The best we seem to manage in life is experience short periods of tranquillity or feelings of euphoria that pass too quickly. Most are just fleeting moments that become wonderful memories we carry with us for the rest of our lives. However, we can do better. We can have both peace of mind and a sense of harmony as normal parts of daily life, even in the midst of turmoil and sadness, if we are realistic and aim for dynamic peace and happiness.
The word dynamic means vibrant, lively, energetic and surprising. Dynamic peace immediately becomes more appealing and exciting than constant tranquillity over the long term. Therefore, peace and happiness can vary without being lost, because it is really based on something deeper than the fluctuations and disturbances appearing on the surface. Large fluctuations can occur without destroying the overall sense of stability within human relationships when the people involved follow the guidelines that transform conflict into creative conflict. They can learn from nature and experience harmony in disputes.
Four themes run through the material on the Road of Peace website and I will explore these in future blogs. Using these four themes as the framework was inspired by the work of Brendan McKeague, lead trainer with Pace e Bene Australia.
1. Exploring our relationship to other people; to the environment and to the cosmos
(or God, by whatever name).
Included under this heading are things like identity, self esteem, self confidence and
morals, as well as beliefs and values regarding authority (ours and theirs).
2. The ways in which our culture affects how we relate to each other.
Included under this heading are things like love, sexism, racism, social status,
structural and systemic inequality and discrimination.
3. Where and how to regain spiritual and emotional strength when life gets tough.
Included under this heading are the myriad of ‘self esteem service stations’ people
use to lift their spirits, ranging from religious practices to secular activities such as
shopping and sport.
4. Exploring new and better ways to enhance problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Included under this heading are various sets of conflict resolution methods and
guidelines, as well as the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Dorothy Day,
and various religious figures.