiences inner peace is better prepared to deal with personal and global challenges and discord, can enjoy true happiness regardless of what is going on around him or her, and experiences a genuine state of calm, joy and understanding.

In addition, there are a variety of peace prizes awarded to leaders in the peace community. The most remarkable of these are the Nobel Peace Prize, given annually by the Nobel committee to a person or persons who actively work for peace, and the International Gandhi Peace Prize, which was named after Mahatma Gandhi, the former leader of India, and is awarded to people and institutions that contribute to political, social and economic peace through their non-violent methods. Notably, these distinguished awards can be earned by anyone, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or nationality.

Likewise, the United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan conflict management group created by Congress “to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence.” The center works to save lives and increase the government’s ability to manage conflicts. Peace is a powerful concept that pervades government institutions all the way down to individual lives.

In addition, the idea of peace has spread to schools (Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina), institutions (the Peace Corps), drinks (Peace Coffee), songs (“Imagine” by John Lennon) and more. There are even Twitter and Facebook groups dedicated exclusively to peace. While peace protestors wearing tie-dye t-shirts and waving peace signs were more prominent in the 1960s, symbols of peace continue to proliferate today, in homage to the idea that peace is important, no matter what the year, location or world circumstances.

Parents, caregivers, leaders and individuals who are seeking to create more peace can start with the concept of inner peace.

Ask yourself: How can I create more peace in my life? Where can I be more peaceful and less angry? How can I show others that I am committed to peace? What do I need to let go of or invite into my life? Examining your own life history is a great place to start identifying and spreading peace.

Then, you can share written and verbal stories and songs with children that espouse peace over violence, discuss current world events (both peaceful and violent ones) and their impact on others, and remind your children and family members of the value of peace in the world. When you see acts of  anger or violence, be willing to point them out and discuss them. Likewise, when you see acts of peace, be willing to celebrate them.

Further, you can get involved in peaceful activities in your community, whether it is a march for peace or a peaceful cause, a meditation group focused on cultivating inner peace or a nonprofit organization that helps victims of violence get back on their feet. There are a variety of small and large actions you can take to make your household, neighborhood, community and world at large a more peaceful place.

Unfortunately, acts of violence among children – shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech University, among others, as well as the fact that more than 13 million school kids will be bullied this year – sometimes seem to be more prominent than acts of peace. While these horrific incidents serve to spread an environment of mistrust, hatred and confusion, peace, love, compassion, integrity, respect and responsibility can counteract the weight of anger in the world. Applying a peaceful attitude and peaceful actions when dealing with children can help to foster more love and less hate in the world.

At first blush, peace might seem like more of an abstract concept than a tangible goal, but true peace, the kind that starts within, can spread like wildfire, changing ideas, lives and communities in the process.

Peaceful thoughts lead to peaceful words, which lead to peaceful actions. When you find peace in your mind, it’s easier to speak and communicate with peaceful intentions, leading to more peaceful interactions in your life.

Contributed by  Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home towards Timeless Values”.  Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior, his fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving should be a daily affair -Gratitude must be part of your Attitude

Thanksgiving should be a daily affair

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

Appreciating someone or feeling grateful to others can significantly improve your happiness in your daily life and transform your emotional outlook.  By showing gratitude, you embrace positive elements of determination, enthusiasm, energy, and attentiveness. An attitude of gratitude is one of the important contributors to a contented life and most powerful way to enhance satisfaction and inner happiness.

Be Gracious and Thankful

It is quite natural to be accepted and appreciated. Saying a little “thank you” to the people around you can give them an impression of recognition and acknowledgment. It makes them feel proud of their efforts. Attitude of gratitude is mostly about your ability to notice positive traits in others. You can build determination in others, improve their efficiency, encourage innovation, and promote positive relationships by emphasizing feelings of gratitude.

Gratitude can help in developing your sense of self-respect and self-esteem. It motivates you to appreciate all the amazing facets of life and create a steady balance of peace, harmony, and happiness. Adverse situations and difficulties in life present opportunities to grow and develop you as a strong person. You have immense potential to convert adversities to blessings by adopting a positive attitude and thankful behavior.  Gratitude maintains and strengthens your relationship with God and other fellow beings.

Appreciate what you have and Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an occasion when everyone gathers with their family, relatives, and friends to celebrate with joy and express their appreciation and thankfulness. It brings people together, close to each other, and creates strong bonds among them.

Much like any other festival, Thanksgiving also has a related history. It is celebrated to appreciate all that you have. However, it appears as if the only purpose of Thanksgiving is to eat turkey, avail bargains for Christmas shopping, and relax. Thanksgiving has much more to offer. When celebrating Thanksgiving, you should adopt an attitude of gratitude for every little blessing that you usually take for granted. It is an opportunity to appreciate your family, personal life, work, health, and other relations. This festival provides you a chance to acquire a contented and gratifying lifestyle.

In today’s world, pessimism overpowers optimism. Amidst the celebrations of festivals, you forget all your tensions and worries. Festivals give you a break from your pessimistic feelings and create an emotional balance. In order to enjoy a contented and satisfied life, you should visualize every single day as a festival. Do not wait for Thanksgiving to appreciate your blessings and people around you.

Express your Gratitude and be Grateful

Some people are inherently more positive, hopeful, and optimistic than others. Even the most cynical and pessimistic people can develop a positive and satisfied attitude with constant practice. If you feel that someone has done something nice for you, you should never hesitate to instantly thank him/her. When you show the attitude of gratitude, you actually share your joy with people around you. It does not only make you feel good, but also gives a certain level of confidence to others.

Make gratitude as part of your attitude: Developing the attitude of gratitude requires you to observe little things. When you are able to appreciate minor blessings, you can achieve great levels of happiness and satisfaction. It is never too difficult to be thankful for a little smile, small gift, or minor compliment.

Always say Thank you, it Matters: You easily ignore a majority of positive things in your life only because you are used to them. You are able to realize their significance only when you lose them. Do not falter to appreciate something before it is too late.

Count your blessings: A simple act of considering positive aspects of life can make a huge difference. For example, you are blessed with human life and grateful for waking up every morning, having caring spouse, wonderful parents, adorable kids, and have shelter to live comfortably etc. If you start counting things that you are grateful, you will be amazed to learn that it is very big. You easily ignore a majority of positive things in your life only because you are used to them. You are able to realize their significance only when you lose them. Do not falter to appreciate something before it is too late.  Being grateful instills positive thoughts in the mind and you can have an entirely different perspective of your life only if you learn to count your blessings, notice minute joys, and acknowledge everything that you have.  If you have an attitude of gratitude, you can treasure your life, family, profession, and relations. Don’t compare yourself with others instead content with what you have got and thankful to God. Comparing yourself with others can affect your contentment and self-esteem.

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving.

About the Author

Rakesh is Founder of Five Global Values www.fiveglobalvalues.com). Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior, Rakesh has created a peaceful world full of love and happiness through his work.
In his book “Adventures of the Tornado Kid”, Rakesh utilized his experiences and vast research on human behavior and values to create an intimate observation of the lives of two children with opposing upbringings. He shares crucial techniques to help all of us impart basic human values among today’s youth.

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Compassion Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Our Deeper Selves

Five Global Values
This book will inspire kids to connect with one another, connect families together

Compassion Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Our  Deeper Selves 

Not too long ago, a story made the rounds on the internet, from news sites to emails to Facebook posts, about a famous musician who decided to play in a busy public area of a major city and see what happened. Sadly, the musician, a world-class talent who typically filled auditoriums and sold out shows, only attracted fleeting glances from the bustling pedestrians who walked by him that day. His experience reflects a good deal about our collective conscience when it concerns people outside our tightly scheduled lives. A musician playing on a street corner or busy walkway isn’t a threatening proposition. Maybe everyone passing by that day truly had too much on their agendas to stop, listen, and offer a dollar. But the story is telling on this level: we’ve become immune to the outside world, even when it offers us beautiful music.

Compassion Suffers from Our Jaded View of the World 

Daily, we are wrapped in discouraging news from across the globe that bombards us from every angle. Some of us manage to close off the rat-a-tat-tat of negativity. Who among us knows someone, maybe yourself, who doesn’t read a newspaper or watch a news show of any kind? We blame the media and say they focus too much on the negative and never report the positive. This may be true, but we inoculate ourselves from caring by placing a bubble around our lives. We become closed off to the suffering of others; we rationalize we can’t do anything to change the circumstance; we turn off the music, both good and bad.

This is an insular way of living. True, life is difficult. Our trials will be many, and we argue that our personal stock of coping energy is depleted by dealing with the immediate, personal matters that affect us directly. When news of disasters or political upheavals seep through our barriers, we are good at pushing them back to the other side. “Let someone else help,” we think, “because my life is all I can handle.” Perhaps we need to think again.

Compassion: Part of What Makes Us Human 

Over the course of human history, which can be viewed as miniscule or expansive, compassion has been a driving force of change. Human suffering has a way of motivating individuals and the masses. One person’s compassionate acts can affect hundreds—abolitionist Sojourner Truth escaped slavery and worked the remainder of her life to ease the lives of black Americans. Acts of compassion also arise from nations—all but one European country has abolished the death penalty. Compassion is an agent of change.

The truth of the matter is that turning off our compassion entirely is impossible and deadening to our core consciousness. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), the physician and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said: “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

Reconnecting with Our Compassion: A Few Steps 

There’s no formula for finding our compassion once we recognize it has never left us in the first place. If your ability to care for others seems dormant, start small. You may have no desire to advocate for the homeless or volunteer at a non-profit organization. That’s okay. But there are issues and people that you care about, and they are all around you when you are ready to see them. Ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. What do I care about in life?
  2. Who are affected by the things I care about most?
  3. Are there needs to be filled, small or large, that could benefit from my time, talent or money?
  4. If so, how do I undertake a compassionate act that best suits my resources, abilities and comfort level?

Make a commitment to write down the answers and review them. Keep revisiting them until they feel right. When they do, take the next step and act. In the end, the lives of a few or many could benefit, and your life will also reap the rewards of connecting with your humanity.

 

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