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Speakers With Spark: World peace, please

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Column by Susan Rider

Sitting at an airport this last month in Newark, New Jersey, I met a very interesting person who was a Buddhist. We were chatting and she shared a chant for world peace and individual happiness.

She said if you want peace in the world, first you must find peace within. After just getting caught up on tragic global news, her thought was a refreshing one.

Many people are looking for their life’s purpose or the purpose for events and happenings. Wondering why, what if? There may never be an answer or a peace from some events in the past. But there always is a promise of tomorrow and finding the bridge from the hurt of the past to the promise of tomorrow is the real challenge.

Knowing that tomorrow is never promised or guaranteed may bring gentle awareness to cherish the now and live each day as if it was your last. I’ve heard this saying all of my life, but not until several years ago did the meaning really sink in and alter the way I lived my life.

There are so many wise sayings one must wonder if we only heeded the advice given from others if it would pave an easier path in our lives today.

When you’re younger, it seems you’re not always as open to advice and want to find your way on your own. Parents strive to help their children “see” and choose the right path to avoid some bumps and bruises. Many times, the advice falls on deaf ears and the child chooses to explore and discern the right or wrong path on their own.

The parent feels helpless and useless, ultimately coming to the decision that we humans can’t change the thoughts or feelings of any others. We are responsible for our own and when we find peace from within that shows as a shiny example to others seeking joy that peace gives to life.

This interesting, caring lady shared she had lost her daughter in a car crash, leaving behind a 2-year-old daughter of her own. Her solution was to find peace from within knowing her daughter would have wanted only joy for the ones left behind.

“It’s a life-long process and not a one-time event,” she said.

She offered some sage advice: Peace can be found in stillness. Taking a few minutes of stillness will allow more harmony and joy in your life.

Taking a few moments each day to recharge your batteries. “To fuel the oil lamp so that it may burn ever brightly, you must keep filling your lamp,” as Mother Teresa said.

Many times it is in stillness we find our purpose in life. By taking care of yourself, you fuel your lamp. Try taking care of yourself first in order to take better care of the people you love. Many times, wonderful, caring people will give all of their energies to help others to the point of exhaustion. Not doing themselves or others much good.

If you create a habit of giving yourself perpetual care, you also will be fueled and ready to give to others. Keep your body in a harmonious state by doing the things it needs: meditation, exercise, prayer, nature walks, watching the sunsets and sunrises. These things will help fuel your lamp so you continue to burn brightly.

Buddhists believe every person goes through a dark time in life. It is during the dark time they find and discover the meaning of life or their life purpose.

It’s like the lotus flower in a swamp. The swamp is dark, murky and nasty water, but evolving from that water is a beautiful, pure-white lotus flower.

There always are times that will sadden us. We were saddened last month when two beautiful individuals from the same family left our earthy presence. The community responded, strangers near and far responded with love and compassion. There was a heart-to-heart connection that superseded thoughts and actions.

It is times like this when the silver lining becomes the love and care total strangers have for each other.

It makes you wonder that if this compassion and love was ever-present there wouldn’t be any hatred, wars or crime.

This family will never know the true impact these two, beautiful young lives cut short had on people globally. People globally mourned and prayed for this family and the tragedy that changed their lives.

This airport stranger shared with me she believes we are in the beginning of a human revolution where there is tolerance, understanding, openness and love for each other. A beautiful world of coexistence and unity.

As I listened intently, I couldn’t help but hope that what she was saying would come true.

Susan Rider is Speakers with Spark’s Lead Dynamo. She lives in LaRue County.