“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him “ – Buddha. We all have adversaries in life. Countries are at war because of perceived enemies; people are fighting and killing each other because of perceived differences and creating adversaries. Peace seems to be in short supply across the world. Even in our own homes husbands and wives cannot stay together peacefully. Especially during the current imposed lock down due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
The world we know to day is not as it was a few years ago. There seems to be a break down of peace in the world today. It seems to me that when you belong to a different grouping or race you are enemies. And for some of us who live in countries that have enjoyed relative peace for a very long time we seem to be taking it for granted. We seem to have forgotten that the peace we enjoy today was fought for by our fore fathers. I have been doing some reading and researching on how we can learn to maintain peace with our perceived enemies. Key word perceived.
I came to a conclusion that most of the reasons for the enmity around us is purely greediness, ignorance and fear of the unknown. Most of us are scared of what we don’t know or understand. You see fear exposes our weaknesses and we counter it by being angry and hateful. It makes us want to eliminate that which makes us angry and in the process we lose our peace.
I came across a very interesting story by Daryl Davis. He is one of the very few black men who used to attend rallies of the Ku Klux Klan popularly known as the KKK. Daryl had become friends with the Grand Dragon of the Klan and over time he would be invited to attend their rallies. At the rallies he was even allowed to take pictures. Now if you know what the KKK stood for, you will agree with me that this was an extraordinary friendship. Even though the leader of the Klan insisted that he was superior to Daryl justified by the differences in their skin colour.
In his story Daryl stresses that ignorance breeds fear. For sure we are as human beings are always fearful of the things we do not understand. I have experienced fear without actually knowing what the fear is all about. I believe this is just a defense mechanism we have developed overtime. If only we could take more time to understand our adversaries. We would be making the right decisions and learn to live in peace. It is amazing how we hate people we do not even know based on the colour of their skin or tribe or political grouping. Yet most of us profess to be Christians. The bible I read tells me that “Do onto others what you would want them do onto you” it also tells me that “we are all equal before the eyes of God”. Find here below Daryl Davis telling his story.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” – Mother Teresa. Perhaps we need to be reminded that we are all interconnected and belong to each other. If we can spend time to respect and accept each others uniqueness the world would be a better and peaceful place for all. After all God instructs us to love our enemies as we love ourselves. Remember to standout tall and be counted and keep the conversation going with your adversaries.