One of the most memorable quotes from Mother Teresa is when she stated, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
This was not the answer that many were expecting. But oftentimes the simplest suggestions are the most profound.
Peace must begin in our homes before it can spread to the world. And for peace to be in our home, it must first be inside each of us.
These are troubling times and there is great division in our country. This presidential election cycle is the most vicious that I have witnessed. When combined with the recent protests and the horrific tragedy in Dallas, many feel distressed.
Below are three suggestions that I hope help you achieve more tranquility in your life during this turbulent political season.
1. Focus on your own inner peace. This occurs in very different ways for individuals, whether spending time in prayer, making time for relaxation, or confiding all your feelings to someone close to you. But make nurturing your soul a priority.
2. Focus on expressing your voice. Avoid a feeling of helplessness by becoming aware of the issues facing your community, state, and country. Then contact your representatives, from a local school board member to your Congressperson, and respectfully state your beliefs. A deep peace is often found by knowing you got involved and did something.
3. Focus on your family. I bring us back to Mother Teresa's advice above. Love your spouse/significant other, spend time with your children, and make your home as peaceful as you wish the world to be. Most importantly, teach the members of your family to love and respect others without prejudices interfering and to show tolerance to people who have different beliefs.
There are many different ideas about what is best for our country. It helps to use more positive thoughts and language towards those who differ from you (i.e. "misinformed" rather than "stupid").
Showing love when you disagree is not easy, and may even be the hardest like of love.
That love transcends reason, that love changes lives. (I remind my Christian friends that this is how Jesus loved us.)
When two people who disagree treat each other with dignity and respect, that is a very beautiful kind of love.
(Kindly note: tomorrow I will be posting part two for this topic, on finding peace within social media.)