What’s in it for me, I always ask. I am a Peacemaker, and I want what’s best for the world. Sometimes what’s best for the world includes personal sacrifice, however, what benefits the world also benefits individuals. It’s important to keep my hopes and dreams and well-being in the picture of Peace, or it will not be Peace for all. Dr. Spock from Star Trek claimed that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, however Peace includes everyone’s well-being.
If I’m working in ways that include my joy and well-being, then I am in a great place to be generous in my invitations to join me in the work of Peace. At the same time, my heart is full enough to create and keep good boundaries in my invitations.
Peace has boundaries. Those boundaries keep people safe and help them to extend hands and hearts to invite people over and in. But, at the same time, Peace is not enmeshment, or a blurring of individualities. It has space for curiosity and learning. It allows for teaching and inquiry.
The joy you feel in Peacemaking, gives you strength for the Peace journey. It helps you stop at the precipices and turns and admire the view as well as strategize with others for what could be complicated ways forward.
It is not always easy. Plenty of us are confident we know the right way to get out of situations — without lots of input from others (who are also walking the Peacepath.). But Peace is about the shared path and shared leadership. For those of us whose favorite words include “Follow me!” this can be a challenge. Eventually, however, we learn that there are far fewer missteps and resentment if we build consensus on the journey. Peace is comprised of both daredevils and cautious folx. The Peace way is filled with places where it’s good to go carefully over the new bridge and plenty of places where there’s space to dance wildly on the straightaway.
I know… there are not a lot of resumes that include dancing wildly on the straightaways… but shouldn’t there be? Just as we need to go carefully one by one, shouldn’t we go rambunctiously all mixed up? The careful ones can take joy in the wild rejoicing and the wild can be grateful for the caution over slippery logs. By the time we stop for the night, there will be much more joy and energy to put to food and play and rest, if people’s needs have been met.
The “follow me!” crowd and the “slow down, you move too fast” crowd will both be relieved. And if we’ve done it correctly, individuals will felt seen and understood even if their place is smack-dab in the middle…
Walking the Peacepath means knowing not only your values, but also your persona. It’s helpful if you know how you feel about life today. If you know those things about yourself, your journey will be easier and you’re far more likely to invite people to come along.
What is your deepest value? What kind of person are you?? How do you like to take action? How does that make space (or not, oops!) for others who have different interpretations and expressions of values and style? I know all this self-questioning can be frustrating, but it’s exactly like finding comfortable shoes and a decent water bottle for the journey! Good preparation is key to enjoyment — and leaves room for spontaneity! So much to consider!
Peace, Shalom, Salaam. Blessed be.