What is the secret to create long-lasting social change? If it’s inner peace, how can it be strong enough to transform the world?
I love Kung Fu Panda movies. For years I have been watching them, not only because they are wonderfully made but also because they contain Zen wisdom. One of the scenes that I love in the movie is a scene where Master Shifu tells Po: “Remember Dragon Warrior, anything is possible, when you have inner peace!”
Is it so?
During my spiritual journey, I’ve learned how to find and be at peace through suffering and pain. None of us can escape from sufferings; it’s just a condition of the world that is based on yin and yang energy where everything has its opposite. Some of us may be born into the safest and most protected environment, but it’s still not a guarantee for happiness as we will experience emotional and psychological pain. Sometimes, the mental sufferings are the hardest ones to embrace in life on our journey finding happiness.
However, I’ve also learned that it’s possible to experience deep inner peace amidst the pain. Happiness can be short-lived and dependent on external circumstances whereas inner peace transcends dualities. Click To Tweet It’s possible to be at peace while suffering just as much as it’s possible to be peacefully happy! Perhaps this is the reason why I, for years of intense spiritual transformation, always cultivate practices that can deepen my experience and understanding of inner peace. The most magical aspect of it is that there is always something new to learn, something more deeply to experience. One moment of inner peace can never be the same as the next moment of peace.
Is this a “good enough” reason for why we should find inner peace? For some it may be, for others, it’s not enough. One of the misinterpretations that I’ve stumbled upon is that inner peace can be “boring” and passive. When we’re at peace, where comes the drive for change? Especially in the field of social change, whenever we experience injustice situations, they fuel us to protest, object and make a change. Resentment, anger or even despair are sometimes the needed emotions that we have to feel before we dare to fight for justice and equality. I understand. But is this the only path there is?
I believe there is another path; the path which Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Jane Goodall have understood and applied in their work.
It’s the path of peace. And I would argue that when we let inner peace guide us on our journey of change making, the impact will be tenfold. Click To Tweet
Here is why:
What most people don’t fully understand is that being at peace is not the same as being inactive where one becomes paralyzed and cannot take any action. Being at peace is about accepting “What-is” wholeheartedly, but it’s not the same as saying “this (injustice) situation is ok”.
“What-is” only refers to this moment, this second, this breath, right here, right now. It’s a state of being where one is free from inner resistance. Then, one would be able to FEEL the next righteous action that one is meant to take.
Why is this important?
It is because we can never fully understand the consequences of our choices and how they affect the Balance of the Whole. Therefore we must act wisely, and the only way for us to listen to our inner wisdom is through inner peace. When we’re at peace, we also won’t get absorbed and drawn into the dramas that many people can activate in us. In short,
peace allows us to make a different choice; a choice that can be based on trust and love, not on fear and resentment. Essentially, inner peace is necessary for making a positive social change as it empowers every action that we take.
Peace starts within. We cannot create powerful and lasting social impact if we don’t do it from the energy of inner peace. This is the reason why I love Jane Goodall’s message of Peace where she perfectly connects inner peace to world peace. I hope you’ll watch the video and realise that peace is the path itself and not only the end goal for a better world.
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