Peace Starts at Home.
“World peace starts with each individual finding peace and working toward it in her own heart and making efforts to create a terrain of calm and serenity at home. Next take this peace out and share it with neighbors and the community, and then with the world at large. Finding peace and promoting it requires more than just saying “I want peace,” or “I will be peaceful. It means making conscious concerted efforts to sacrifice desires for things, be humble and diminish the ego’s raging demons of hatred, anger, envy, jealousy, and greed. The Buddha said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it outside.”- From “Awake in the World: 108 Spiritual Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life“.
It has become a tradition in my home to ask everyone at dinner or at the end of the day, “What was the best part of your day?”. Even on a “bad” day there is something good that happened. It could just be a quiet moment in your car or a smile you shared on the street.
I have taken “What was the best part of your day” and brought it to work. Asking my employees and co-workers at the end of the day. I travel frequently for work as I lecture and teach. I enjoy going outdoor dinner and drinks with other coaches and there is a lot of follow up conversation from what was covered earlier. A few years ago I started asking each coach, “What was the best part of their day?” and I have heard that many have then passed this on into their gyms and homes.
On 9/11/2001 my wife and I were on our way to Italy. We hadn’t arrived to the airport in Boston yet when the first tower was hit. Seeing all the commotion at the airport we knew we were not getting out so we turned around and went home. This was BEFORE it was known that it was terrorists. In the car ride home we heard the news of the second plane. Then the third.
I have many family and friends in NYC. One of the people who was house sitting for us was from NYC and his father worked blocks away from the World Trade Center. When the kids got home from school they knew something was up because we were home (and not in Italy). The house was tense, conversations hushed. How do you explain to a 4 yr old and 7 yr old what happened?
At dinner, my wife gave me “the look.” The look that said, Follow my lead. We told the kids what had happened. That it was an awful act committed my criminals. Then my wife asked, “What was the best part of your day?” to our daughter. Who replied, “That we are OK and that she was happy for the surprise of us being home”. Our son said Riding his bike. My wife’s response was that it was her best friends birthday.
See- the terrorists didn’t win. Our life went on. Our lives went on. The sun came up the next day and we all went back to work and school. It was an awful day. One that I hope is never repeated. But even on those days, there is some ray of light and hope. We did not focus on retribution. We focused on the good.
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY?