Creating a New Narrative of Peace: from Inner Peace to International Peace

Contemplative Journal
September 20, 2013
By Philip Hellmich

“Sanskrit has 108 words for love. Islam has 99 names for God. Japanese has 14 words for beauty. We’ve got one word for Peace….We don’t have enough words to accurately describe all the different types of peace. I think it was Socrates who once said if you don’t have a word to describe something, then how can you think about it?”

— Steve Killelea (Co-Founder of the Global Peace Index)

As news of the latest crisis in Syria reaches the world, we are reminded of the need to strengthen our capacity for outer and inner peace. It’s time to create a new story about peace. We need a narrative that speaks to the human complexity of the inner spirit, to international relations, to dialogues across multiple sectors of society—including healing humanity’s relationship with the Earth. We need an understanding of peace broad enough to embrace the deep inner spiritual realms, along with the grounded, and at times even hard-nosed, practical actions that can transform difficult situations locally and globally.

The Summer of Peace was created to shine a light on the vast array of peacebuilding efforts quietly emerging around the world today. Far from an academic exercise, this new peace narrative is intended to speak to the hearts, minds, and souls of people—and in so doing, inspire broad action.

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