We can despair, justifiably, about the state of peace on earth--after all, it is the season in which we invoke such worldwide compassion through tradition, through music, through giving. But let me ask you this--are you at peace with yourself?
I know I'm not, rarely anyway, and it seems at best fruitless, at worst hypocritical, to wish and work toward universal peace when, some nights, there's just no sleeping with myself. And I think, if this is me, one small person pitched up in the far north of one country, what sample am I representing? How many of us work and work toward unconditional love and universal compassion while grinding our own gears, unlubricated by that same generosity of spirit?
And it's not that our efforts are absolutely ineffectual, not at all--we do feel compassion, we do feel oneness--but how much more powerful could we be if we could only apply that respect, that devotion, that appreciation to our own small selves? And talk about measurable effect--when we're at peace, we know it; that's one powerful motivation, one powerful driving force toward widespread, universal peace.
That's how we'll get there--one quiet night at a time.