What does it take to obtain world peace? This is THE million dollar question! This very question was posed to myself and a group of citizen diplomats invited to Turkey last month. We were invited as a delegation of “peace ambassadors” to bridge the worlds where East literally meets West—Istanbul; the crossroads of civilization. World peace begins with leaving the comfort zones of your culture and exploring the cultures (e.g., food, music, religion, politics, history, etc.) of others. “World travel,” it is said, “is one of the best forms of education!” Yet travel isn’t enough to invoke world peace. A critical factor of world peace is dialogue; a sacred space among people where thoughts and feeling are shared, similarities are honored and differences are respected… or at least accepted. As the saying goes, “Changing the world is an inside job!” To create a sacred space for dialogue, one must first lower one’s defenses (also known as keeping an open mind and personal stress not only closes the mind, it often puts a lock on it! ) To create a sacred space for dialogue, one must also disarm the ego; its most powerful skill includes judgment/prejudice (of others looks, accents, belief systems, etc.) In essence, world peace begins with inner peace; coming to terms (cultivating an inner dialogue) with one’s own shortcomings, opinions, prejudices and insecurities. Making peace with oneself is the first criteria for world peace!
• Stress Tip(s) for the Day:
How open is your mind these days? Does your level of personal stress eclipse the opportunity for new ideas, new experiences, even new relationships with people who look different, talk different and think differently than yourself? Do you take time to regularly domesticate your ego and cultivate inner peace within yourself? Are you able to create a sacred space for dialogue with others of different nationalities, religions, and ethnic backgrounds in which to listen, share and learn? Whether you know it or not, you too, are a citizen diplomat and peace ambassador! Consider stepping outside your “cultural box” today and initiate a dialogue with people outside your social network of friends and family. No one ever said world peace was easy, yet everyone agrees its necessary, perhaps more so now than ever before! The next step is yours!
• Links/Books Worth Noting:
The link below will direct you to a special group of luminaries in Turkey who hold a light for world peace. Please take a moment to visit this site and learn more about what groups of people around the world are doing to hold a sacred space for dialogue.
• Photo of the Day:
On my last day in Istanbul, our guides took us to the famed Blue Mosque, so named for the exquisit blue tiles that grace the second floor. Commissioned hundreds of years ago by a Sultan at the age of 16, the Blue Mosque, with six minarets, has become one of the iconic symbols of Istanbul. It is situated on the European side of the city, adjacent to the Hagia Sofia, a former cathedral (built by Emperor Constantine around the year 400 A.D.), former mosque (at the start of the Ottoman Empire) and now historic museum. And.. if you ever get the chance, consider a vacation trip to Turkey. The hospitality, food, culture, history and sights are beyond compare!
• Quote for the Day:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” —M. Gandhi
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.