These days, peace has a general definition based on a negative. Take anyone at random and ask what peace is, and they will tell you that it is the absence of war, the opposite of strife.
Peace is thus seen as something beyond us, something that has to do with the “grand scheme of things” rather than our everyday life.
This understanding influences greatly how we think, how we speak and how we act.
I find that increasingly, people become annoyed and too often resort to agressiveness as their first reaction when faced with something they dislike —be it being stuck in traffic, waiting in line, not getting an immediate answer to a message, or anything that goes against what they had expected.
The reaction can go from cursing internally (I personally see that as self-inflicted harm) and blaming others, to straight out shouting.
A mix in various degrees of (1) impatience; (2) an exaggerated sense of self, in other words a lack of humility; and (3) the idea that living means imposing oneself on the world, are some of the causes that lead to such reactions.
Where am I heading with this you may ask?
I am heading towards peace. Yes, peace, salam, shalom, paz, мир(mir)—say it in whatever language you chose.
Peace is the ability to react in a gentle way to any situation, be it annoying or not.
Peace is not the ability to control or eliminate anything, be it anger or impatience or war.
Peace is not a state of mind.
Peace itself is an act.
Peace is positive and purposeful.
Peace is humility. It is patience and it is kindness.
Peace is filled with the potential for love and is itself a product of love.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27.
Caveat: in some parts of the world I had the privilege to visit or to live, agressiveness, even in its mildest form, was very rare and politeness, and hence respect, generally prevailed.
Inspiration: peace, and the persistent inability to understand much of the world.