Everybody can be somebody. Everyone is free to make a difference in this world.
Raul Midon, guitarist and singer, presents a pair of lovely songs at the TED 2007 conference. The first, entitled “Everybody,” is inspiring and as the TED summary notes “category-defying” and the second, “Peace on Earth,” carries a powerful message that I hope inspires you to greater conviction in your pursuit of a meaningful and valuable life.
Sometimes I feel that we human beings as a race get so caught up in the day-to-day that we fail to step back and consider the larger goals common, I would hope, to humanity. Have you ever wished for peace on earth? What would it look like? How would it be achieved, let alone sustained? Would we miss the drama of conflict?
It is hard not to be overwhelmed by ubiquity of failure, conflict and illness these days. Everyone I know has been touched or knows someone who has been touched by a serious health issue recently. Conflicts between people, between families, between nations are rife, yet in all of this there remains a great promise.
Horace wisely noted in his Satires that “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” We humans are an incredibly resourceful lot. Somehow despite our egotism, self-centeredness and short-sightedness we always seem to come up with ingenious to handle even the most challenging situations, and with our chins held high!
Whether our cleverness and adaptability is fueled by the survival instinct or some higher inspiration, we as a people always tend to keep moving. Winston Churchill, a great leader in his day, summed it up nicely: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Don’t stop and wallow. Keep your wits about you and keep moving.
Dare to dream of a world gone sane. Rise up and reveal the naturally wonderful expression that is uniquely yours and do your part to make peace on earth more than just a tarnished dream. You can’t give what you don’t have, so the first step is to cultivate a deep and unwavering sense of peace in yourself.
I want to leave this world a better place for my two sons and the generations that follow them. That won’t just happen magically. It will require diligence, courage, inventiveness and continually raising the bar in my living. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to leave our children the gift of peace on earth? Sounds a little sappy and most I imagine would say that such a hope is a pipe dream, but somebody has to dream big. So why not me? Why not you?
You can be somebody. You are free to make a difference in this world.
4 thoughts on “Peace on earth: Dream BIG!”
This guy is fantastic!! Thanks for the introduction! Another line I really like from his first song: “Now there is a reason for everyone’s time on earth.” He mentions he still stands by all the happy songs on his first album, but “Peace on Earth” has something else in it of the difficulty in the world. It’s a contrast of people wanting peace and yet nothing coming together to make it a reality, in fact just the opposite. When I heard that song I felt the poignancy of that gap and yet there is the sense still of, as you pointed out, a great promise which remains. I don’t want to take for granted or waste the time that remains, and so I take to heart the words in his first song, that there IS a reason for everyone’s time on earth. Power to the BIG dream of peace and not to the ghost of war lurking in the hallway!
I read recently about a study done in the 1980s by Harvard psychologist Dr. David McClelland. A group of subjects was shown a video about Mother Teresa. After watching the video, test results showed an immediate rise in secretory IgA levels (an antibody which is our first line of defense against invading pathogens and therefore an important measurement of immune system health). In other words, the feeling evoked in the subjects by watching Mother Teresa, an embodiment of care and compassion, had a measurable effect on their immune systems. A few simple implications I’ve drawn from this is that 1) how I live my life has an invisible effect on the health of others, 2) what and who I focus on for inspiration has an immediate effect on my health, and 3) the clips and words you share through your blog have an immediate positive effect on my health (thank you!). Here’s to dreaming big and making a difference!
Dream big but start small. Find something to appreciate about the person you’re with . Make the choice to engage in feelings of compassion and kindness rather than indulging in irritation, worry, frustration, anger, judgment or blame. How much energy is wasted through even just one of these negative emotional states in one day? Negative obsessions and repetitive reactions, the tendency to worry day after day, etc. causes our long term health to suffer, let alone destroys the daily quality of our life. We have the choice to increase the quality of our life – it is an internal choice, not something dictated by our outer circumstances. The state of peace is not a pipedream, and looking for the good won’t turn us into doormats. As we become who we want to be, so do we influence the world around us. The motto for EarthDay this year was “Be the change you want to see in the world” (Ghandi). There is nothing about that statement that doesn’t scream “personal responsibility” – the legacy we leave starts internally.
You mentioned raising the bar for yourself. I think this is one of the keys to making the world a better place. If every single person raised their own personal bar every day, that would mean that -every day- the world would be a better place. It sounds easy, but people don’t realize that constantly improving yourself and your life takes courage, strength, and an aversion to complacency. I hate to think that the world stays the same because people feel comfortable with the way it is right now, but I think that is one of the big reasons. I’m not going to be someone who is too lazy to say “what can I do to raise the bar today?”