Today we celebrate the 41st anniversary of The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”). Peace Day was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote tolerance of our vast global ways of existing. However, what is peace and how do we create it? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, peace is defined as the freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. We typically view peace as the removal of chaos from the outside world.
Who wouldn’t want a harmonious planet where: homelessness is eradicated, children have plenty of food, and lives are not traumatized by unnecessary violence? Peace can be defined in multiple ways, but what is most important is how we learn to apply peaceful practices to our own daily lives.
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
In the book, Emergent Strategy written by author Adrienne Maree Brown, she engages in the ideas of listening, humility, and how facilitating ease contributes to a foundation that uplifts our global community. First, what is “Emergent Strategy?” Emergent strategy is “for humans to practice being in the right relationship to our home and each other, to practice complexity, and grow a compelling future together through relatively simple interactions.”
Solutions are present on a micro level regarding our individualistic decisions when interacting with the material world. The development of self-awareness can evolve through active listening. Brown suggests, “the less I engage in gossip, the less I harbor suspicion, the more space I find within myself for miraculous experiences.”
Narratives drive our world, and us?
Our entire essence of being on this planet is shaped by narratives. Some narratives are clenched so tight in the fist of humankind, that taking another’s life is preferable to looking them in the eye and seeing a glimpse of ourselves. New narratives have equal opportunity to emerge, as the narratives that keep us hostage can be surrendered. Brown writes, “to a certain degree, our entire future depend on learning to listen, listen without assumptions or defense.” Listening requires an individual to remain open and receptive. When we can choose to listen to one another, we open a portal that brings us all one step closer to humility.
How does humility impact us?
Humility in our capability to learn is extraordinary. Yet, where is the focus of our narrative? Do we learn to expand our minds through diverse perspectives or seek to reinforce the beliefs we already ‘know’ to be true? Humility is curiosity. How many are genuinely intrigued with the phenomenon that is the beauty of earth? Questions become irrelevant; when a predominantly singular story removes the responsibility of the individual to think for themselves.
Distractions become numbing to reality; the one where we look one another in the eye. Brown explains that “the practice of humility—enough humility to learn, to be taught, to have teachers” is beneficial to shape change. Is our learning focused on creating harmonious relationships? It is our connections with others that provide a stream of the information we consume. If our speech repeats the same patterns of exclusion and judgment; where is the space to learn “everyone is my teacher”?
How do we benefit from this shift in perception?
We open ourselves up to listen. An opportunity to appreciate how other intelligent humans conduct their responses to our shared world. If there is one major contributing factor to all of our lives it is resources. Planet earth does a remarkable service by providing elements keen for our survival: trees, air, water, and sunshine. Our current dilemma is that these resources have been allocated to produce mass destruction, starvation, and homelessness–by us.
However, let’s change the narrative. An emergent strategy that can be applied in Brown’s book is facilitation. “At its most fundamental, facilitation is the art of making things easy, making it easier for humans to work together and get things done.” In other words, to help you is to help me. When happiness is sought for others it will be uncovered within me. ‘How may I serve’ holds the equal potential to ‘how may I harm’? It is the direction of thought that determines the direction of the chosen narrative.
How do we apply facilitation in our daily lives?
The practice of facilitation fulfills a fundamental craving of ours—connection. Brown offers “we all have the capacity to heal each other—healer is a possibility in each of us.” Isn’t this the narrative we need to make strides toward peace? To be able to understand that our independent thoughts, words, and actions can directly correlate to the improvement of everyone.
Separation does not exist; however, boundaries do allow mutual respect for one another to be maintained. We exist to have an individualized experience, but share a core foundation of love. “When I fear the universe, I fear myself. When I love and am in awe of the universe, I love and am in awe of myself. Imagine then the power when I align with the universe.” To align with loving thoughts for ourselves is an incremental step that can lead to our desired outcome of lasting peace.
Global peace is an ideal concept, but without practicing new strategies it remains stagnant. Brown describes emergent strategies to be “relatively simple interaction to create complex patterns, systems, and transformation.” The simple interactions she refers to can be applied to our listening, humility, and participation in facilitation. Peace can begin with a wave, a smile small, or choosing to listen instead of speaking. Expressing kindness towards others creates a ripple effect beyond what our senses can detect. This Peace Day choose to embody emergent strategies that inevitably guide us on a new path to experience a liberated world.
For more bookish content from us at Bookstr, click here!