Sunday, March 28, 2010

Define:peace - Common Meanings For Peace

How interesting that even such an ideal state as "peace" is defined by its opposite. The commonly given meaning for the word "peace" is "the prevailing state during an absence of war"; "the time between periods of conflict", or "a treaty to end hostilities".

Other web meanings for peace include: "harmonious relations; freedom from disputes" and "the absence of mental stress or anxiety".

Personally, I like "harmonious relations". It seems to be the only positively spun, self-sufficent definition that good old Google has put before the masses. It does not speak of dischord and lack, absence or opposing ways of being. It is a little limited though in that, for me at least, peace is not just about interacting harmoniously with others - it's also about FEELING harmonious.

Perhaps we have not yet adequately defined peace? Given, as my high school English teacher would say, you cannot use a thing to define itself. Meaning, it's not enough to say "peace is feeling peaceful". Ha ha ha!

So what is peace, in this personal sense of the word? Uh oh... perhaps it is "the absence of mental stress or anxiety". Another definition that speaks of lack and opposites! No no no... surely we can do better?

I like some of these definitions from the Macquarie Dictionary*:

Peace is: 

  • ease of mind or conscience;
  • a state of being tranquil or serene;
  • a state conducive, due to, or characterised by tranquillity or calm;
  • quiet; stillness; silence.

I'd like to stretch this a bit though... could we live with a definition of peace that is somethng like this?

Peace: A Definition

Peace is a state of love, generosity and expansion in which the mind is still and heart is open.

I think, for today anyway, that's going to be my definition. If you have suggestions though, I'd love to hear your definition of peace.

* Source: The Macquarie Dictionary. © Macquarie University, Published by Macquarie Library Pty Ltd (online edition 2005).

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Doing It Anyway... with Love

I came across this black-and-white, dark-and-light prose poem today and kind of liked it. Maybe you will too.

"People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway." - Anonymous

About World Peace
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