Stopping the War

I had a question I was going to answer tonight, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow because something is more pressing. I don't know how many of you follow the news, but lately, the world has become more dangerous, more threatening, and more violent. Any conflicts that existed in the world have amplified due to the desire for and possession of nuclear weapons. It's a very scary situation. At the bottom of it all? I guess that's up to you to decide. The way I see it, it's greed and inner conflict that drives individuals and groups to want more and more. They want to secure their position and rank in the world and conflict is their tool.

Most of the time, I'm too caught up my own future--my job, my dating life, my social roles and relationships--to really appreciate how dire the situation is. Today, though, I had one of those rare moments where you fully appreciate how awful things are. As I walked back from the gym, I looked at couples and imagined them mourning each other after a horrible catastrophe. It was very sad.

"So what should I do?" I wondered today. How do I contribute to this? How does one eradicate greed and bring peace to people who are so tense and aggressive that they don't even know the meaning of joy? Then I remembered something my late Zen Master said: start with yourself, then make peace in your family, then your community, then your country, then the world. Those are wise words. In order to know how to act, you need to put away your own issues, and you don't put them away through more aggression. You put them away by making peace inside yourself and vowing not to do any more damage. You watch the way you place demands on yourself and the way you reject the parts your don't like. You make a promise to stop the inner war and you commit to it with resolution. I made that promise today and started to cry immediately. I want you to make that promise too and stick to it. Okay? Do it for yourself. Do it for the world.