Is she putting the eye in? Or pulling it out? While looking for a graphic for this piece, I thought how perfect this one was, how many ways one could interpret this piece–and how applicable it is to our every day lives. Like the steps in this picture, many of us make it our business to build towards “justice,” “empowerment,” and “peace.” And yet, I will admit that in my more reflective moments, I have often felt even more bruised in those circles than in others that have no interest in such noble efforts. Sure, at times, I have wondered if it’s just my sensitivities being temporarily heightened, and I’ve also turned the mirror around and tried to asses if there were times I was promoting peace, and brought someone down in the process. I’m sure I have.
Note that this is not a post about “how nice are you?” although I recognize that is how some people define peace. Peace, for me, is less about the outward “showmanship” of “niceness,” and more about the principles behind the nice–the motives behind the hand shake and the smile–the sacrifice one makes to reach a common goal, even if it means compromising one’s personal agenda. Peace makers, for me, pursue justice…the type of justice yet to be seen, but worth fighting for. Peace makers are protesters, attorneys, radicals, food industry workers, clergy, non-conformists–they wear many faces. And I believe that we are currently in a moment where unrest must occur for peace to be actualized.
It is for this reason that it is even more crucial that those who see themselves as pursuers of peace are not operating in opposition to that goal. We cannot be carriers of a message of temple building, while tearing down the temple standing right next to us–whether with our words, deeds, separatism, whispers, pillow talk, or gossip. It jeopardizes the integrity of the mission, and the potential for collaboration. Even in faith circles, there are moments where within the same message of peace, we will tear another group down to deliver the very same message. So while I wait for my lunch to be delivered (’cause it’s raining), I’m actually just taking a moment to make sure that my attempts at love, unity, and peace are not just macro-relevant, but micro as well–evident in my every day interactions will all that have breath. Here are some questions I’m asking to determine: Am I building one through peace, or breaking one to pieces?
- What is the “root” of my peace? Does it lie within self? my work? my connections? Seriously, what principles are guiding my daily interactions with others?
- Am I operating in a Collective framework, inclusive of all ideas, or am I Cliquish, concerned about my core group of comrades and our little circles needs and agendas? (Membership only occurs if you down with the pre-determined goals of the Clique)
- Is the piece of me that is oppressed and hurting preventing me from seeing a peace that I have yet to experience?
- Does my Public Display of peace, justice, and empowerment match my Private Discourse of people I know…or think I know?
- Do I have Rule Maker Syndrome? (I make the rules, dammit…but peace and blessings anyhow)
- How “hyper critical” am I of what I see in a person? Do I see the piece I want to see, or the whole person?
- How do I display peace? Do I only display a piece of my peace to the pieces of the world that are congruent with my beliefs, ideals, and judgments? And how does that impact my overall pursuit of peace for all?
Just some thoughts I’ve been pondering on as I tweak the pieces of me that may not be as peaceful as I’d like to believe.
Time for some #INwork