Positive Living Newsletter

Peace is a Ripple!

Pooja V. Anand, Ph.D.

Conflicts are a part of our everyday life and they occur at various levels. Even though numerous theories and models of conflict have been proposed, somehow we haven’t yet understood the real reason why conflicts occur and why their frequency appear to be increasing day by day. Let’s try to reflect and understand the true nature and origin of conflict. What we observe in terms of conflict at the international, intergroup, and interpersonal levels are just  symptoms. So, what is the root cause of all these conflicts? In this article I argue that the root cause is the intrapersonal conflict–the conflict within.

All observable conflicts ranging from conflicts among family members, friends, communities as well as international conflicts are a mere reflection of lack of peace within. Let’s understand it this way–a sense of calm is one of the most important longings that we human beings seek to attain. The hustle bustle of everyday life, the daily hassles, tensions, and pressures make us yearn for a sense of calm in their life. This calmness provides a fertile ground for reflection, generation of new ideas, and a general feeling of well-being. This state of being also provides a sense of balance which we also crave in our lives. We try to find this calmness through various means such as relationships, work, recreation, music, and leisure. However, when these efforts to attain inner peace are obstructed it disturbs our inner balance. This  has a snowballing effect. First, it may spiral into conflicts at various levels of the society–interpersonal, community, national, and international. Then these conflicts create an imbalance at various levels leading to further conflicts, which results in a never-ending cycle of conflict. Conflicts result in tremendous pain and suffering in people and, hence, they look for ways to resolve them. To find a lasting solution to these conflicts, their true origin and cause has to be deeply understood.

So let us journey back to the origin of this spiral, and the one thing we are looking for in our lives–inner peace. Since a lack of inner peace has serious implications at various levels, it becomes extremely important to discover ways and means to achieve this invaluable yet elusive state. These conflicts within have to be resolved first, so that the conflicts outside can be resolved. This can only be achieved by profound self-reflection about one’s true nature and what one truly wants from life. This process also needs to include understanding of the role of others in our life and how we can truly understand each other and be compassionate. This would be the true genesis of inner peace, which will be radiantly reflected in peace at all levels of our existence–interpersonal, community, national, and international. Truly, peace is a ripple!