We usually think of living peacefully as the absence of war or the lack of contention in neighborhoods or families. However, for now let us consider it in the light of a quote from Ralph W. Emerson, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
Dissatisfaction, an antonym for peace, seems a predominant force in today’s society. For instance, advertisements treat us like donkeys, dangling fresh carrots in front of our noses. They tell us that buying their product will bring us happiness. All they want is our money, whether or not we can afford the expense. Buying beyond our resources always means grief, not peace. Which is better, temporary pleasure or lasting harmony? We do have a choice.
The joy of just doing or being your best is lost in all of the competition geared to, win at all costs; making heroes of those who die trying. Where is the peace or satisfaction in never doing quite enough? Even when you win, competition ahead is never-ending.
Children who were never taught “no” at home have to learn rules some time, somewhere, or they never attain self-discipline. How can a child feel any control in life if its parents cover-up instead of making the child take responsibility for a wrong action or choice? How could that possibly make for peaceful living for any individual, (parent or child)? Think carefully before you choose to follow the admonitions of others or your own pride.
The role of women in society has drastically changed. Women definitely should receive equal pay for equal work. But why does the female of the species feel compelled to PROVE that she is as intelligent as any man? Does she doubt it herself? If men doubt it, that proves their own ignorance, not hers. Decide which way you look at it to gain your own peace. Remember that each person is unique in abilities and needs.
Discontent with the traditional role of homemaking and motherhood is rampant.
(Women forced to assume both roles in life deserve more than admiration and respect.) Conversely, a young mother who foregoes the frills and thrills of other careers is deemed inferior for doing without that extra income. Nurturing her children is not living up to her potential; therefore, she is pitied or condemned. Think about it. How could any life be more empowering than one that guides the next generation into a productive, satisfying existence?
Emerson was right. Serenity comes from within.
Each person has the right to ignore exterior influences, (that keeping up with the Joneses syndrome), and opt for peaceful living inside his or her own unique life.
ã Eva Braswell 2006
Author's request: Please, if you have time, offer feedback. Thank You