This is the last day of Peace Blogfest sponsored by Aimee at A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman, since today is designated by the U.N. as the International Day of Peace. Aimee’s last challenge is for us to think about Peace Through Connection.

Apparently I'm not the first to make this particular mistake. Nice to know. Dog works in mysterious wasy.

“What Unties, Oops, Unites People?” As I typed the title for this post, I realized my typo. I started to backwards-type–a skill at which I’m a master–to correct my gaffe; then I stopped. I chuckled. The irony of my mistake wafted over me like tiny snowflakes: gentle but, oh, so noticeable. What unites all humans as one universal family are the same things that untie, or unshackle, us from our own prisons of fear or hatred. 

In essence, we are fallible humans stumbling through life doing the best we can with what we have. There are those exceptional humans on both ends of the spectrum who I have to exclude from this generalization:

  1. the few so spiritually (not religiously) evolved that they must be tethered to the earth lest they start levitating and blow our minds

    No one has that kind of upper arm strength.

  2. the few so spiritually/socially bereft that they take pleasure in the pain and destruction of others (we leave these bad seeds to the likes of Dexter)

    The Dex is the 21st Century Superman: a sociopath ridding the world of worse sociopaths. What could go wrong with that plan?

But let’s focus on the vast majority of people who fall somewhere in between these two extremes. What unites us…and can untie us?

  1. our mistakes (we all make them)… if we can be humble enough to admit we goof up and learn something positive from the experience–even if it’s to resist buying the miracle weight-loss colon-cleanse system… again.
  2. our yearning to “get it right”…if we can allow for the fact that our parents and our children will never agree that we did, no matter what.
  3. our reliance on this earth…if we can see ourselves as part of the natural world and not superior to it, a perspective easily found when camping without benefit of a toilet.
  4. our need for each other…if we can trust that, should aliens attacks, we have each other’s back.
  5. our need to feel loved…and not just by [insert your fantasy lust object], but by people who really matter in your life, like your pets and the person who styles your hair.
  6. our need to feel safe…safe from things like flying objects and gossip (I think that was repetitive).
  7. our need for creative outlets…people need to express themselves in all kinds of ways; when creative expression is squelched, people get cranky and awful things happen like acne and wars.

My list was half serious (the first half) and half tongue-in-cheek (guess which half). I suppose I should have put an 8th item on the list: our need to laugh. Laughter is the great unifier and untier. If you don’t believe me, look around at the diversity in an audience at a show like “Laugh for Love.”  

I became a more peaceful person when I learned to accept and forgive my perfectly imperfect human self; loved me for who I am, not someone else’s version of me; focused on the abundance in life, not on what’s missing in it; and accepted that change was the only predictable thing in life (so I better embrace it). Buddhism helped me with these things. 

Achieving this state of bliss is hard work, Baby. Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation is not for the faint of heart or weak of soul. You have to be ready to embrace your inner Hakuna Matata.

How about you? What gives you peace?