“Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities, and so on.
When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. And there are ways in which we can consciously work to develop feelings of love and kindness.
For some of us, the most effective way to do so is through religious practices. For others, it may be non-religious practices. What is important is that we each make a sincere effort to take seriously our responsibility for each other and for the natural environment.”- HH The Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness
At the moment, much of the world is embroiled in conflict. If we turn on the news, we are likely to see hatred and violence directed towards nations, races, classes, and religions for the most base of reasons. Amidst the suffering, we call on our leaders to bring peace and resolution. However, the peace that we are seeking is not the top down kind of change that we should look towards our politicians for. What we are seeking requires a systematic change that occurs from the inside out.
We must first cultivate an inner peace within ourselves. This is best accomplished by developing love and kindness towards others. Like the Dalai Lama, we must take this responsibility to one another seriously. When this is done on a small scale in every community throughout the world, an undeniable force of peace is created.
For more on the transformational power of change listen to this great episode of Jack Kornfield’s Heart Wisdom.
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