To everyone . . .
A beautiful passage in a spiritual book I am committed to reading on a daily basis included these lines a few days ago: To everyone I offer quietness; to everyone I offer peace of mind; to everyone I offer gentleness. I was moved by the wisdom and the Holiness of these words. I am also convinced that if everyone were to live by them, we’d eliminate war, family dysfunction, community chaos, bullying, even divorce, perhaps. For certain, hearts and minds would be completely changed.
One of the key elements here is to remember that what we “do to one,” we do to all. It only takes the decision to be quiet or peaceful or gentle with one person to pave the way for repeat performances on demand. What a different world we might live in if we practiced being gentle for one day only. Offering the hand of peace, as is suggested in some churches, to everyone we encounter, would make every experience one to savor.
I didn’t grow up in a “gentle” household. My dad was too often angry and my mother, generally too brow-beaten to stand up for herself. Walking away from an unwanted and unnecessary argument, and most of them are, rather than engaging, which always adds to the tension level in a home; is a choice we can always make. Unfortunately, we can choose to be silent, and remain angry. And that’s not our goal. That choice doesn’t add to the “storehouse of peace” which we can all add to by selecting more carefully our responses to any one and every situation.
It may seem too simple to “fill the storehouse,” but I sincerely believe that the more we engage with others from a peaceful place, the more we add to that storehouse. As it fills up, we can request a bit of help when the words we need to foster peace in a situation are failing to come to us. We can draw on the storehouse just like we withdraw funds from the bank. Sound strange? Indeed not. It’s the Holy navigation system that has protected many individuals for hundreds of years.
How exciting this adventure called life is when we are willing to live it a bit more humanely, a bit more humbly, a bit more slowly. There is no hurry to get where we are going. But we can reach the final destination with a lighter heart if we so choose. Are you willing to choose again?