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Front Page » August 6, 2002 » Opinion » Peaceful ways of Life
Published 5,317 days ago

Peaceful ways of Life

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At some point in my lifetime someone thought of the simple drawing of the "smiley face." More recently another someone recognized that if you draw it with a wrinkle or two on the forehead curving up, when it is turned upside down, it appears as a sad or, perhaps, angry face.

I suggest that we try turning some things we find sad or irritating upside in our mind. This may lead to new discoveries of the meaning of those events of how we can better deal with them.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the well known peacemaker, recommends smiling as the most basic thing an individual can do to make peace. Whatever else we will do to engender peace at home, in school, at work or in the wider world can only be effective, if we are at peace with ourselves and yo be able to smile sincerely. We need to be aware of our feelings; what we do, or want to do, given those feelings. This awareness allows us to decide what is best and will be at peace as we act on the decision.

So often we hear on the news of escalating violence some place in the world. When one person or group does something violent, the most frequent immediate response is to be violent in return. And often that "return" is to be even more so! Or at least to threaten to be.

What would happen if people, at all levels, when they perceive they've been mistreated, or others have been, would begin to escalate ways to show love? Each can take opportunities to be more loving toward those who are close to us, family and friends, as well as anyone we meet. That's where a "smiley face" comes in.

Perhaps when we're hurt and/or feel angry, we can think of that silly "smiley face" before we give the sharp response to brother or sister, husband or wife, etc. It can lead us to seek another, a peaceful way of dealing with the situation. Your family, as a group, might take time to reflect together on how to do it and what it might be like. How would it feel?

Try drawing the reversible face. Talk about which one you would like to have and why.

We fear the violence of fire that is out of control and threatens home and life. On the other hand, when the energy of fire peacefully warms us and makes us comfortable, we welcome it. We've been thinking of love expressed in the symbol of a "smiley face" as the energy of peace that each in your family can show forth rather than an increase of the energy of the wildfire of violence. That love warmth will be passed on to others.

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August 6, 2002
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