Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recognizing Peace

There is so much to learn and ponder over in the His Holiness The Dalai Lama's talk on Peace and Prosperity recording by National Geographic. There are some words of wisdom that make a deeper impact than the rest because they happen to strike closer home. For me, that was The Dalai Lama's explanation of what separates non-violence from violence and how motivation for a certain action is what ultimately determines whether or not it can be called violent.

The examples he cited were a mother disciplining her child in a harsh tone or a genuinely caring teacher doing so with a student. In both cases, the actions would appear outwardly violent without actually being so. The motivation stems from love, concern and a desire to do good for the person towards whom the apparent violence is directed. According to His Holiness that disqualifies the act from being one of violence. On the contrary he says the use of guile, charm or bribery to serve some questionable ulterior motive while appearing peaceful outwardly is in truth an act of violence even when there are no outward signs of it.

Hearing these words, helped me understand why I never experienced peace and tranquility when I was married though we never once had an argument. There was this simmering undercurrent of unspoken words, unexpressed emotions that ran through our home which made it impossible to feel at peace there. Yet there was never any outward sign of disquiet - it was easy to get lulled into a false sense of well-being, it was easier still to give others the impression that we were a very happy couple. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now, that J and I are on are own, every morning on a school-day is fraught with tension, bustle and commotion. I am running around like a tornado trying to get J out on time to catch the school bus. My child has many endearing qualities but the ability to comprehend the passage of time is not one is she is blessed with.

So I am hurrying her up with her shower, finishing breakfast, putting on her clothes and doing her hair even as I try to pack a lunch and snack that will meet with her approval on that particular day. There is much anxiety, shouting and sometimes even tears to get through this ordeal. The day begins with the absolute absence of peace. I used to wonder how it is then that my home feels so tranquil - even after starting on such a melodramatic note each day. I believe that I have my answer now.

No comments: