We all have a responsibility to experience peace on an increasingly regular basis. Emotional turmoil, especially that which is rooted in destructive feelings such as fear, anxiety, anger, or hatred, is at the basis of all conflict in the world. These negative emotional and psychological tendencies color our perspective on the world in dark ways: we see enemies rather than other human beings. We see threat, rather than life situations that could instead be perceived as inspiring challenges.
Moreover, whatever our internal experiences, they are never without effect on the outer world. No human being is separate from the rest of humanity, and our state of mind has an effect, for good or ill, on the people around us. Regardless of whether we choose our mental emotional landscape consciously and positively or unconsciously and destructively, it has an impact on others, and these thoughts and feelings, positive or negative, tend to influence more of the same, whatever that may be.
The one thing we always have complete freedom to choose is our state of mind. We may have little or no control over the outside circumstances of our lives, but we always have the ability to choose how we perceive and respond to those circumstances.
And as our thoughts and feelings influence others, so too do theirs have an effect on the people around them as well, so that our choices spread out in a subtle but significant chain reaction that ultimately touches everyone everywhere in some way. Like the butterfly whose wings move the air, which in turn effects the air around that, and around that, finally effecting in some unknown way even the weather patterns in distant locations of the world, so too do we touch the world with our influence.
In that sense, we all have responsibility for the state of world affairs. Are we choosing peace, compassion, empathy, tolerance, acceptance, understanding, or are we choosing more destructively? We will all have an influence, the only question is, what will it be?
On a personal level, these inner perspectives also tend to draw us into outer situations and circumstances that most closely reflect the inner landscape. Self-fulfilling prophecies are a natural fact of life, and more often than not, we tend to get what we expect, in one way or another. Dire expectations tend to attract more unpleasant results.
So too it is on the collective level. The emotional psychological state of groups of people, in a family, a city, a nation, or the world, and their expectations, create the outer events in the world. Anyone who works on Wall Street can tell you just how true this is. The market is most often driven not by facts, but by collective beliefs and expectations.
It all begins with each of us and our moment to moment choices of how to be. Are we choosing peace in this moment? Or turmoil? When tempted with the possibility of reacting with fear, anger, anxiety, resentment, or hostility, we can instead choose peace. We can choose compassion. We can choose acceptance and tolerance and equanimity.
We are responsible for these choices, whether we are aware of it or not.
Choose wisely today.