The Inheritance of Peace: Here and Now

November 2008

Years have gone by much faster than I can control or wish they would.  The sun rises and sets and I feel as though I am falling away, drifting in a current I can’t swim against.  Every morning I awaken knowing that thousands of people will die as I complete my routine of mediocre every-day life.  As the sun rises above the horizen and bleeds into the sky of dawn, I ponder the horrors that it bears witness to.  When shaving is the most physically painful activity of my day, I think about the savage murders taking place all around the world and the pain those people must be feeling.  I stare into the mirror and I question the right I have to live here and now, for the most part, free of these things, alone I cry for people I have never met.

Through the eyes that I bear and from beyond the bars to the prison that is my mind, I bear the guilt of knowing the freedom I have.  The waking hours of my life, spent in disregard of how lucky I am and the shame of knowing I have the power within me to create one more stone on the road of human destiny that leads to the door of a greater understanding of human compassion.  One pulse, one chance to change the life of every child waiting to inherit a world far darker than the nightmares that petrify them.  Far darker because this world is reality, a life far more fragile, here and now, than one conceived in any dream.

In every moment of silence throughout my day, the things that people endure passes through my mind.  Like photos in an album, slides in a projector, a vision of the legacy that we will leave behind us.  Alone I am brought to the knowledge of what exists here and now.

When the rush of my life is at full force, when someone cuts me off in traffic on my way to work, when someone doesn’t take the split second required to hold the door open for the person behind them, I come to realize what has happened here and now.  We walk in silence aside people we have never met, we glance into their faces as we pass and we never say a word, ignoring them as if they were inanimate objects, obstructions to our day’s agenda.  Have you ever pondered where they have been and what they have seen in their lifetime?  Have you ever smiled at them in the hope that you could make their day better with something so trivial?

I am asked over and over why I live my life in such distress?  People tell me that I need to let things go, to live for the joys and blissful moments of life, stop being so down and depressed, forget the troubles of my past and overlook the things that go wrong.  To these people I would like to ask, “Why should I dance in the streets while the city burns all around me?”

Forgetting and ignoring what exists all around us is the easy way to carry on in the belief that perhaps human life is not so bad.  Could you imagine someone covering their eyes while someone else is murdered, simply so they don’t have to deal with the pain and stress of that tragedy?  Believe it or not, most people do this everyday…

Attempting to be aware of what happens in this world is my way of remembering that I’m not here for myself.  Too many people live like a herd of wild animals.  When a predator comes upon them they all freak out and run in the same direction as the person in front of them.  And behind them someone else falls and in that instance everyone else knows or believes that person will perish and to turn back would be suicide.  It is this mentality that has led us to where we are here and now.  Leaving them behind to fend for themselves.  What happens the next time when it is you who falls behind, how is that scenario any different?

A world lacking in awareness is a world that will fail at every endeavor.

So many times I wish that I had the power to change the entire world in one move.  I know that this is not possible, not on my own.  This is an effort that requires at the very least the vast majority of the human race.  Many say that I am nieve to believe that world peace is ever possible, loving-kindness is a song only sung in fairy tales.  With these words I am heart-broken because it is with these words that I know they have given up without trying, too affraid to try because they know it will call upon them to make some type of sacrifice.  I say that the greatest failure in life is not what we don’t achieve, but rather what we do not attempt.

I feel as though I sit alone on this island of awareness in an archipelago, stranded by an ocean of chaos and death from everyone else, an ocean that needs to be overcome here and now for life to truly flourish.  A bridge must be built to every island, but it cannot be done by my hands alone. Each of us have been given a gift, a method to begin building a network of passage to every island. With this pen I spill out on paper the very cause of my existance, the very cause of everyone’s existance.  In bottles I stuff these letters of my soul and send them out into this hazardous ocean in the hopes that they will reach all whom bear my sorrow.

To make things less poetic, each island is the heart of one human.  Separated we are by the hate, anger, violence, lust and all the negative things of this world, represented by an ocean of chaos and death.  The bridges we must build are those to eachother as people, a link to every heart.  A connection made to create something, an ideal, that we have lost to time.  Something called the unified heart of mankind.  And with this we can start creating global peace here and now.

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About Kephen

I am a writer who happens to be a pantheist living in the heartland of America. I write about everything that interests me, from Zen Buddhism to depression and mental illness, society and civil rights to the LGBT community and the personal meanderings of my life. To learn more about me just check out my blog.
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