peace (is for everyone)
Peace is a state of be-ing. Actually, go simpler: peace is be-ing.
Peace is being right here, right now, whether you're at the dentist or on the couch with a book. Or at a bus stop, or listening to non-stop traffic, or in the middle of a protest. Or on your way to school/work/nowhere. Right here. Presence.
But you have to be peace. If you're not peace, you don't have peace, no matter where you are.
And what isn't peace? Where one is hurt and hurting. (Hurt people hurt people.) Which is why we need healing, self-healing and world-healing. Hurt people will continue to hurt people. The most important step we can take is to heal our own wounds, so we don't keep inflicting hurt onto other people. (It seems to me this is a life-long process. Practiced daily, it does get easier.) After we start our own healing, we can begin to do what we can to help others heal (our children, friends, loved ones, strangers, people we actively dislike), by showing them the tools that we use/d.
That's world-healing, Tikkun Olam. We can only take responsibility for ourself, but each person who takes responsibility for their own healing shows the world peace is possible. Peace is possible, right here, right now.
We start with mettā - loving-kindness, compassion, empathy, love.
The traditional Buddhist mettā prayer starts with self ("may I be free..."). Then focuses on a loved one ("may you be free...") and then on a neutral person, then to someone who one does not like. Finally, we may be able to use those four categories to extend our mettā practice towards all beings, all life.
(This isn't the first time I've written about mettā practice. I've been practicing mettā since I was a teenager. I'm on my iPad mini, so I can't hyperlink, but you can search for the term mettā on my blog and my other thoughts on mettā will automagically appear. Yay, google!)
When I am peace, I help others be peace. So I practice.
Parenting is particularly awesome for me in this regard, both as a way to practice peace under extreme circumstances, and as a way to teach peace, to my kid and other kids we encounter. It's not easy, but I choose it because that's what I wanted to do.
Your milleage will vary, which is awesome because diversity rocks.
Practice in your own way. Be peace your own way. And remember peace doesn't always mean happiness. It is this moment, as it is, with no additional suffering. (Equanimity is the term Buddhists use.) Happiness is an emotion state. Peace is deeper than that, (a way of) be-ing.