Sunday, May 31, 2015

Everyone Wants to Bring About World Peace -- But Those With Any Chance to Succeed Know They Must Start Small -- With Themselves

“We cannot leave It (peace) up to other people – creating peace is up to each of us.”                          ~Naomi Drew                               

Who among us hasn’t been moved by our troubled world to ask ourselves the following question:  What could I possibly do to help bring peace to our world?  Since my initial approach to any complicated problem is to corral it by making a list, I immediately sat down and Googled “Deterrents to World Peace.”  What came up was a mind-boggling raft of the most intimidating, soul-searing issues imaginable, running the gamut from war and terrorism to climate change, religion and powerful conflict-causing cultural and gender issues.

Obviously, it’s certainly beyond the ability of any ordinary or even extraordinary human being to know where to start.  While it’s appropriate for the national and international powers that be to work on these issues from those levels, I believe along with many others much wiser than I that without the help of each of us the situation will only get worse.  For the solution to this problem to work it must not only trickle down, it must trickle up, and sideways – simultaneously.

I also believe that the high-tech world we’re living in right now is fully capable of helping humanity be part of ensuring that future change comes about with love and caring for others, so the results are by design instead of by destruction.  It’s literally up to us to step up and help counteract threats to our vision of the peace and security we desire for ourselves, our beloveds and all humanity.

After absorbing the emotional impact of the problems blocking the way of world peace, I needed an hour of prayer work to bring my thinking down to what practical ways each of us, as individuals, might use to start initiating the overall process of reversal.

While I’ve worked for and achieved a level of inner peace within and am aware of how it blesses my life, I had no idea of how my increased awareness would lead me to recognize a practical approach to world peace through something as prosaic as a gathering of friends.

I was at a dinner party at the home of two of my longtime friends when they exploded into a fully-loaded emotional torrent.  I just sat there in stunned silence praying for peace in their situation and also an acceptable way to exit the venue as quickly as possible to respect their privacy.  The other guests were on the same wave length and when the host and hostess left the table and took the drama into the kitchen, we exchanged a knowing look, and then headed out the door.

Naturally being very fond of the couple, Jack and Jane (not their real names), they were automatically the focus of my heartfelt prayers on the drive home. Several days after the incident, I received a note from Jane apologizing for the public display of discontent and seeking my help.  This was followed that afternoon by a telephone call from Jack, also echoing Jane’s request for help.  Evidently getting the truth out and releasing a lot of pent up anger had opened their minds and hearts, to what was still good and desired in their relationship.

While listening to Jack’s plea for advice – I remembered an excellent response line – I will have to take this into prayer, and if I receive any insight that might help you I will be in touch.  This was my saving grace, as I was then free to trust in my Inner Guidance as to whether or not I was to give any assistance beyond prayers.

The next day while adding Jack and Jane to my daily prayer list, the first thing that flashed through my mind was the fact that another friend was married to an attorney who also specialized in corporate arbitration and mediation.  I called her and explained the situation.  She said she had some information that her husband often sent out to dear friends and family members who were experiencing similar situations.

She e-mailed me an excerpt from a book by Naomi Drew, titled “Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World,” that came out after the infamous 9/11 tragedy.  The author is recognized around the world today as an expert in conflict resolution and peacemaking for all ages.  I found the excerpt consisted of Six Steps for Conflict Resolution.  They resonated deeply within me as being a positive, heartfelt and wise approach for anyone seeking help with resolving a conflict and coming to a peaceful solution.  I also loved the title of the excerpt: Learning Peace – with a subhead – We cannot leave it to other people … creating peace is up to each of us.

The excerpt was definitely something that knowing Jack and Jane as I do, I was certain they were capable of putting to good use.  I also realized that receiving the Six Steps was a positive sign that I was to provide this information and also continue supporting them with prayers.  I had let Jane and Jack know that if I gained an insight that would help them, I would let them know.

The insight turned out to be an intro to the six how-to guidelines and it fit perfectly.  It was in the form of a key question that each individual was to ask themselves before starting the process, together with a list of Desired Answers for the question that would set the tone for the six win-win guidelines.  I also included a copy of the complete excerpt in the e-mail packet:

The question is: What do WE want in this situation?  The desired answers are:

 What is morally fair and right and that we both agree on.      What brings out the best in each of us and is for our individual highest and best good.  What allows us the opportunity to resolve the situation - with mutual respect - and that allows us to close the process by sharing handshakes, high-fives and/or hugs.
Six Steps for Conflict resolution

Step 1:  Cool off.  Conflicts can’t be solved in the face of hot emotions.  Take a step back, breathe deep, and gain some emotional distance before trying to work things out.*

Step 2:  Tell what’s bothering you using “I messages.”  I messages are a tool for expressing how we feel without attacking or blaming.  By starting from the “I” we take responsibility for the way we perceive the problem.  This is in sharp contrast to “you message” which put others on the defensive and close doors to communication.  A key credo in conflict resolution is, “It’s us against the problem, not us against each other.”*

Step 3:  Each person restates what they heard the other person say.  Reflective listening demonstrates that we care enough to hear the other person out, rather than just focusing on our own point of view.  It actually fosters empathy.*

Step 4:  Take responsibility.  In the majority of conflicts, both parties have some degree of responsibility.  However most of us tend to blame rather than looking at our own role in the problem. When we take responsibility, we shift the conflict into an entirely different gear, one where resolution is possible.*

Step 5:  Brainstorm solutions and come up with one that satisfies both people.  Resolving conflicts is a creative act.  There are many solutions to a single problem.  The key is a willingness to seek compromise.*

Step 6:  Affirm, forgive, or thank.  A handshake, high-five, hug, or kind word gives closure to the resolution of conflicts.  Forgiveness is the highest form of closure.  For both parties, forgiveness means the freedom to be at peace inside their own skin and to be glad in each others’ presence.  What a legacy to leave our children as we teach and model this.”*

I placed the Six-Steps in the body of this essay and not just as an add-on at the end because this type of information is invaluable.  I’m pleased to share with you that Jane and Jack are using the Six-Steps and are now working together to resolve their challenges.  They are committed to co-creating an honest, mature and peaceful relationship that allows for sometimes strong disagreements and subsequent compromises – the key to healthy relationships.

In the process of praying with Jane and Jack for a positive resolution, I realized the two-part insight that I want to share with you.  First, their experience confirmed the vital importance of making conflict resolution a part of our daily lives, for when we experience peace within, and live it, we radiate a powerful energy force that – when joined with millions of others – will help counteract the all-encompassing negative energy of greed, dishonesty, hatred and lack of regard for others that rule our world today. Jane and Jack are also setting a great example for others to follow.

The other half of the equation is to use scientific prayer – which is basically positive thought and energy combined.  This means we don’t plead or beg God for world peace, we use a prayer of gratitude each day, thanking the Universal Life Force-Energy-God for manifesting our heart’s desire.  We can also enlist others to do the same – and use the Internet to blanket the world with similar positive prayers.  With millions of individuals aligning with the perfect power within, and backing their prayer with faith and powerful emotional energy, the Universal Law receives the energy-directive and responds to ensure the result is harmonious, joyful, peaceful and Good for all concerned.

“Thank you, God, for providing us with a new formula for world peace, that every man, woman and child, of all races and religions, can use to heal the cloud of uncertainty that hovers over our lives and our loved ones – and at the same time help struggling nations around our troubled world unite in a bond of brotherhood.”

Note*: The Six Steps are condensed excerpts from Naomi Drew’s book, “Hope and Healing--Raising Peaceful Children in an Uncertain World,”  published by Citadel in Sept. 2002.  
___________________________________                                                                                  Copyright © 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart,” (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” (recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction); “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); “The Heart Knows the Way …”  (Feb. 2008), and are available on, online booksellers, and bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.