Millions of well-meaning people every day pray for peace. It's so easy to do, pray for someone else to do something, whether it be the Deity, or other people. But Peace is, very simply, the absence of aggression. And it is we who create aggression. We pray for peace, we say we want peace, while all the time we are unaware, or unwilling to accept, that it is we ourselves who create aggression every day in our normal everyday lives.

We create aggression in the home when we are not at peace with ourselves and take it out on others. If we are not content in our lives then we have a responsibility to ourselves and those we come in contact with, to make a change. The first step is acceptance, saying 'I am not happy in my life'. Analyze why, then set about making the necessary change. It may be difficult, it may take time. One's inner guidance, or instinct, can often help. But it needs to be done.

We create aggression in the home when families are not united, and that can have many causes. The causes must be found and eliminated.

Often there is aggression between parents and their children. This can be overcome by raising children, not with 'do as I tell you' discipline, not with a total lack of discipline, but simply by harnessing the power of karma, the Law of Cause and Effect. Children must be made to understand through careful explanation and anecdotal examples that every action has an effect, an effect which you yourself will suffer, good or bad. If your room is a mess, you have to live with it. If you mess up your life, you will have to live with it. If you drive a car irresponsibly you and you alone are responsible for the consequences which, like 'just trying' indiscriminate sex or mind-bending substances, can ruin your life.

As you grow up, those who consider themselves, and whom you may consider, in authority over you, fall away from your life. New people come in, then go. Your relationships throughout your life will be a constantly changing kaleidoscope, with very few constants – except for one, one person who will be with you all your life. That is you. If you study at school your teachers may be pleased with your performance, your parents too. But it is you and only you who will reap the benefits – or suffer the lack if you slack.

Children must also be taught at the earliest possible age a zero tolerance for any kind of aggression towards others. In a home which claims to want peace there can be no place for aggression. Nor can schools let it pass in any form. Today bullying in schools is widespread and nothing is done. How then can we ever hope for peace in the world? Peace starts here, through the systematic determination not to generate aggression.

The most important lesson in life is learning to be nice to people. It makes for a happy home, friendly, cooperative neighbours, and a pleasant day at work. And from a totally selfish point of view, it's amazing how cooperative and helpful people can be if you approach them sensitively, amicably, and if you can manage it, with a touch of humour. If you have a genuine complaint, the iron hand in the velvet glove can often be a successful route to a remedy.

We need to be on watch for aggression at every moment. Driving in traffic can be a major source. Important here are patience, good-nature, and humour (perhaps he's racing to hospital where his dear old white-haired mother is dying – to someone who speeds by). And on the positive side, generating goodwill by letting others into the line, stopping for someone to back-in and park sets in motion a train of goodwill, just as an aggressive act can set in motion a train of aggression.

It is we ourselves who create aggression. Peace will only come to our world when we stop.



5. A Social System for Peace

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