I Think I've Usually Been A Voice Of Reason.

That's more true now that I'm older. I've had my share of anger and frustration. Still do. I have better control of it now. When I drive my car, I no longer drive for blood. I'm more patient, more tolerant behind the wheel, which is, I submit, a significant indication of one's level of peace. It's easy to be aggressive when you're wrapped in armor. I suspect that some ordinarily nice people let their demons out when they're driving.

But about promoting peace...the question is very general. What exactly does "promoting peace" mean? That you talk about it to friends? That you do something to create peace in and around you? That could be as simple as keeping your environment neat and clean and orderly, so that when people come to visit your place, they sense the peace there, sense the order there, and it creates order in their minds. Are we talking of a technique to create inner peace, such as a meditation technique? I do practice a spiritual technique: the transcendental meditation program. I hope that 36 years of twice daily regular practice has made me a more peaceful person, and I'd like to think that my existence makes a contribution to world peace. I am, however, not as peaceful as I'd like to be. I still get stressed, I get angry, I get frustrated. Fortunately, those conditions don't last; my meditation practice helps with that.

The world looks very different to me now than it did a couple of years ago. I see people working too hard for things that they might be better off without. There's a lot of anger and aggression in society. I understand the vulnerability of life, the delicate nature of life, more than ever. Today as I drove on I-40 I saw a pair of Canada geese walking in the grass on the roadside with their newborn chicks. They walked along, seemingly without a care in the world, as human in cars flew by at 70+ mph. The sight was enormously charming and alarming at the same time. The birds looked so vulnerable. At any moment, an errant driver could have wiped them out. This is how it is with man and nature today.

One of my favorite and most deeply held tenets is this: I do not want to mess up anyone else's life, whether it's a little squirrel trying to cross the street I'm driving on, or someone whom I'd like to love. I do have a special reverence for the animals, probably because of their innocence. They give me a great deal of charm, all of them, whenever I encounter them.

I did for a couple of months have a wonderful experience of continuous inner peace, the likes of which were so satisfying, so fulfilling, that I became aware that no material thing, nothing I could ever purchase, could ever substitute or even come remotely close to providing what that experience provided me. It was an inner comfort on the level of my heart—and others around me could sense it, for people who'd previous to this experience not given me a moment's attention were suddenly very interested in me. I'd done nothing to deserve their attention. I was simply innocently radiating some quality that attracted them.

So, yes, I'd like to think that I do promote peace. But until the world is the kind of place where life is truly revered more than money, my work will not be finished.
rwollman rwollman
56-60
May 5, 2012