One of my favorite mental pictures is of Bilbo or Frodo Baggins starting off on a grand adventure – walking through the gentle paths of the Shire off into the greater world of Middle Earth and into the vast unknown. I’ve taken many different paths in life as well – some easier than others – but in every path is a lesson and a new experience; and perhaps just around the next bend is something totally unexpected that will change your life forever – you just don’t ever know. I like paths for the symbolism that they represent, as a metaphor for life itself. Paths may be relaxing or treacherous, but with all paths you need some kind of map or idea as to where it leads you or you’ll probably never reach your destination in life.
Often in our world today, people and organizations are in a reactive mode – reacting to the symptoms of a situation and never identifying the root cause or addressing the real issue at hand. Like a meandering path through a field of wildflowers leading into a distant forest, if you don’t know the root cause of an issue you’ll never solve it – or take an excessive amount of time chipping away at the edges with no guarantee that you will reach the core of the issue to solve the problem. A reactive world is not a productive world, because time, energy and resources are wasted on the symptoms and not on solving the issue or problem at hand.
So it is that when I hear politicians discussing the world’s problems and describing the path to peace, the road to peace or the peace process – I see an attempt to chip away at the issue and few results to show for their efforts. The simple answer and truth is that the path to peace both begins and ends in the hearts of all people. The lack of peace in our world – at all levels – is directly related to the lack of love in the hearts of those who are at odds with one another over any issue that comes between them.
This is as true for families and neighbors as it is for countries, and it is only through love that the problems of the world can and will be solved – because the lack of peace in the world prevents almost all other issues from being solved as well. To do almost anything successfully in this world first requires an environment of peace in order to allow for a cooperative and combined effort in all other possible areas: clean water and sanitation, food production and agriculture, medicine, justice and the rule of law, education, technology, economics, transportation, communication, science, exploration, travel, entertainment and the arts, etc. – the list is endless.
So when you hear politicians discussing the path to peace and don’t hear the word love mentioned, you know that they are only treating the symptoms of the issues that divide people and nations – and not addressing the true cause – which is a lack of love in the hearts of man. One of the reasons politicians fail to address love as the only path that leads to true peace, is because they may not understand the true nature of love themselves. For love is a process where one steps outside of oneself, and blends what was one individual nature with that of another.
In romantic love it is the case of two individuals becoming one in a union of souls. Love for God is the immersion of oneself into both the Nature and the Will of the Creator of the Universe who first loved us. Love for communities and nations is a blending of oneself with the hopes and aspirations of all other like-minded individuals, who have now become a greater union of common respect and understanding – treating one another as we would also want to be treated – the essence of the, “Golden Rule” which is found in different versions in almost every religious teaching.
So if there is one primary issue in the world that needs to be solved, so that all other issues in our world can also be solved – the primary issue and task at hand is to bring peace to the world – and the only path to true peace is love. So let us all work together in the world today to spread love to one another – and perhaps one day soon – we’ll realize that peace has indeed arrived in our world through our love for one another…because only love can bring true and lasting peace to our world. 🙂