Have you ever wondered why there is so much warfare, strife, and conflict out there? Mother Teresa supposedly replied to an invitation to participate in an anti-war demonstration by saying: “You can invite me when you are planning a pro-peace event.” The perspective is fundamentally different.
Ask yourself how you think. We tend to be against certain politics, hate such-and-such a person, dislike fish, mind the rain, despise the humidity, or have a dust allergy. In summary, we very much know everything we don’t like. The problem with that perspective is that it creates adversity and conflict, inside ourselves and outside in the world around us. It reinforces the negative.
When we can’t get along with our neighbor because he mows his lawn at odd hours, and we dislike him for it and stop talking to him, we create conflict. When we can’t have a spirited but civil dinner table conversation with a person of the other political party, we create conflict. When we spray pesticides on the little critters in the garden, we create conflict. When we forbid our children certain activities or certain behavior, it creates conflict.
How about looking at it the other way round, in the affirmative? This refocuses our outlook on what we like, on what we want, and want more of. How about rewarding your children (even just with kind words) for the type of behavior you would like to see more of? How about marching for peace? How about modeling the behavior you would like to see in others? How about making a list of all the things and people you do appreciate? How about remembering everything that went right today?
The war within and without keep going if we keep feeding the fire. How about starving that fire instead?